Education News: Sunday, May 27, 2018


Sumter School District

Star Teacher of the Month named

Angela Hart, a fifth-grade QUEST teacher at Kingsbury and Willow Drive elementary schools, was named the May Star Teacher of the Month. The Star Teacher program is sponsored by Community Broadcasters and Staples. Angela was a guest on the Good Morning Sumter Show on WDXY AM 1240 and FM 105.9 with host Derek Burress. In addition to appearing on the show, Hart received a gift bag from Staples.

Hart became a teacher because she has always wanted to help and serve others. She has found teaching to be rewarding because she is able to demonstrate her philosophy of teaching which is all students can learn if you give them an opportunity to learn something new. This philosophy is based on a quote from Oliver Holmes, "The human mind, once stretched by a new experience, can never go back to its former dimensions."

According to her nomination, "Ms. Hart is the best teacher. She is smart, fun and very firm. She helps us with challenges and engineering. All of these things make Ms. Hart the GOAT - Greatest of All Time."

Retirement program held

A retirement program for the 2018 Sumter School District retirees was held at Lakewood High School Fine Arts Center on Friday. Eighty-nine honorees were recognized for their service and dedication.

Chairman of the school board, the Rev. Daryl F. McGhaney, welcomed the employees on behalf of the board of trustees. Music was provided by the Lakewood Jazz Voices under the direction of Herbert Johnson.

Dr. John Koumas and Dr. Norris Williams called the names of each employee and read a short bio. Each was given a token of appreciation from Interim Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm who also expressed her thanks and appreciation to our retirees for their years of service.

Following the program, a reception was held for the retirees and their guests. All refreshments were prepared by the Sumter School District Food Services department. The Lakewood High School ROTC students provided assistance for the ceremony.

Kingsbury student receives top award

Mia Paige Turner from Kingsbury Elementary School received the Award of Excellence for Dance Choreography in the Primary Division at the South Carolina State PTA Reflection Celebration program. This award is the top honor in her division. Paige competed against 79 other schools in her division and has been invited to New Orleans for the National PTA Reflection Celebration in June.

No School Monday

All Sumter School District schools and offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. - Shelly Galloway

Central Carolina Technical College

Path to Provide scholarship opportunities

Path to Provide is a partnership with the South Carolina Technical College System, Central Carolina Technical College and the South Carolina Hospital Association and member hospitals. The scholarship program allows students pursuing an associate degree in nursing to attend classes fulltime and work parttime at a sponsoring hospital. The sponsoring hospital provides financial assistance toward the student's tuition and cost of attendance each year while the student is enrolled fulltime in an academic program.

Find program benefits, qualifications and submit your application at The deadline to apply is June 4.

Snap Back to School Bash

CCTC will host its first Back to School Bash on Saturday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, on the college's Main Campus in Sumter. The event aims to promote education to local students and families in a fun way. Students attending the event will receive free school supplies, learn about CCTC and tour the campus. The event will provide free entertainment, unique food vendors, community resource agencies, safety zone and kids zone. This year's theme is "Snap" Back to School. The first 10 students to Snapchat the event will receive a prize.

For more information or to become a vendor/sponsor, contact Angela Conyers at (803) 666-2422 or Diana Green at (803) 473-2531. - Catherine M. Wood

Morris College

Summer School

Morris College's 2018 Summer School will begin June 4 and end July 17. The six-week session is designed to give students an opportunity to earn up to nine credit hours in their program of study. Pell grants are available for eligible students. New students need to apply for admission to Morris College. Returning students must complete the Morris College Financial Aid Application and preregister for classes to receive an award letter. First-semester freshmen who have qualified after taking the placement tests are welcome to attend summer school 2018 under the Fast Track Program. The Fast Track Program covers tuition, books and room and board for students who qualify for the program.

For more information regarding the 2018 summer sessions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (866) 853-1345 or (803) 934-3225 or visit our website at

Athletics program is thriving

East Georgia State College student Alex Moss has decided to continue his academic and athletic career under head coach Clarence Houck at Morris College. Averaging 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks per game, the 6-feet 6-inch student-athlete is a welcomed addition to the Men's Hornets basketball team. With many options on the table, Moss had this to say about his decision. "When I went, the coach made it seem like home and everyone welcomed me in with loving arms. I just felt like it was the best option for me. I felt like the school was good for me to further my education and also being able to play at the next level after college."

In addition to academic success, Moss is hoping his time at Morris will help him further his career even more and enhance his aspirations to play professionally overseas.

"With Coach Lunsford (EGSC) and the coach at Morris College I feel like I have the connections to go overseas if I continue to work hard and develop more," he said. "For me to play at the next level I feel like I need to get quicker and develop better ball handling skills. I just want to show the overseas coaches that I can help them out."

Moss is one of many student-athletes being added to the Morris College roster including Hemingway High School standout Tyrike Lewis and Marion High School star Calvin Mullins Jr.

The schedule for the Morris College Hornets Basketball Team will be released in the fall.

Annual Conference

The Morris College - Benedict College annual Pastors' and Christian Workers Conference will be held Monday-Thursday.

For more information, please contact the Office of Church Relations at (803) 934-3401. - Anika Cobb

Thomas Sumter Academy

Lower School Awards

Our Lower School Students were selected and awarded for May's character trait of the month, joyfulness. The selectees by grade are: pK4, Alex Laird; K5, Emilee Schule and Ian Dara; first, Audrey Allen and Logan Finan; second, Abby Hodge and Sam Isler; third, Taelor Stevens and Jordyn Hicks; fourth, Lucy Gore and Ronia Sanders; and fifth, Piper Hitch and Sylvia Burrows.

Class of 2018 Graduates

On May 19, 45 Thomas Sumter Academy seniors graduated. In this class of outstanding students and servant leaders, not only was there 100 percent college acceptances but the Class of 2018 also amassed more than $6.6 million in merit-based and athletic scholarships. Our seniors were accepted to Wofford University, Presbyterian College, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, The Citadel, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, Francis Marion University, Lander University, Central Carolina Technical College and Anderson University to name a few. We also had two students accepted to out-of-state schools, Westminster College and Randolph College.

Our partnership in dual-enrollment courses with CCTC has provided a number of our gradates a "leg up" as they enter into college. As a matter of fact, in talking with TSA alumni who took advantage of the dual-enrollment opportunities TSA has to offer through CCTC, they have been able to finish their bachelor's degree in three years instead of four, and in some cases, will have their master's degree within the fourth year. To be able to have a bachelor's degree and possibly a master's with minimal debt sounds like a win-win.

Give us a call to see how the TSA difference may help your student maximize his or her full potential at (803) 499-3378. - Dr. F.L. Martin III

Lee County School District


On April 27, Bishopville Primary School held a "Rock That Test" parade and pep rally. Each class designed signs and posters with words of encouragement. The students marched around the front of the school listening to music, dancing and cheering for the testing grades to "pass that test." The students also received a visit from Kobie Da Wiz, who shared test-taking strategies.

Bishopville Primary School hosted a Ties and Tiaras Dance on April 27. The event provided a bonding time for daughters and their fathers and grandfathers. They enjoyed dinner and various activities.


The District's Science Fair & STEAM Family Fun Night was a lot of fun and a huge success. The science projects required students to collaborate and work in teams, be creative, problem solve and think critically as they completed their science projects. Veronica Jamison placed first with "How Does Smell Affect Taste?," and Juakina Law placed third with "Ball Bounce."

Lower Lee's 4K students are preparing for their promotion ceremony. They are excited about embarking on a new year in kindergarten. The students also participated in the District's Science Fair and STEAM Family Fun night and earned a first-place award. There were many wonderful science projects displayed at the science fair, and the 4K class shared in the wonderful experience among future biologists, chemists and mathematicians.

Darlas Moore from Clemson Extension worked with Lower Lee's after-school students in March and April on building bridges using craft sticks. Once the students completed their bridges, they were divided into teams and tested their bridges to see which one could hold the most water bottles.

Students at Lower Lee had a week of fun and inspiration as they prepared for state testing. Guest speaker Keishan Scott, an author, minister, motivational speaker and student at Lee Central High School, shared how he has set high goals for himself and worked hard to reach them. Coach Damian Days, Lower Lee Elementary School's physical education teacher and Upper Pee Dee Coach of the Year, was the motivational speaker at the SC READY and SCPASS Assembly.

On May 2, teachers reminded students of several test-taking strategies. The students received incentives for completing TDA homework and responding appropriately by using the RACES strategy. On May 3, students watched an inspiring video clip from the movie "Facing the Giants." In addition, students had the opportunity to hear from several individuals from the Lower Lee TEAM who reminded them that they have what it takes to succeed on these tests. Principal Shelia Stukes, guidance counselor Delphine Thomas, fifth-grade math teacher Tracy Ann Dover, fourth-grade teacher Jean Moore and third-grade teacher Veronica Jamison had a chance to encourage, inspire and even sing to the students to boost their level of motivation. The students enjoyed a pep rally with presentations from Lee Central High School Drumline and encouragement from Lee Central High School Head Varsity Football Coach Justin Danner and members of the team. Each player shared the importance of respect and teamwork.

The day before testing, Lower Lee Elementary School's Instructional Coach Veronica Bradley assembled with the school's "champions" to play a game to see which students could recall all of the steps to complete a Text-Dependent Analysis. As students shared their knowledge, they won a treat.

Congratulations to Lower Lee Elementary School's Good Citizens for the months of April and May: Damani Martin, Kajanae Anderson, Aumuari Brunson, Kaleb Wilson, Aunesty Brunson, Aubrey Toney, Andrew Capers, Rahiem Skyers, Kymani Boyd, Kaniya Yates, Kimora Lowery, DeVeon Dukes, and Clyde Fleming. The Good Citizens for the month of May are Jasmine Slater, David Slater, Ayden Martin, Shamira Toney, Shameya Dixon, Jamaris Charles, Kimira Parrott, Malia Taylor, Montez Gregg, Jayden Spann, Caliel Kennedy, Makalia Rouse and Kayla Rogers. These students had an opportunity to enjoy pizza with the principal, and they also received a designed Good Citizen Pencil.


West Lee Elementary School's PTO held a Spring Fling Dance on April 27 in the cafeteria. Everyone had a great time.

Students in third, fourth and fifth grades participated in hands-on science lessons in the science center on May 1. The lessons focused on the following topics per grade level standards: third grade, electricity and magnetism; fourth grade, light and sound; and fifth grade, force and motion.

West Lee Elementary School held Career and College Day on May 2. The students visited various presenters and explored careers. They were also allowed to dress in attire that mirrored their future profession.


On May 5, Lee Central High School's JROTC Department (including the Color Guard) led the way in the City of Lynchburg's Annual Magnolia Festival Parade. The cadets did an outstanding job motivating others with marching cadence as they marched in a military Platoon Formation. This event was coordinated by the City of Lynchburg and will count as a community service activity for the cadets. A few cadets were also cartoon mascots. - Shawnta McKenzie

Wilson Hall

Lyles Named State Scholar/Athlete

Senior Bryce Lyles was awarded the Bill Simpson Award that recognizes the most outstanding male and female scholar-athlete in the S.C. Independent School Association each spring. Each of the more than 110 schools that are members of SCISA may nominate a scholar-athlete for this award, which is the highest award SCISA bestows upon a student. A r sum with Lyles' academic and athletic accomplishments, along with a recommendation from Fred Moulton, headmaster, was forwarded to the selection committee at SCISA that made the final decision. The criteria for the award include SAT score, class rank, involvement in extracurricular activities, academic and athletic achievement, coaches' recommendations and community service record. Mike Fanning, SCISA athletic director, presented Lyles with the award during the spring athletic banquet. Lyles is the 11th Wilson Hall student to receive this award.

Newspaper Named Best in State

The school's newspaper, The Baron Bulletin, won the Best in State award in the S.C. Independent School Association State Publication Competition. This is the 25th time the newspaper, which is advised by Sean Hoskins and Elizabeth Hyatt, has won this award. The newspaper, for which senior Abby Zilch served as the editor-in-chief, also won the award for Best Photography and Best Layout and Design. Campbell Mims, a 2017 graduate, won the award for Best Editorial, and junior Brown Osteen won the award for Best News Article. The 2016-17 edition of the yearbook, Idylls, won the Best Layout and Design award and received honorable mentions for photography and theme development. Sallie Spencer, a 2017 graduate, served as the editor-in-chief of the yearbook and the advisers are Hoskins, Hyatt and Ben McIver.

Duke TIP Recognition

Seventh-grade students Annabelle Huffman, Jackson Mahr and Sarah Sonntag qualified for state-level recognition by the Duke University Talent Identification Program and were invited to the State Recognition Ceremony at Furman University. To qualify for this honor students had to score at least a 540 on the math portion or a 550 on the reading and writing portion of the SAT. Seventh-grade students who receive this recognition earn a score equal to or better than half of the college-bound seniors who took the tests.

College Acceptances & Scholarships

Each of the 69 members of the Class of 2018 was accepted to a four-year college or university. Members of the class were accepted to 54 colleges and universities in 24 states. Ninety-seven percent of the students received a merit-based scholarship offer with the class earning more than $5.2 million in scholarships. The top 25 percent of the class earned an average of 1418 on the SAT, and the entire class earned an average SAT score of 1242. - Sean Hoskins