Education news: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018


Clarendon School District 2

Phoenix Charter High Visits Boeing SC

Twenty-five Phoenix Charter High students visited Boeing SC on Jan. 11 and participated in the DreamLearners Education program. Temporarily transformed into Boeing teammates, five career/job areas assembled a model plane. The finance manager oversaw a $55,000 budget that managed payroll, materials, training and research. A team of engineers decided on the design of the plane to be built. Materials management then ensured that all necessary materials reached the facility on time and undamaged so that mechanics could be proficient in assembling the aircraft. Finally, the finished product was tested by the pilots.

For two hours, students were able to dream the possibility of being an employee in one of the many job functions available at Boeing SC. - Tonia M. Smith

Morris College

Science in Action Week

"STEM is the ONE" is the theme of Science in Action Week, Feb. 6-9, at Morris College. All events are open to the public.


- "Cyber Warfare: Our National Preparedness to Respond to the Threat" in Wilson-Booker Science Building, Room 100. Speakers are William Littleton and Shanda Johnson, SPAWAR, Atlantic, North Charleston

- Summer Research Poster Exhibits in the hallway of Wilson-Booker Science Building: Tiare Tatum and Imani Williams, Savannah State University; Lakil Mason, Furman University; Katlyn Benjamin, Furman University; and Eugene Boykin and Dominique Jenkins, Livermore National Laboratory


Classroom visitations will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. in Wilson-Booker Science Building.

- Dr. Dwayne Nelson - computer engineer, U.S. Navy;

- Dr. Kareem Sprattling - dentist, private practice, Latta Smiles;

- Dr. Jachelle Sprattling - dentist, private practice, Latta Smiles;

- Adrienne Edge - associate director of student diversity, College of Health Professions, MUSC;

- Chris Powers - manager of recruitment and diversity education, School of Medicine, MUSC;

- Kaleigh Larson - Department of Nursing, MUSC; and

- Clarence Brown - executive director of Pre-College University


An assembly program will be held at 10 a.m. in Neal-Jones Auditorium. Dr. John Bell, podiatrist, will be keynote speaker, with Dr. Dwayne Nelson, engineer and Stellar graduate, also speaking.

Friday in the classrooms

Student presentations on African-American scientists and mathematicians

Notable alumnae returning for Science in Action Week

Dr. John Bell graduated magna cum laude in biology in 1996 and is a surgical podiatrist, physician and owner and CEO of Excelsior Podiatry Clinic and owner and CEO of DJB Pharmacy in Greater West Tennessee Metropolitan Area.

Dr. Dwayne Nelson is a Morris-North Carolina A&T dual-degree (math-engineering) program graduate of 2009 and is a deputy department information officer and technical team lead of the U.S. Navy in Dahlgren, Virginia.

Dr. Kareem Sprattling is a 2001 Morris graduate in biology and has a Doctor of Dentistry from MUSC. He and his wife, Jachelle, are the dentists and owners of the Latta Smiles Dentistry Clinic in Latta. - Anika Cobb

University of South Carolina Sumter

Achieve success without the financial burden

Nearly 5 million Americans are in default on their federal student loan payments, the Wall Street Journal reported in December 2017. That is nearly double the number of Americans who were severely behind on payments four years ago. The number of borrowers who have not made a payment in at least a year grew by nearly 274,000 in the third quarter alone. According to the New York Federal Reserve, borrowers that renege on their payments are more likely to have enrolled in for-profit colleges or community colleges. They are also likely to have dropped out before they completed their programs, the WSJ reported.

Executive Vice President at Ameritech Financial Tom Knickerbocker said there is no reason for anyone to intentionally default on federal student loans. He pointed out that those who have "are going to have a tougher time passing an employment verification check, saving for retirement or ever buying a home." Matthew Michaels from Business Insider says personal consequences of defaulting on a loan are numerous and cumbersome. Some of the penalties defaulters face include acceleration of interest payments, loss of eligibility for deferments or a repayment plan, lack of access to additional federal student aid, restricted access on academic transcripts, garnished wages and inability to buy or sell assets.

While this negative trend impacts millions of people every year, USC Sumter students default on their loans at a much lower rate compared to others within South Carolina and around the country. USC Sumter's most recent default rate projection is less than 3 percent, while the state and national average rates are 13.2 percent and 11.5 percent respectively. This lower rate is largely due to affordable tuition and proactive counseling from staff. USC Sumter financial aid counselors work closely with students to help them budget wisely and borrow only what is needed each semester as they consider student loans.

In addition to lower default rates, USC Sumter students are achieving success at a high level. Historically, USC Sumter ranks among the top public two-year institutions in the state of South Carolina in terms of student success rates. Success rates, in addition to graduates, includes those students who transfer to another institution or continue enrollment past their third year. USC Sumter also ranks among the top two-year colleges in the state when it comes to four-year degree completion rates.

All this shows that students who choose USC Sumter go on to secure valuable baccalaureate degrees that prepare them for successful academic and professional careers without the heavy financial burden many students face after graduation. Flexible day, night and online course schedules allow students the ability to start and finish their degree through a wide range of subjects. USC Sumter is clearly a great option for students of all backgrounds, offering excellent academic programs at an affordable cost. For more information, call (803) 775-8727 or - Misty Hatfield

Central Carolina Technical College

Foundation Art Gallery accepting art submissions

The Central Carolina Technical College Foundation Gallery of Art and Expression will display artwork in March 2018 from current faculty, staff and students. There is no charge to display artwork. Submissions for this event are now being accepted. To find out more information and to download the Artwork Submission Form, visit:

6th-Annual Health Sciences Center Career Fair

On Monday, Central Carolina Technical College will host its sixth-annual career fair at the Health Sciences Center in downtown Sumter from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event offers Nursing, Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology, Medical Record Coding, Massage Therapy and Pharmacy Technology students, graduates and faculty a chance to meet representatives from hospitals and health care facilities to discuss career and employment opportunities. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with higher education institutions.

For more information contact CCTC's Career Services at (803) 773-6673 or email

University Transfer Day

On Tuesday, Central Carolina Technical College will hold its annual University Transfer Day. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Building M500 on the Main Campus in Sumter. This is a great opportunity for students to meet representatives from four-year public and private colleges and universities, as well as representatives from all military branches.

For more information, call (803) 778-6600.

CCTC Foundation accepting applications for Scholarships

CCTC Foundation Scholarship applications for the 2018-19 academic year are now being accepted. Deadline to apply is March 15. Consider applying if you are enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester and if you have a 2.0 grade-point average. Apply online at - Catherine M. Wood

Sumter School District

Thompson Construction adopts Crosswell Drive Elementary

A phenomenal partnership is in the making between Crosswell Drive Elementary School and Thompson Construction Group. Plans were unveiled at the school's Title I Parent Night.

"We are looking to build strong children when it comes to social and academic growth," said Principal Shawn Hagerty. "We have a lot of challenges, but our main goal is to ensure Crosswell Drive Elementary is in the top 10 percent of schools that meet state level standards within the next three to five years."

Partnerships will play a key role in making this happen. Hagerty reached out to President and CEO Greg Thompson earlier in the school year and asked him to partner with the school. Thompson, who responded immediately, served as their Principal for the Day in November where he interacted with the students, teachers and leadership team and reviewed school-level education plans. Thompson took this collaboration a step further and announced a formal schoolwide partnership with Crosswell Drive Elementary, which will entail in-depth collaboration with the teachers, students and parents.

Eaton distributes books to Pocalla Springs Elementary

Thanks to a grant from Eaton, the Sumter Education Foundation was able to purchase Big Universe and 5,072 books for classroom libraries at Pocalla Springs Elementary School. The books were distributed by a team from Eaton to each classroom teacher.

"On behalf of the Pocalla Springs Elementary School community, we are most grateful and appreciative of the kind donation of Eaton Corp.," Principal Laura Brown said. "Strong corporate partners and community citizens such as Eaton directly impact our total school program and our young learners at Pocalla. We thank them for their investment in our students as we build tomorrow today and strive to make the world a better place."

The Sumter Education Foundation's 500 for 500K fundraising campaign aims to support teachers in Sumter School District in strengthening the reading proficiency of every student from preschool to high school. A large, varied and often-refreshed collection of books in the classroom improves reading performance in all subject areas. Children who spend more time reading grow into strong, proficient readers who are workforce and college ready.

Chestnut Oaks students participate in leadership forum

Thanks to the Chamber Education Committee, 39 students from Chestnut Oaks Middle School had the opportunity to participate in the Student Leadership Career Forum. At a round table discussion held at the school, local leaders identified qualities of a good employee, the importance of good financial habits, lifelong learning and educational institutions that can further students' career choices. In turn, each student will have the opportunity to visit a business to obtain a firsthand look into that actual career.

Thank you to the following participants: U.S. Army Central, Shaw Air Force Base, Allsouth Federal Credit Union, Palmetto Health Tuomey, Thompson Construction, Central Carolina and Kaydon.

Rafting Creek students excel at competition

A selected group of fifth-grade students from Rafting Creek Elementary School competed in the South Carolina MathFest competition. All students placed in individual and/or team competitions and will compete in the regional competition against 11 other states in Atlanta on March 24.

Early Head Start Open Enrollment

Feb. 1 through March 2 is open enrollment time for Early Head Start services for the 2018-19 school year. Early Head Start services are available to pregnant women and children ages birth to 3 and their families regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability. Those eligible for services include expectant mothers and children up to age three who meet federal poverty income guidelines.

In order to enroll, prospective families must bring a copy of the birth certificates for both parents and child, Social Security cards and Medicaid and/or other insurance information. Income documentation for the last 12 months may include W2 forms or SSI documentation, TANF documentation, child support printout, scholarships, grants and/or student loan documentation or foster care statement.

Parents interested in this program for the 2018-19 school year are asked to call the Crosswell Park Early Childhood Center at (803) 774-5900 to schedule an appointment for enrollment. The Crosswell Park Early Childhood Center is located at 475 Crosswell Drive in Sumter. - Shelly Galloway

Wilson Hall

Smith Awarded Belk Scholarship

Senior Kate Smith was named an Irwin Belk Scholar by Wingate University in North Carolina. Worth $108,000, the scholarship would cover two-thirds of tuition, room and board. The scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who have a minimum SAT score of 1300, rank in the top 10 percent of their class and have a minimum grade-point average of 3.8.

Tristan Named Presidential Scholar

Senior Grace Tristan received the Presidential Scholarship from Mars Hill College in North Carolina. Valued at $64,000, the scholarship covers one-third of tuition, room and board. The merit-based scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who have a high grade-point average and SAT score.

McAdams Wins Region Bee

Fifth-grader Jane McAdams won the S.C. Independent School Association Regional Spelling Bee for her grade level and will advance to the state bee on Feb. 21. Seventy-two students in grades 3 though 8, representing six SCISA schools, participated in the regional bee. The bee, hosted by Wilson Hall, was coordinated by Becky Haley and moderated by Scott Warren.

Community Open House

Wilson Hall is hosting a community open house for the parents of prospective students in 3-year-old preschool through 12th grade on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to learn more about Wilson Hall and its academic, athletic and extracurricular programs from faculty members, current students and their parents. - Sean Hoskins