Review Category : School News

Beaufort Academy receives grant from insurance leaders

Jay Taylor, Managing Partner at Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort, presents the two $500 checks to Stephen Schools, Headmaster at Beaufort Academy.

Jay Taylor, Managing Partner at Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort, presents the two $500 checks to Stephen Schools, Headmaster at Beaufort Academy.

Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the positive efforts of Beaufort Academy through a $1,000 grant.

“We are pleased to support Beaufort Academy in their pursuits of preparing tomorrow’s leaders through a rigorous academic curriculum, while fostering strong character development.” said Jay Taylor, Managing Partner, Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort. The grant represents a $500 donation from Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort matched by a $500 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation.

“The Matching Grant program allows us to partner with our agents to support the needs of the communities we serve,” said Chuck Musilli, Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Lines Underwriting Officer for Selective.

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Four local students learn leadership and agriculture at SC Farm Bureau Conference

Beaufort County students Marcus Cook, Hannah Hansen, Dominic Monti and Haley Smith were among fifty-three high school rising juniors and seniors from across South Carolina who participated in the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s (SCFB) 2015 Youth Leadership Conference in Newberry, SC.

The conference, held on the Campus of Newberry College June 14-17, allowed students to gain valuable leadership skills, a better understanding of SC agriculture, and of Clemson University, one of the state’s land grant universities.

Beaufort County students (from left to right) Marcus Cook, Hannah Hansen, Dominic Monti and Haley Smith attended the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s 2015 Youth Leadership Conference.

Beaufort County students (from left to right) Marcus Cook, Hannah Hansen, Dominic Monti and Haley Smith attended the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s 2015 Youth Leadership Conference.

“Our Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by the SCFB Women’s Leadership program, allows students to explore opportunities within agriculture while developing their skills to be leaders in the industry,” SCFB Ag Literacy Director, Vonne Knight, said.

In addition to emphasizing the understanding of agriculture, the conference also featured a number of workshops focused on leadership and teamwork. The conference operates on a two-year curriculum cycle where students learn about agricultural marketing and promotion one year and about government relations and agricultural advocacy the next. This year’s conference focused on marketing commodities in South Carolina.

Students were addressed by industry professionals on leadership, team building and goal setting. Kirby Player, director of college relations for Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, introduced the conference by energizing the students and showing them what the agriculture industry has to offer for students. Director of organizational training and leadership development for SCFB, Jessica Cabrera, engaged participants in leadership activities essential for students to develop personally and professionally.

Participants heard from commodity experts on turkeys, honey bees, peanuts and collards. The commodity experts included Fairfield County turkey farmer William Coleman, Clemson bee specialist Jennifer Tsuruda, Calhoun County peanut farmer Russell Ott, and Lexington County collard grower Charles Wingard. After learning about their commodities, the students then participated in “Shark Tank” type of competition where they designed a mock project around an agribusiness plan on one of those four commodities and presented in front of a panel of “investors.”

This year’s winning team was the turkeys. Judges said their presentation was well thought out and put together and very deserving of the winning title. The team members were Hannah Hansen of Beaufort County, Jacob Taylor of Lexington County, Claire Manuel of Allendale County, Emily Burris of Anderson County, Harrison Tucker of Cherokee County, Julia Smoak of Dorchester County, Briley Lawrimore of Georgetown County, Luke Newton of Greenwood County, Reid Phipps of Horry County, James Hilton of Lexington County, and Mac Werts of Newberry County. The team’s two-fold plan was to clean turkey houses and haul off the waste for a fee. They would then turn the litter into fertilizer and sell it for a profit.

“South Carolina’s agricultural industry is a vital part of the state’s economy,” SCFB President David Winkles said. “We advocate so our kids and grandkids can farm long after we are gone. Educating our youth on opportunities available to them within the agriculture industry is the first step in involving students so they can have a lasting voice in today’s issues.”

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School Notes for the week of July 9th-15th

BA Back to School Kickball Tournament

Beaufort Academy will hold it’s Back to School Kick-Off Kickball Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. Everyone attending the kickball tournament will need to meet at the BA football field. All proceeds from the kickball tournament will benefit Beaufort Academy Blue & White Club.

Battery Creek High School Class of 2016 

Rising seniors at Battery Creek High School will have Senior Portraits taken July 27th and July 28th by appointment only. Members of the Class of 2016 should call Lifetouch Photographers at 843-851-0009 or 843-851-8700 if an appointment card is not received by July 17th.To register or for more information, contact Andy at, or Steve at

Scholarship winners given royal treatment

Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority of women educators, awarded $3000 in scholarships at their annual end-of-year luncheon held at The Tavern at Royal Pines. Courtney Rhett Baynes, a senior at USCB majoring in Early Childhood Education, received the ADK Scholarship, which is awarded to an undergraduate USCB education student. Jordan Plair, a teacher at Beaufort High School, received The Ruth Droge Memorial Scholarship, which is given to an educator teaching and residing in Beaufort County who is pursuing a post-graduate degree in education. Each scholarship winner received $1500 paid directly to their respective universities.

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Seven Beaufort County students graduate from SC Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics

Tommy Berrigan, Michael B. Bhoi, Schuler Black, Angel Lopez-Akiyama, Madison Maddox, John Mathai and Zack Scott, all from Beaufort County, graduated from the SC Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

Tommy Berrigan, son of Tom & Paige Berrigan, will attend Northeastern University. Michael B. Bhoi, son of Paul & Karen Bhoi, plans to attend Webb Institute. Shuler Black, son of David S. & Kristi M. Black, will attend Vanderbilt University. Angel Lopez-Akiyama, son of Katia Akiyama, plans to attend Armstrong State University. Madison Maddox, daughter of Ron & Greta Maddox, will attend Clemson University. John Mathai, son of Rob & Renee Mathai, plans to attend Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Zack Scott, son of Daniel & Cicely Scott, will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall.

GSSM, recently named one of the Top-Performing U.S. Schools by The Washington Post, specializes in the advanced study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as an emphasis on economics and entrepreneurship. A statewide public, residential high school for juniors and seniors located in Hartsville, SC, GSSM offers 48 STEM courses annually, including neuroscience, advanced genetics, calculus-based physics, differential equations and robotics.

The 111 students in the GSSM class of 2015 represent 28 different counties in South Carolina. Sixty-five percent of the school’s graduating seniors will attend South Carolina colleges and universities in the fall. Notable out-of-state schools they will attend include Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis and University of Pennsylvania.

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BMS eCybermission takes 1st and 2nd place

eCybermission is an Army Educational Outreach Program for competitions designed to engage and guide students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education! eCybermission is a web-based competition to promote students solving real life problems in their community. Through the program, teams of three or four students are asked to identify a problem in their community related to one of seven following areas:

•  alternative sources of energy
•  the environment
•  food
•  health and fitness
•  force and motion
•  national security and safety
•  robotics
•  technology

This year BA students competed against 4,200 students during the competition to win their awards. After selecting their mission challenge, students work in teams under the guidance of a team advisor to propose a solution. Mrs. Payne was the Team Advisor, who worked with 7 teams in the 6th and 7th grade.

Karen Madden and Bill Hager with the winning teams.

Karen Madden and Bill Hager with the winning teams.

Mrs. Payne’s 1st place team, called the Peanut Butter Fluffs, had three members: Christy Stowe, Hope Locke and Ky McLemore who will each receive a $1,000 savings bond from eCybermission.

The project for the winning team analyzed Beaufort Middle School recycling with the goal of trying to make students and teachers more aware for the need to recycle. They advertised with posters in the hallways, went on the morning news program, and encouraged students at lunch to recycle. Did it work? When they started their analysis, the amount of recyclable trash in the bins in the back of their school was approximately 250 centimeters in depth. Since they put up posters around in the hallways and in the classroom, it has increased to approximately 556 centimeters in depth. More than double the amount of recycled materials.

The Peanut Butter Fluffs were assisted by Kathryn Madden who is the current Beaufort County Recycling Coordinator and an adjunct professor with USC Beaufort.

Mrs. Payne’s team that placed 2nd in the competition in South Carolina called themselves the 2nd Generation Regular Guys who consisted of Cameron Cook, Carlisle Salapare, Chance Stephens, and Rayed Hamid. Each of these students will receive a $500 dollar savings bond from eCybermission for their project.

The 2nd Generation Regular Guys project tackled how to generate electricity during our many local power outages. This enterprising team created a hydropower generator to light a bulb for a limited time – consequently no more total darkness at night when the power goes out. These students were advised by community members: Bill Hager, Local Engineering Manager at SC Electric, John Gilbert, a physicist, and Officer Kenon, a resource officer for Beaufort Middle School.

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On to first grade at BA

The Beaufort Academy kindergarten students were welcomed to BA’s main campus recently…as rising 1st graders! Thank you to Kazoobie Kazoos for donating the kazoos that were used in the celebration! Pictured: Kindergarten teacher Heidi Richards and student Kendall Loret lead the way as the class is welcomed to main campus by the students in first and second grades.

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Lady’s Island Elemenary hosts Sport Stacking Competition

SCHOOLS - EASY --Frederick Waddell competes in the 3-3-3.Lady’s Island Elementary School recently hosted the WSSA Memorial Day Stack Contest. This sanctioned sport stacking tournament was the final competition of the school year for the team. In addition to the LIES stackers, competitors came from SC, NC, and GA, including nine members of Team USA. The current world champion and multi-world-record holder, William Orrell of Clemmons, NC was the All Around Champion. Orrell also set a new potential world record in the 3-6-3. The top female stacker was Anna Smith of Lady’s Island Elementary who set four new potential state records. The top LIES stackers were Patrick Myers and Jayla Champion. Other local first-place age-group winners included Frederick Waddell (picture below on left), Antwan Simmons (picture below on right), Arthur Singleton, Jacob Bartlett, Dominick Brown, Kacy Fields, Jaden Baker, Elizabeth Santos, Za’Nieya Wilson, Eli Smith, and Molly Smith.

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Class of 2015 grads awarded $30 million in scholarships

The Beaufort County School District’s Class of 2015 has earned a record $30 million in college scholarships, and its members have acceptance letters in hand from more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation.

This year’s record scholarship total represents a $3 million increase over last year and a dramatic improvement from $11.1 million just five years ago.

“The kind of improvement is encouraging, and it says a lot about the commitment of our students, parents and educators,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “It demonstrates our students understand the value of additional education after high school, and also that they’re willing to work hard to get that education and have successful careers.”

More than a thousand seniors donned caps and gowns to receive their diplomas during this year’s graduation ceremonies at five high schools across the district.

“High school graduation is a celebration that focuses on our students, and that’s as it should be,” said Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans. “But as we spotlight our students, we should also acknowledge the support they received from their parents and families, and also from their teachers, school leaders and staff. Congratulations to everyone!”

· Battery Creek High – 166 graduates and $5,743,872 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Kierra Breille Grayson, and the salutatorian is Raven Nichole Chapman.

· Beaufort High – 264 graduates and $8,274,350 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Alexandra Shae Zapp and the salutatorian is John Stuart Mattison Pike.

· Bluffton High – 264 graduates and $5,000,191 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Sean Michael Greiner, and the salutatorian is Thomas Paul Gwozdz.

· Hilton Head Island High – 270 graduates and $7,868,208 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Carolanne O’Fee, and the salutatorian is Elizabeth “Lilla” Felix.

· Whale Branch Early College High School – 95 graduates and $3,722,792 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Austin Zavier Suarez, and the salutatorian is Rebekah Taylor.

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Bridges Prep names new Head of School

Dr. Benjamin Rollins, an experienced teacher, school administrator and college professor, is Bridges Preparatory School’s new Head of School and will work to continue the innovative charter school’s academic and enrollment growth.

Dr. Benjamin Rollins

Dr. Benjamin Rollins

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Rollins as our Head of School at Bridges Prep,” said Dee Matthews, Chair of the Bridges Board of Directors. “He brings an exceptional background, demonstrated success and enormous energy to our school. We look forward to great achievements.”

Bridges Preparatory School, chartered by South Carolina in mid-2012, opened at near capacity in August 2013. Since that time the school has grown and solidified its presence in historic downtown Beaufort.

The Bridges Board of Directors selected Rollins after an intensive six-month search. He formally starts July 1 but will be in Beaufort this month with his wife and two children.

“He is a natural fit for our school,” Matthews said. “Dr. Rollins is an amazing teacher and that classroom success helps him connect with both the students and the teachers. He also understands the administrative side of work and is ready to help Bridges Prep move forward.”

A former college professor, high school principal and educational consultant for independent schools in the Southeast, Rollins has established a proven record of investing students, faculty, parents and the broader community in a school’s mission and values.

Much of his research on school leadership focuses on Mortimer Adler’s work with Paideia education – the foundation of Bridges Preparatory School’s educational philosophy.

Already, Rollins has provided the Bridges Prep Board of Directors a proposed 100-Day Plan, which centers on three main areas:

1. Understanding the school culture – becoming familiar with the people, processes, partnerships and communities around Beaufort which represent and comprise Bridges Prep

2. Analyzing critical issues – identify and analyze primary issues facing Bridges Prep and to establish a priority in moving forward with the charter school’s strategic plan

3. Communicating effectively and engaging the community – improve communications and community engagement through responsive, open and honest communications practices, and to foster productive relationships with key stakeholders by delivering timely, accurate information and then listening to people.

Rollins brings 14 years of experience in engaging key school stakeholders. Through his work in independent schools and in the University System of Georgia, he has developed a passion for strategic planning, fundraising, curriculum and technology, innovative professional development, and accreditation.

He graduated summa cum laude from Berry College with a bachelor’s degree in English and also completed a master’s degree from Berry with a concentration in educational administration.

Rollins ignited his passion for Shakespeare and the Renaissance while studying at Oxford University in England, and he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in early modern literature from Georgia State University.

From 2006-2014, Rollins worked at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, GA. Founded in 1876, the school serves about 600 students in grades 6-12 on a 70-acre campus. At Mount de Sales, Rollins served as Upper School Principal and previously as Dean of Academics, Director of College Counseling and an English teacher. While teaching Advanced Placement English, Rollins’ students had a 3.9 class average on the exam, which is scored from 1-5, and had a 90 percent pass rate on the AP exam with students scoring 3 or higher.

From 2014 until his hiring at Bridges, Rollins worked as an educational consultant specializing in student test preparation and helping schools increase enrollment and find better, more creative ways to evaluate teachers.

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Annual Senior Tea — A Beaufort Academy tradition

Pictured left to right, front row: Andrea Harry, Natalie Simkins, Julianna Dunphy, Emma Everidge, Taylor Vincent, Somers Cherry. Back row: Katie Gay, Tucker Langehans, Bryanna, Ferry, Bridget Baggerly, Casey Kahn, McKenzie Blake. (Not pictured: Molly Harrop.)

Pictured left to right, front row: Andrea Harry, Natalie Simkins, Julianna Dunphy, Emma Everidge, Taylor Vincent, Somers Cherry. Back row: Katie Gay, Tucker Langehans, Bryanna, Ferry, Bridget Baggerly, Casey Kahn, McKenzie Blake. (Not pictured: Molly Harrop.)

Beaufort Academy’s 47th Annual Senior Tea was held at the home of the Verity family. The tradition was initiated in 1969 when the BA Board of Directors’ wives hosted a tea for the women of the first graduating class. The special tea was their way of honoring these young women by sharing with them the southern tradition of gracious entertaining. In 1973, the Junior Class in conjunction with the Parents’ Association took over the event and continues to carry on the tradition to the present day. Congratulations to the young ladies in the Class of 2015, and kudos to the Class of 2016 and the Parents’ Association on a wonderful event.

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