Review Category : School News

Enroll now in TCL’s new agriscience certificate program

It’s more than green grass that unites farming, golf course management and landscaping. Agriscience is also a common bond. Agriscience encompasses the application of science and technology to the plant and animal industries and includes a wide range of fields such as conventional and organic farming, turf management

Dr. Natavia Middleton, TCL Interim Dean for Arts & Sciences, reviews agriscience textbooks for program curriculum.

Dr. Natavia Middleton, TCL Interim Dean for Arts & Sciences, reviews agriscience textbooks for program curriculum.

and landscaping.

This February, agriscience courses will officially begin at  the Technical College of the Lowcountry. The new agriscience certificate program will provide students with fundamental knowledge in this rapidly growing field and prepare students to enter and advance in occupations in farming, landscaping, and golf course and pest management industries.

“We hope that people who work locally will continue their education in the agriscience program to receive higher positions in their current jobs, form their own businesses or even change their careers,” Interim Dean for Arts & Sciences Dr. Natavia Middleton said.

The program requires 29 credit hours and emphasizes three separate occupational areas: diversified agriculture production, landscape occupations and turf occupations. An internship in their chosen pathway will also be required to give students additional hands-on experience. Area employers agree that the agriscience certificate is needed. Jerry Ashmore, Director of Workforce Development and Safety at The Greenery, serves on the TCL advisory committee that helped shape the program.

“I know the value of an education and appreciate this program as it gives students real-life experience as well as a solid foundation and enables them to grow in their careers,” Ashmore said. “We hope to offer folks careers after completion of the program.”

Agriculture is very strong in the Lowcountry as well as in the state of South Carolina. “The industry provides jobs to thousands of folks locally, from landscape contractors, golf courses to farmers,” he said.

The agriscience program also will benefit existing workers that are looking to advance in their careers. “The program will give them the opportunity to strengthen their skills, broaden their knowledge and enhance their professionalism, making them more valuable to their employer and give them the opportunity to grow in their career,” Ashmore said.

TCL has campuses in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hampton. And with S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance, South Carolina residents pay about $900 a semester for full-time tuition, regardless of need or income. In addition, TCL offers in-state tuition to military members and their spouses who are stationed in Beaufort and to residents of Chatham and Effingham counties in Georgia. Students must enroll and pay by February 4 for these classes that start February 9. For more information about the agriscience program, please contact instructor Dr. Natavia Middleton at or 843.470.5964.

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Parker’s convenience store company gives back

A local convenience store company today donated $10,000 to Beaufort County schools as part of an ongoing promotion at its outlets.

Parker’s, which operates 36 convenience stores in Georgia and South Carolina, said the proceeds came from its “Fueling the Community” program.  That promotion gives one cent of every gallon of gas sold on the first Wednesday of each month to local schools.

About $2,300 of the Parker’s donation goes to fund the school district’s annual “Support Person of the Year” recognition program, which honors school nurses, social workers, bookkeepers, office managers, teacher assistants, school secretaries, and technology and data specialists.  The rest goes to specific schools designated by Parker’s “Pump Pal Club” regular customers when they purchased their gasoline.

“We’re deeply committed to giving back to every community where Parker’s does business,” said Greg Parker, president and CEO of Parker’s. “I truly believe education is the rising tide that lifts all boats. Education helps make Beaufort County a stronger community, reduces crime and increases opportunity for young people.”

Parker noted that Beaufort High School was the No. 1 school in “Pump Pal” revenues for 2014 in all of the markets that Parker’s serves, while Beaufort Elementary School was the No. 1 elementary school.

Parker’s launched its charitable initiative in 2011 and has donated money to public and private schools in every community where Parker’s does business.

Superintendent Jeff Moss accepted the donation on behalf of the school district.

“Our partnership with Parker’s just keeps getting better and better,” Moss said, “As Parker’s grows, its support for schools grows, and that’s a wonderful thing to see.”

Parker’s has been ranked on Inc.’s elite list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for three consecutive years and has opened eight new stores over the past year.  Parker has been honored by Convenience Store News as the Tech Executive of the Year and by the Savannah Chamber of Commerce as the Entrepreneur of the Year.

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School Notes for the week of Jan. 29th-Feb. 4th


• Friday, 1/30 – BA’s Homecoming Basketball Games! Games begin at 4 p.m. with the JV Girls, then 5 p.m. JV Boys, 6 p.m. Varsity Girls, and 7pm Varsity Boys. The presentation of the Homecoming Court and Queen will be during halftime of the Boys Varsity Game. Please see the school website for more details:

• Friday, 1/30 – Nominations for the Beaufort Academy Athletic Hall of Fame are due. Contact Emma Roddey at 843-524-3393 or if you need a nomination form.

• Friday, 1/30 – Applications for the Thomas H. Horton, Jr. Scholarship to study abroad this summer are due.

• The Chilly Bean 5K & 10K and Chili Cook-off will be held on Saturday, January 31st, register now at

• Wednesday, 2/4 – Half-day for all students, dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

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Peggy May receives 2015 Inspiration Award

Peggy May, a retired educator, former chair of the Foundation for Educational Excellence, and former county and state Director of Adult Literacy is the recipient of the 2015 Inspiration Award. The award recognizes individuals who have been supportive of, or attended, Beaufort County public schools, and whose accomplishments have distinguished them in their professions and will positively influence and inspire others, particularly students.

After joining the Foundation’s board of directors in 2010, Peggy served as its chair from 2012-2014. In that role, she helped to award more than $50,000 to teachers who sought to bring innovative teaching techniques and tools into their classrooms. These grants have impacted thousands of students county-wide.

May taught for more than 28 years in New York before moving to Hilton Head in 1984. She served as Director of Adult Literacy for Beaufort County, which later became Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry. She went on to become the South Carolina’s State Director of Adult Literacy from 1992 until 1996, when she retired. She then worked for several years with national literacy organizations as an event planner. She also was a dedicated volunteer for The Deep Well Project and was secretary of the Italian American Club of Hilton Head.

May passed away July 24, 2014. The Foundation for Education Excellence’s current chair, Jackie Rosswurm, will accept the Inspiration Award on her behalf at the organization’s March 7 Jewels and Jeans fundraiser at the Country Club of Hilton Head. Information and tickets for Jewels and Jeans or details about the Foundation for Educational Excellence, visit

“Peggy’s legacy and devotion to improve educational opportunities lives on,” Rosswurm said. “We’ve chosen to honor her with the 2015 Inspiration Award because her accomplishments were extraordinary and because she positively inspired and influenced the lives of countless individuals and friends in Beaufort County.”

Previous recipients of the award have included Artist Jonathan Green, Chef David Vincent Young, Chef Orchid Paulmeier, Board of Education member Dr. Wayne A. Carbiener, and American Idol winner Candice Glover.

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St. Peter’s student initiates supply drive

School-St. Peter's

Natalie Rose Dardes, a fourth grader at St. Peter’s, independently collected donations from school families and within her neighborhood to give to local animal shelters. She collected an impressive supply simply by asking. “The shelters need supplies. I wish the animals could all find homes,” she said.

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Lady’s Island Middle School students excel at Robotics Competition

Schools-LI Robotics2015

Lady’s Island Middle School’s Cougar Robotics teams competed last Saturday at the “Whale Branch Robo Icicle Rumble.” Two of the three teams made the semi-finals and the other lost in the quarters. The students competed against both middle and high school programs during the event. Pictured (from left) are Kevin Mingle, Travis Cato, Rhogue Wallace.

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Visual Arts Club presents check

Schools- Dataw and St. Helena

Dataw Visual Arts President, Barbara Carakostas (center) presents Sefronia Smith with a check for $1400 for their art department. Pictured from left are Michelle Thomas, Sefronia Smith, Barbara Carakostas, Lynn Baker and Alison Barton.

St. Helena Elementary School art teacher, Michelle Thomas, and principal, Senfronia Smith, accepted a check from the Dataw Island Visual Arts Club at the club’s annual meeting. The donation will help fund special projects in the K – 5 art classes. Members of the arts club decorated and sold glass ornaments with the intent of raising funds to promote art education. Club president, Barb Carakostas, noted the importance of art instruction in the early elementary curriculum when students have no fear of trying or failing and also have a can do attitude regarding artistic expression. Mrs. Thomas recently returned to school after a maternity leave and was surprised to learn of the donation, which helped her implement a weaving experience with her kindergarten students. The students, their parents and their siblings all enjoyed the colorful, unique scarves which were created in the art classes. Many Dataw Island residents volunteer in the school and those interested in this program can explore opportunities by visiting the Beaufort County Schools website or by contacting Principal Smith at (843) 838-0300.

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School calendars approved for next two school years

The Beaufort County Board of Education has approved calendars for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.

For the 2015-16 school year, teachers will report to schools on August 10, 2015, with the first day for students on August 17. The last day for students will be May 27, 2016.

High school students will change from an A/B schedule to a hybrid 4×4 schedule that will permit the first semester to end before winter break.  With the hybrid 4×4 schedule, students take four 90-minute semester-long classes and finish classes in a single semester as opposed to having them last the entire year. For some select classes, such as Advanced Placement, the hybrid schedule can accommodate three 58-minute year-long classes.

Benefits of the approved calendar include ending the school year shortly after state accountability testing; allowing for early graduation at the end of first semester; increasing the number of instructional days in November and during the spring semester; and allowing time during the summer for state-mandated reading intervention camps.

The approved 2015-16 calendar also includes various staff development days.  State-mandated days for possible weather make-up are Jan. 3, Feb. 15, and May 31. Holidays with schools closed are Sept. 7 (Labor Day), Nov. 25-27 (Thanksgiving), Dec. 21-Jan. 6 (winter break), Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and March 25 (Good Friday).

On the approved 2016-17 calendar, the first school day will be August 15, 2016, and the last school day will be May 26, 2017.

Both calendars will be posted on the school district’s website:

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TCL program named as finalist for prestigious award

TCL instructor Warren Disbrow (far right) teaches Airframe and Powerplant students how to repair a damaged propeller.

TCL instructor Warren Disbrow (far right) teaches Airframe and Powerplant students how to repair a damaged propeller.

The Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Transitioning Military Training (TMT) program has been selected as a finalist in the workforce development category for a prestigious 2015 Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding, innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. TCL’s TMT program seeks to help military members refine their skills to match the demands of today’s employers. The program currently provides training for aircraft mechanics, avionics technicians, and logisticians as well as placement services. All finalists will present at the Assembly on January 26, 2015, in Orlando, Fla., and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts within each category. The winners will be announced on January 27 at the annual meeting in Orlando. Learn more about TCL’s TMT program at

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St. Helena Elementary participates in First Book Program

Schools-St. Helena ElementarySt Helena Elementary School teachers Miss Browne and Mrs. Singleton’s Pre-K classes enjoy participating in the start of this New Year’s First Book Program. First Book is a monthly reading program in which each child receives a new book along with snacks. The program is sponsored by the Democratic Women of Beaufort Club. Readers are Pamela Brandon and Veronica Miller.

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