Education News: Sunday, March 4, 2018


Wilson Hall

Junior Class Retreat

As part of the curriculum, the 57 members of the junior class attended the 11th-annual junior class retreat at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Feb. 25-27. Coordinated by Laura Barr and Glen Rector, the retreat provided rising seniors with a "beyond the classroom walls" experience with a focus on loyalty, leadership and legacy.

The retreat included group activities, structured discussions and opportunities for enjoying the facilities of the conference center. Activities included an obstacle course operated by the Mountain Trail Outdoor School, team-building exercises and cooperation games. Dr. Milt Lowder, a licensed counseling psychologist in Greenville who graduated from Wilson Hall in 1990, delivered the keynote speech with the topic of "Defining Success." There were also presentations given by Fred Moulton, headmaster, as well as from some of the 14 faculty members who attended the retreat.

Every member of the Class of 2019 had the opportunity to enjoy the significant benefits of a time set apart for community building and individual character development in a way that will not only benefit each student individually, but also continue Wilson Hall's strong tradition of effective preparation for college and beyond. - Sean Hoskins

Lee County School District


National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. On Feb. 9, Vanessa Bostic, who has been the counselor at Bishopville Primary School for 13 years, was recognized for her dedication to the students. Bostic was presented with tokens of appreciation from faculty and students.

As a part of the character education program, Bostic issued Character Counts certificates, "I Did It Gift Bags" and a Student of the Month pencil to students who displayed a positive attitude for January.

The shadow box display for February at Lee County School District Office was created by Laquetta McMickle (media assistant) with assistance from Cheronda Scarborough (Powerschool Clerk), Olethia Davis (teacher assistant) and Samantha McClendon (teacher assistant).

Incentives are a great way to engage students and create excitement. BPS is using incentives as part of its Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports rewards program. The students earn Thunder Bucks as an incentive to achieve academic goals and display excellent character.

This school year, BPS has implemented a reading intervention program. The program utilizes Fountas & Pinnell scores to group students in grades three through five for assistance with improving their reading skills. Interventions are completed Monday through Thursday for 30 minutes. The program uses Front Row which provides teachers with data to easily track growth. The students work on math, ELA, social studies and science lessons that are designed for them.

On Feb. 13, students were recognized for academic achievement, excellent character and perfect attendance at the Awards Day Program. The theme for the event was "Soaring to Success." The Gifted and Talented students also received awards for being the World's Best Analogy Solvers.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students will participate in the Truss Bridge Design Competition soon. The competition is a S.C. 4-H initiative. The objective is for students to learn how to design objects that contribute to strength and team-building skills. The students will collaborate and select from a choice of 15 bridges to design and build.


Lower Lee Elementary School recently honored students for excellence in academics, character and attendance at the Blue Carpet Awards. Sixty-eight students achieved the honor roll for the second quarter. Capreshia McCall and Beauty Veney spearheaded the event. Lee Central High School alum Jervyn Simon served as guest speaker. Principal Shelia Stukes recognized faculty and staff for perfect attendance.

First-grade students at Lower Lee are studying earth materials and natural resources in science. During the lessons on rocks, students became geologists and explored and sorted rocks by analyzing their hardness, shape, color and size.

During the week of Feb. 19, students in Justin Gee's Exceptional Learning class worked on multiplication factors, order of operations, skip counting, place value, number lines and rounding. In Reading/ELA, the students reviewed the main idea of passages, predictions and conclusions.

Students are participating in the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser. This year's goal is $2,000. The deadline for donations is Thursday. The students receive prizes for the donations they submit. Jump Rope for Heart is a yearly fundraiser that helps prevent or helps people with heart disease.


In honor of African-American Heritage Month, West Lee Elementary School dedicated the theme of the February Staff Writing Board to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Each faculty and staff member was assigned a specific school to write information about.

Students who made the Principal's and A/B Honor roll for the second nine weeks were honored with a dance party. The students had a blast dancing and socializing.


Lee Central Middle School continues its salute to black Lee County natives, who have made remarkable strides. During Feb. 19-23, Lee Central Middle School paid tribute to Dr. Isaac C. Joe Sr. Born on June 24, 1915, Joe grew up in Thomastown, a small town in Lee County. Joe served faithfully as an educator, beginning his teaching career in Lee County immediately after college. He also served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1947 and rose to the rank of master sergeant. Joe served as the first and longest-serving principal at Mt. Pleasant High School, a position he held for 20 years. He died on Jan. 9, 2018, at the age of 102, at his home in Bishopville. Bernice Wright, a retired educator of the Lee County School District and Joe's former student, shared his journey to success.


The Future Farmers of America visited the Statehouse on Feb. 21. Students toured the building and had the opportunity to meet Rep. William "Will" Wheeler III, D-Lee. Wheeler took the time to pose for a picture with the students.

Head Varsity Football Coach Justin Danner and seniors Demetrius Dubose and Deontae Lowery attended the High School Sports Report Football Banquet on Feb. 11. Danner was presented with the All Region IV 2A Coach of the Year award. Demetrius received the 2A All-State Offensive Award, and Deontae received the 2A All-State Defensive Award.


Lee County School District will hold its Teacher Recruitment Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 10, at Lee County School District, 310 Roland St., Bishopville. The district will be recruiting for all teacher positions and will conduct interviews onsite. Candidates may register online at to schedule an interview in advance. Walk-ins will be accepted. For additional information, call (803) 484-5327.


Registration is being accepted for 4-year-old child development (4K) and kindergarten (5K) for the 2018-19 school year. Students registering for 4K must be 4 years of age on or before Sept. 1, 2018; students registering for 5K must be 5 years of age on or before Sept. 1, 2018.

Register at Bishopville Primary School, 321 Roland St., Bishopville, (803) 484-9475; Lower Lee Elementary School, 5124 St. Charles Road, Mayesville, (803) 428-3637; or West Lee Elementary School, 55 W. Lee School Road, Rembert, (803) 428-3147.

When registering, bring a copy of child's official birth certificate, S.C. Immunization Certification Form 1148, child's Social Security card, child's Medicaid Card (if applicable) and proof of residency (must show the parent's name and street address - utility bill, check stub, front page of tax return, etc.)

For addditional information, contact Paula Watson at (803) 484-5327, extension 8103. - Shawnta McKenzie

Sumter School District

Jackson inducted

Brian Jackson was inducted recently into the South Carolina High School Strength Coaches Hall of Fame. In 1996, he began his work with the SCHSSCA under the guidance of fellow Hall of Fame members Mark Wade and Keith Crolley. He has served in many leadership positions in the SCHSSCA including historian, webmaster, Region 2 director, state meet director, vice president and president.

Jackson was named the Head Strength Coach at Crestwood High School in 1999, and over the next 16 years, he helped transform Crestwood into a perennial force in strength competitions. In his years at Crestwood, he also served as the head track coach, academic coach, recruiting coordinator and offensive line/offensive coordinator, often at the same time. He coached more than 75 All-State Strength Athletes, and his Crestwood athletes set 23 state records of which nine still stand today. At one point, he had seven athletes squatting 600 pounds or higher in the same year, including a 700-pound lift that set the All-Time State Record in 2005. Many of his strength athletes were also region and state champions in track and field for sprints, throws and jumps.

After leaving Crestwood, he continued to work with athletes in building stronger and faster athletes and had eight All-State Lifters at Lakewood High School, including two state records, which still stand today. Jackson is in his second year at Sumter High School, and he continues to help athletes excel not only in the weight room and other sports, but in the classroom as well.

Palmetto Health Tuomey partners with Lemira

Palmetto Health Tuomey unveiled its Healthcare Occupations Activity Book to 91 ecstatic second-grade students at Lemira Elementary School. Chief Operating Officer Michelle Logan-Owens and representatives from departments such as environmental services, nursing, cardiology, guest services, pharmacy, radiology, food services and technology spoke to the students about their careers.

"We consider it our privilege to be your partner in education. We want to help introduce our future workforce to careers in healthcare," said Logan-Owens. "I am fully confident you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, and we hope you will be excited about the possibility to serve and take care of people right here in your community."

This outstanding partnership began last year when Palmetto Health Tuomey adopted Lemira Elementary School through the Partners in Education program. It has donated more than 200 books to the library, provided meals for students, served as volunteers and mentors, provided academic incentives for students, served on the School Improvement Council and assisted with the STEM Club. We are very appreciative to Palmetto Health Tuomey for investing in the lives of our children.

Golden Apple awards continue

The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce held the Golden Apple Awards program at Bates Middle School. Nominated by their teachers, guidance counselors or administrators, 12 students were recognized for displaying exceptional citizenship and character. Each student received a certificate and a proclamation signed by Mayor Joseph T. McElveen and County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr.

Congratulations to the following students: Kimberly Boles, Quinnya Burns, Jassmine Dominguez, Javell Dwyer, Miguel Garcia, Madison Gordon, Meagan Jamison, Courtney Blanding, Kiersten Boyles, Keenen Hilton, Breonna Leonard, Jolyssa Green and Alyssa Searson.

The Golden Apple Awards program, which is held at each high school and middle school in Sumter School District, is presented by Caterpillar Inc. Gold sponsors are Kaydon Corp., Nu-Idea School Supply and the University of South Carolina Sumter.

DAR sponsors essay contests

The Sumter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored the annual Good Citizens program and scholarship for high school students. The program encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship which include dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. Each school winner is eligible to enter the scholarship contest.

Hannah Partin from Lakewood High School was named the chapter winner. Only one overall winner from the area's public and private schools in the area may be selected. She will progress to the next level to compete for a chance to win the state scholarship. Lesley Strickland from Crestwood High School was named a Good Citizen School Winner.

The DAR also sponsored an essay contest for students in grades five through eight. Taelyn Savitski, a fifth-grade student at Millwood Elementary School, and Mason Scott Reese, a seventh-grade student from Furman Middle School, were named winners. The theme for this year's essay contest was "World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars." Both students received a certificate, medal and cash prize for their achievement. - Shelly Galloway

Morris College

Students Take Off to Europe

Morris College students are preparing to jet-set to Europe as a part of the Study Abroad Program. Program participants departed for Paris and Amsterdam yesterday and will return on Saturday. Morris College has offered the Study Abroad Program for several years to students, but it is also open to faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters of the college.

The goal of the program is to immerse students in new cultures and give students an opportunity to do first-hand research in another country. Students will be required to create a field book on the culture relevant to an assigned historical period. Upon return, students will host a community forum where they will share their experiences.

Dr. Patricia Ali, who has been with the college for more than 50 years, coordinates the program with the hope that the program inspires students to broaden their horizons and encourage them to become active citizens in the global community.

Students who travel via the study abroad program will have unique perspectives to discuss in graduate school applications as they prepare to graduate from Morris College and seek graduate school acceptance. - Anika Cobb

Central Carolina Technical College

Graduation application deadline approaching

Graduation applications for spring and summer graduates are due by April 2. The application can be submitted online through myCCTC, or a paper copy can be downloaded from the Forms Library on and turned in to the Student Records Office.

For more information, contact Carmen Davis at (803) 778-6671.

Graduation Fair for students

Central Carolina Technical College will host a Graduation Fair on Tuesday, March 27, on Main Campus in the building M500 Atrium from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to have graduation portraits taken, gather information about job searching, view class rings and check the status of their graduation applications. Graduation applications for spring and summer graduates are due by April 2.

Veterans Forum

Central Carolina Technical College's Veteran Resource Center, Student Veteran Association and History Department will present a "Veteran Forum: Honoring Our Local Heroes."

This event will take place on Tuesday, March 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Main Campus in Building 400, Room M401. The event will feature a panel of several local veterans who will share their experiences and insight on how their military service impacted their education. Veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom will be on hand.

This is a great opportunity for the community to interact one on one with these local heroes. This event is open to the public. - Catherine M. Wood

University of South Carolina Sumter

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

On March 7-8, the USC Sumter Arts and Letters Division will host "A Blind Date with a Book" from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Umpteenth Gallery.

A Blind Date with a Book is a hand-wrapped book, carefully curated from a wide range of popular genres that is tagged with intriguing clues alluding to the book inside. This collection will include everything from mystery, romance, classics, horror, adventure, science fiction to young adult.

To participate, bring in a like-new or new book to trade in for a book to read over spring break. You may trade more than one book and re-trade but please do not bring textbooks or obsolete books. The event is open to everyone on campus and in the community. - Misty Hatfield