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School briefs for February 23rd-March 1st

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Prom boutique to be held; dresses and more needed

The Junior Service League of Beaufort (JSLB) is hosting its sixth annual Prom Boutique from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the YMCA of Beaufort. 

Since 2011, JSLB’s Prom Boutique has helped girls in Beaufort and Jasper counties experience the magic of finding the perfect prom dress.

In past years, over 75 girls have attended the event where they are able to choose from a wide variety of new and gently used formal dresses, accessories and jewelry at no cost. 

JSLB members serve as personal stylists for the girls, helping each to pick the perfect gown and complete her look. And this year, JSLB is excited to expand the opportunity to Hampton Country students as well.

“The most rewarding part of this experience, and why we continue to host this event year after year, is the reaction of the girls when they find the perfect dress,” said Missy Nelson, co-chairwoman of the Prom Boutique. “The girls leave the Prom Boutique with a sense of confidence that serves them far beyond the memorable occasion of prom.”

Similar to past years, the Prom Boutique offers attendees a red-carpet experience and includes a VIP hour from 11 a.m. to noon for those who pre-register for the event. 

VIP attendees have the opportunity to have first pick of all dresses and accessories, while enjoying even more personalized attention from JSLB’s personal stylists. 

VIP applications are available through school guidance counselors and on the website at

Any student in Beaufort, Jasper or Hampton counties is invited to attend the boutique. Shoppers must show their student ID or have a letter on school letterhead from their guidance counselor, teacher or school administrator. All girls who attend the event are welcome to bring family members or friends to help them shop. 

The YMCA of Beaufort is located at 1801 Richmond Ave. in Port Royal.

Dresses and accessories are needed for the event. JSLB will accept new or gently used long and short dresses in all sizes and accessories, such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, shawls and handbags. Dresses must be clean and have no visible tears or stains. 

Donations can be dropped off through Monday, March 6, at the following locations:

• SugarBelle, 905 Boundary St., Beaufort.

• Amazing Event Rentals, 35 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort, or 352 Argent Blvd., Hardeeville.

Classroom teachers, staff attend professional training

Nearly 2,000 classroom teachers and school staff attended a full day of professional development training at multiple sites as the school district hosted its fourth annual Best Practices Day.  

The mid-year event is an opportunity for local educators to expand their knowledge and enhance their skills.

More than 100 sessions were offered, with topics for teachers ranging from “Classroom Management Strategies” and “Using Case Studies to Increase Interest and Achievement in High School Earth Science” to “Progress Monitoring Made Simple” to “Paint, Glitter and Glue, Oh, My! Arts Integration in PreK.”  

Support staff could sign up for special sessions geared to their responsibilities.

“We have outstanding classroom professionals and school staff in our district, people who are experts at what they do,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our annual Best Practices Day lets us leverage that expertise and make our teachers and staff more effective, which ultimately benefits students.” 

Bluffton High School tapped for specialized AP program

Students throughout Beaufort County can apply to attend a new program at Bluffton High School, one of only a few South Carolina schools approved to implement this program that helps students to develop skills valued by colleges and employers.

The new AP Capstone program, scheduled to begin for the 2017-18 academic year, will become a new school choice in addition to Bluffton High’s current offerings of Project Lead the Way and Acceleration Academy.  

Any student in Beaufort County can apply, and the deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

AP Capstone is a special diploma program that allows students to develop their research, collaboration and communication skills by taking two Advanced Placement courses in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.  AP Capstone is coordinated by the College Board, the nonprofit organization that manages SAT college entrance exams as well as Advanced Placement exams that allow students to earn college credits while still in high school.

Only 1,000 high schools worldwide offer the AP Capstone program, and only four South Carolina schools currently offer AP Capstone.

Middle school girls attend STEM day

Fifty middle school girls spent a recent Saturday immersed in learning activities related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

Local professionals in those STEM fields led the workshop.   

The daylong session, Launch Your Future with STEM, was supported by the Beaufort Chapter of the American Association of University Women and funded by a grant from the Society of Women Engineers through a donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation.  

The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of South Carolina-Beaufort and the Beaufort County School District.

The participating girls were students at Robert Smalls International Academy as well as Beaufort, Lady’s Island and Whale Branch middle schools.

Women often are not familiar with STEM career possibilities although high-paying jobs in STEM-related fields are increasing quickly and companies are actively seeking out women to apply.

Horton scholarship winner is named


Beaufort Academy and the Thomas H. Horton Jr. Memorial Scholarship committee have selected junior Anna Miller as its 12th annual scholarship recipient. She is the daughter of Aaron and Karen Miller.

Tom Horton was a beloved teacher and coach at Beaufort Academy for 23 years.  In 2003, he died, leaving a legacy behind at the school. His family established the Thomas H. Horton Jr. Memorial Scholarship in 2004 to memorialize his life and commemorate his contributions to the development of the minds and characters of students.

Due to Horton’s love of travel, the scholarship is designated to give Beaufort Academy students a chance to participate in a summer study abroad program. 

Anna, the 2017 recipient, inspired by literature, and driven by her own love for creative writing, will travel to Ireland for 25 days this summer as a part of “The Irish Life Experience.”  

She will be studying past and present authors, local culture, drama, writing and song. 

During the last 11 years, the scholarship has allowed recipients the chance to study abroad in a variety of locations including England, Italy, Scotland, Switzerland, Spain, France, Peru, Ecuador and the
Galapagos Islands.

DATAW Visual Arts Club makes visit to Lady’s Island Middle

Eight members of the Dataw Island Visual Arts Club (VAC) toured the Lady’s Island Middle School (LIMS) art department recently. Art teacher Cadra Rooney conducted the tour.  

This excursion was a follow-up to see the students at work in their art center after the VAC donated $1,400 recently to support the LIMS art program.

The tour began in the gallery that the students designed themselves in 2016.  To ensure success, they conducted research and toured the Telfair Museum, Columbia Museum and SCAD to observe how effective galleries operate. They took measurements, priced out supplies, and then contributed to final decisions during the construction process.

The next stop was the drawing studio set up with a still life arrangement surrounded by easels, ready for students to begin drawing. The last stop was the main art room where the students drew a pattern for a slab box with a hinged top, rolled out the clay, cut the forms and began to create a treasure. Rooney explained that in the next step the pottery would be glazed using a variety of newly purchased glazes.

Dataw VAC members said they were very pleased to see their donation was making a positive contribution to the community, and they received many thank-you notes from appreciative students for donating to the school’s art funds.

BA students take part in SCISA spelling bee

Twelve Beaufort Academy students in grades 3-8 participated in the SCISA Spelling Bee on Jan. 25. 

Overall, Beaufort Academy placed 5th out of eight schools. 

Eighth-grade student Emma Dillinger placed in the top two and will be heading to the SCISA state competition. 

Seventh-grader Mary Hanna Hiers placed in the top four, also earning points for BA. 

The other Beaufort Academy competitors were Sam Schools, Trip Nellen, Caroline Schools, Langdon Taylor, Andrew Gates, Brock Bettle, Ilse Von Heimburg, Ledare Pingree, Emma Grace Dinkins and Margot Packard.

Bridges Prep educator named Favorite Teacher

Bridges Prep teacher Katherine Tapia was recently named Favorite Teacher by Winning Orthodontic Smiles of Beaufort and Bluffton.

Katherine Tapia, a third-grade teacher, received a $100 gift card to Staples. It was the first time any Bridges Prep teacher had received the award since the school’s opening.

One of Tapia’s students, Caitlin Conley, nominated her teacher for the monthly award. She signed up her teacher when visiting the orthodontic office of Dr. Skeet Burris, Dr. Travis Fiegle and Dr. Katie Plunkett.

“This was a nice surprise for Mrs. Tapia and her students,” Bridges Head of School Nick Ithomitis said. “The kids adore her and I think it’s wonderful that one of her students thought to nominate her at the orthodontist’s office as Favorite Teacher.’”

To learn more about Bridges Preparatory School, visit or call 843-982-7737.

Whale Branch to get new gym

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Staff reports

The Beaufort County board of education voted recently to devote a portion of its borrowing capacity to building a larger competition gym for Whale Branch Early College High School.

Since Whale Branch Early College High opened in 2010, its four basketball teams have practiced and played their interscholastic games in one small gymnasium.  

A larger competition gym was never built, and today Whale Branch is the only high school in Beaufort County that doesn’t have a competition and a practice gym.

According to the district’s current capital improvement plan, the preliminary cost estimate to build the new gym is $4.4 million.  

The board voted to place the project under a state-authorized provision that allows local school boards to borrow up to 8 percent of their districts’ assessed property value for facilities construction and improvement.  

The district’s goal, officials said, is to design, build and open the gym in time for the 2018-19 basketball season.

“It’s an exciting development, and it goes beyond athletics because a competition gym will basically be an extension of our classroom space,” said Principal Mona Lise Dickson. “Now we’ll have more room for physical education classes as well as a comfortable space for indoor community events like graduation ceremonies.”

There are other issues, Dickson said.  

For example, basketball practices currently pose a significant scheduling challenge because all four of the high school’s teams (varsity boys and girls and junior varsity boys and girls) must practice daily in the small practice gym. That leads to practice sessions that stretch into the evening hours, she said.

In addition, the practice gym’s limited 680-person capacity means that if Whale Branch Warrior basketball teams advance past the second round of the state playoffs, they would forfeit their home-court advantage because their gym’s capacity doesn’t meet South Carolina High School League minimum size requirements.

Another great year at Chilly Bean event

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The popular fourth annual Chilly Bean Run and Chili Cookoff was held Feb. 4, and was a huge success. 

The event, a fundraiser for Beaufort Academy’s Parents Association, was held in the Coosaw Point neighborhood on Lady’s Island in Beaufort. 

In addition to a 5K and 10K, there was an after-party, chili cookoff, music and more. 

These photos were taken by Ashley Rodgers, AMR Photography & Design.

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School briefs for February 16th-22nd

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BA homecoming

Photo above: Beaufort Academy’s Mary Keane was recently named the 2017 homecoming queen. She is the daughter of Dr. Timothy and Dr. Karen Keane, and has been a student at Beaufort Academy since she was in preschool. The homecoming court consisted of Mary Keane, Amanda Kahn and Mary Louise Gallant.

Students named to honor societies

ba1 ba2

Beaufort Academy welcomed five new high school students to the National Honor Society, and 20 new middle school students into the National Junior Honor Society. 

The 2017 Junior National Honor Society inductees are Madison Lynn Aivaz, Charlotte Fjeld, Courtney Renee Kirberger, Anna Elizabeth Miller and John Ryan Muniz.

The 2017 Junior National Honor Society inductees are Emma Selene Dillinger, Madison Riley Gates, Griffin Shelby Harley, Maeve Weilin Kalady, Julianna Ruth Lane, Kristin Makenzie Levesque, Alyssa Katherine Lewis, Margot Phipps Packard, Camille Salley Pendarvis, Ansleigh Claire Pingree, Kevin Jarrod Rogers, Judith Emily Wilson, Lila Hunter Alcott, Connor Raymond Benson, Rebecca Marie Frelin, Thomas McMillan Holladay, Morgan Hope Ogden, Peyton Anslee Polk, Grayson Rhodes Price and Jeffery M. Rushing.

Board approves calendar for 2017-18 school year

The Beaufort County board of education recently approved the academic calendar for the 2017-18 school year.

The first day for students will be Aug. 21, and the final day of classes will be May 31, 2018.  

The 2017-18 calendar includes a longer winter break, a preference indicated by parents and district employees in online surveys.   

Current state law mandates that no South Carolina public school can begin classes prior to the third Monday in August, which this year is Aug. 21.  

However, that may change.

Legislation currently being considered by the General Assembly would allow schools to begin the 2017-18 year on Thursday, Aug. 17, because of the solar eclipse that will affect South Carolina on Aug. 21.  

Several board members voiced support for revisiting the calendar decision – and moving the first day of school from Aug. 21 to Aug. 17 – if the General Assembly eventually votes to permit that flexibility.

Holiday dates with schools closed are Sept. 4 (Labor Day), Nov. 22-24 (Thanksgiving), Dec. 21-Jan. 8 (winter break), Jan. 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and March 30 (Good Friday).

Battery Creek takes 9th at farming event

The Battery Creek High School Future Farmers of America Wildlife Team placed ninth out of 32 teams at a recent competition held at the Georgetown campus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College. 

In this event, the teams competed to identify a variety of plant and animal species, including identifying the age and sex of both turkeys and quail. The Boone and Crockett scoring system for antlers and a 50-question exam were also a part of the competition.

This is the first year of the agriculture program at Battery Creek High School and one of the first events in which the school’s FFA chapter has been able to participate. 

Competitors at the event were comprised of schools with long-established agriculture programs. 

The Battery Creek High School students surpassed their goals for being competitive in a first-year program and continually seek to improve.

Bridges Prep board to consider new curriculum

A proposed new curriculum for Bridges Prep High School and review of the 2017-2018 school budget are topics the Bridges Prep board of directors will discuss at its Thursday, Feb. 16, meeting.

The new course of high school studies will outline what classes will be available next year to students in grades 9 and 10, as well as what courses are expected to be offered in coming years as Bridges expands to grades 11 and 12.

“If the new program of studies is approved by the board of directors, we will schedule a High School Information Night later this month,” Bridges Head of School Dr. Nick Ithomitis said. “Parents and students need to know as early as possible what their academic options will be as we continue to grow our curriculum at Bridges Prep.”

The Bridges Prep board of directors will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the main campus, 1100 Boundary St. in Beaufort. The meeting is open to the public.

To learn more about Bridges Preparatory School, visit or call 843-982-7737.

Local leaders learn about education programs

Mona Lise Dickson, principal of Whale Branch Early College High School, Dr. Dereck Rhoads, chief instructional officer for the Beaufort County School District, and Dr. Kenneth Flick, dean for Business and Industrial Technologies at TCL, host a panel discussion for the Beaufort County Senior Leadership Program about educational programs in Beaufort County. Photo by Steve Brown.
Mona Lise Dickson, principal of Whale Branch Early College High School, Dr. Dereck Rhoads, chief instructional officer for the Beaufort County School District, and Dr. Kenneth Flick, dean for Business and Industrial Technologies at TCL, host a panel discussion for the Beaufort County Senior Leadership Program about educational programs in Beaufort County. Photo by Steve Brown.

Participants in the 2017 Beaufort County Senior Leadership Class gathered at two of Beaufort County schools, Whale Branch Early College High School and Robert Smalls International Academy, recently to hear presentations from a variety of educators.

The program provided participants with an overview of the educational system in Beaufort County, a look at other private options and an opportunity to explore adult education opportunities.

To kick off the day, Education Day Chair Debbie Marzluff introduced Whale Branch Principal Mona Lise Dickson, who spoke of the unique opportunities her school offers students who can take college curriculum classes in high school as a head start to a higher education.

Also presenting were Dr. Dereck Rhoads, chief instructional officer of the Beaufort County School District; Dr. Kenneth Flick, dean for Business and Industrial Technologies at Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL); and Traci Cox, Information Services coordinator for the Beaufort County Public Library. 

A panel discussion was conducted on the partnership between TCL and BCSD. To conclude the morning session, JROTC students led tours of Whale Branch.

At Robert Smalls International Academy, the class met Principal Nicole Holloman. Presentations by Ashley Hutchison, Beaufort County Early Childhood specialist, and Neighborhood Outreach Connection board member Bill Evans concluded the day. 

Local students graduate, named to deans’ lists

The following students have been named to their respective school’s dean’s lists or graduated:

• Madelyn Kalady, of Beaufort, was named to the University of Alabama’s Dean’s List.

• Tiffany Reynolds, of Beaufort, received a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology from Georgia Southern University.

• Joshua Eubank of Beaufort, has graduated from Kent State University.

• Andrew J. Allorto, of Beaufort, graduated from James Madison University.

Student of the Week – February 9th

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Mercedez DeLaney
Grade: 9
School: Whale Branch Early College High School

Mercedez DeLaney was nominated by band teacher Kathryn Cooke because, “Although she is a rock star student in every way, her perseverance deserves recognition. Mercedez works hard to overcome any obstacle, whether that is learning a new note on clarinet or playing by herself in front of her peers.

“Since Mercedez has been in band she has overcome her fear of playing in front of me, then the other students, and now she actively participates in class. She is the least experienced musician in her band class and she practices, pushes and challenges herself so she can participate in class and better herself on clarinet.

“Mercedez’s perseverance is just one of her many wonderful qualities. She is supportive, creative, polite and overall great to be around.

“She is a voice of encouragement to the other students because she is always lifting her peers with kind words and compliments.”

Mercedez took some time recently to answer a few questions.

Q: What’s your favorite subject and why?

A: My favorite subject is reading because it’s an easy subject for me.

Q: What clubs and activities are you involved in?

A: I’m involved in band.

Q: Who do you admire and why?

A: I admire Ms. Cooke because she is always willing to help me and be there for me.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of school? 

A: Go home and relax.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: “Moana.”

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?

A: “Steven Universe.”

Sorority makes an impact on MLK Day of Service

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Pictured above are members of Nu Delta Omega and Upsilon Delta chapters.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is one of six Impact Days for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

This year, Nu Delta Omega Chapter members and members of the newly chartered undergraduate chapter, Upsilon Delta, University of South Carolina-Beaufort, rolled up their sleeves to clean the surroundings of a home occupied by a disabled resident and other sections of Wilmington Street in Beaufort.

They raked, cleaned, picked up and bagged over 40 bags of litter as neighbors helping neighbors.

Ms. Simmons, the recipient of a portion of the service on MLK Day, surprised the group and showed her appreciation by having grilled hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings prepared for the participants.

Prior to the service, both chapters participated in Beaufort’s annual MLK Day Parade. Nu Delta Omega has participated in the parade and other scheduled events for MLK Day since the celebration started many years ago.

School briefs for February 9th-15th

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Robots make their debut at Beaufort Academy

ba robot

Dash and Dot are the latest additions to Beaufort Academy.

Dash and Dot are real robots that the elementary and middle school children are coding by using five compatible apps on their iPads.

The Aimar Library purchased three sets in the fall and the Beaufort Academy Parents’ Association purchased another three sets before the holiday break so that students could have a complete classroom set.

Currently, the students are using the app Blockly to make the robots sing, dance and navigate their environment. Blockly is a coding app that uses a block interface, making programming easy for students while helping them to learn computational thinking.

In addition to being easy to use, it looks and acts very similarly to Scratch and Scratch Jr., which students are already familiar with.

Dash and Dot are built with programmable LED lights, microphones, a speaker, receivers, transmitters, proximity sensors, potentiometers, dual motors, powered wheels with distance tracking and processors. They are built to work with LEGOS and have accessories such as bulldozers, xylophones and ball launchers, making technology classes fun and interactive.

The school hopes to compete in the world-wide Wonder League Robotics Competition, where students will get to design solutions to science and technology challenges.

To learn more, visit

AAUW is offering women’s scholarship

The Beaufort branch of the American Association of University Women is offering its annual scholarship to a mature woman, age 21 or older, who is returning to college following an interruption in her education career.

The applicant must be a woman who resides in Beaufort County, has a high school diploma or GED, and is returning to college or technical school in pursuit of her associate’s, bachelor’s or RN degree.

The $1,500 award is applicable to tuition and fees only and will be paid by AAUW to the college, university, vocational or technical school.

The applicant must demonstrate scholastic aptitude and leadership characteristics, as well as financial need.

The scholarship is part of AAUW’s mission to promote equity and education for women and girls.

The deadline for the application is 4 p.m. Monday, April 3.

Applications are available at the financial aid office of USCB at 801 Carteret St., the financial aid office of TCL at 921 Ribaut Road, or by email from Peggy Hubright at

Community foundation offering scholarships

If you’re a high school senior or a college student – or the parent of one – you’re probably aware that this is scholarship season. And if you’re looking for scholarships, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is a terrific resource.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 academic year. During the most recent academic year, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry awarded over $670,000 in scholarships to 152 students, attending 66 schools from 18 scholarship funds that were created by local businesses, families and individuals.

Each scholarship is unique, with its own criteria, requirements and application deadlines. Additionally, as a service to the community, the Community Foundation’s website also offers a scholarship listing that includes 55 scholarships available to local students.

To see a list of scholarships, learn additional details and apply, visit

Local students make fall deans’ lists

The following local cadets received Dean’s List honors at The Citadel: John Bingham, Robert Bowles, Carli Cline, Brogan Ferry, James Gray, Adam Hannah, Edwin Heape, Charles Humphries, Sarah Kardohely, Trey Nelson, Brian Riddgle, Tobiah Spurlock, Christopher Wallace, Trent Weaver and Raven Wills, all of Beaufort; and Nicolas Cucinotta of Port Royal.

Additionally, Cierra Negron, of Beaufort, has been named to the Dean’s List at Newberry College.

BA student wins essay contest

Charlotte Price
Charlotte Price

Sixth-grade Beaufort Academy student Charlotte Grace Price was the American History Essay Contest winner for sixth grade and will be recognized at the Thomas Heyward, Jr. chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution annual award ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Charlotte submitted an essay based on the contest’s prompt to “Pretend you are writing a journal while visiting one of the 58 national parks. Identify its location. Discuss why and when it was established as a national park. What makes this park one of our national treasures?”

Charlotte will read her essay in front of chairmen, parents and teachers.

School briefs for February 2nd-8th

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Holy Trinity third-grader, Michael Hernandez, shown here with fellow third-grader Frances Calvert, placed first in his grade level at the SCISA Regional Spelling Bee. Hernandez will advance to the SCISA State Spelling Bee.
Holy Trinity third-grader, Michael Hernandez, shown here with fellow third-grader Frances Calvert, placed first in his grade level at the SCISA Regional Spelling Bee. Hernandez will advance to the SCISA State Spelling Bee.
The Beaufort Academy Middle School Chess team placed first overall in the Middle School Division of the Ogeechee River Scholastic Chess Tournament on Jan. 21. Pictured from left are Kevin Rogers, Kendra Rogers, G Simmons and Jack McDougall, who won an individual award for winning second place.
The Beaufort Academy Middle School Chess team placed first overall in the Middle School Division of the Ogeechee River Scholastic Chess Tournament on Jan. 21. Pictured from left are Kevin Rogers, Kendra Rogers, G Simmons and Jack McDougall, who won an individual award for winning second place.

Participants move up in oratorical program

From left are Brodie Brant, Paul Sweet and Elaina Mansell.
From left are Brodie Brant, Paul Sweet and Elaina Mansell.

Elaina Mansell and Brodie Brant of Community Bible Church Christian Academy have advanced in the American Legion Quadrant Contest.

“Both participants displayed knowledge of the United States Constitution on Jan. 21 when they presented concise and articulate orations on aspects of the U.S. Constitution in general and the Second Amendment before a panel of judges arranged by (American Legion Beaufort Post 9),” according to a release.

Mansell and Brant now move on to higher level oratorical competitions, possibly including the South Carolina finals to be held Saturday, March 11, in Columbia, at which $4,000 in scholarships will be awarded.

The state winner will move on to the national finals where all state participants will receive at least an additional $1,500 and the three top winners receive $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 respectively.

To date the American Legion has awarded more than $3 million to contestants in the High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.

Lady’s Island Middle gets funds from arts club

From left are Greg Hall, LIMS principal; VAC members Marj Shymske and Kathy McShane; LIMS art teacher Cadra Rooney; and VAC members Laura Bricker and Bill Tremitiere.
From left are Greg Hall, LIMS principal; VAC members Marj Shymske and Kathy McShane; LIMS art teacher Cadra Rooney; and VAC members Laura Bricker and Bill Tremitiere.

Recently the Dataw Visual Arts Club (VAC) held a first-time event called the Art Crawl, where members toured six houses on Dataw Island to view the personal art collections of the owners.

The Art Crawl’s proceeds were significant, and the VAC board and members decided to use them to inspire and encourage young, budding artists.

A check for $1,400 was recently presented to Lady’s Island Middle School for their art program, led by art teacher Cadra Rooney.

Some of the money has been used to purchase cameras for the photography enrichment group as well as supplies for other art projects. Future funds may be used to further enhance learning through art in all academic areas, and by providing more training for teachers and offering field trips to museums and galleries.

Dataw VAC members will soon see the students in creative and artistic action. They have been invited to Lady’s Island Middle School on Friday, Feb. 10, to see the gallery and art studio and meet some of the young students who are reaping the rewards of this innovative art program.

Coastal Carolina University announces Dean’s List 

Approximately 2,253 students have made the Fall Semester 2016 Dean’s List for academic achievement at Coastal Carolina University.

Locally, the Dean’s List includes the following Beaufort students: Jared Bibb, Mary Hart, Hannah Krin, Eugene Lucas, Tyshanna Major and Victoria Wheelen.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, freshmen must earn a 3.25 grade point average, and upperclassmen must earn a 3.5 grade point average. To qualify for the President’s List, students must earn a 4.0 grade point average. All students must be enrolled full time.

Also at Coastal Carolina, Alexis Mesel, of Beaufort, has been named to the President’s List.

State report card shows Bridges students excelling

Bridges Prep elementary and middle school students exceeded state standards in English during the 2015-2016 school year and middle school students also exceeded state standards in math, according to the school’s first “report card” issued by the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

More than 62 percent of Bridges middle schoolers met or exceeded state standards in English/Language Arts and 53 percent of Bridges elementary students met or exceeded standards for ELA.

In math, more than 56 percent of Bridges elementary students met or exceeded standards with 49 percent of its middle school students reaching that level.

Of the school’s 511 students enrolled and counted last school year, 37 percent qualified as lower income and 7.5 percent of students had disabilities. The report card showed Bridges Prep is meeting requirements to serve students with various disabilities.

“This is a very strong report card for Bridges Prep,” Head of School Dr. Nick Ithomitis said. “It is clear our students and staff have worked very hard, and of course we have amazing parent support to help these young learners achieve these high marks. We are very proud and expect even better ‘grades’ next year.”

Local Wofford students are studying abroad 

Wofford’s Interim is a time for exploration and experiential learning away from the rigors of traditional academic courses for students and faculty alike. Students may choose from a variety of on-campus courses, professional internships and research projects, study abroad opportunities or their own independent study project, approved and guided by a faculty advisor. More than 200 students chose to study abroad during Interim 2017.

Michael Bass is studying abroad in United States. Bass, a member of the class of 2019, is from Beaufort. Also from Beaufort are Mary Catherine Carmody, who is studying abroad in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; Finn Koppernaes is studying abroad in Sweden and Norway; Drummond Koppernaes is studying abroad in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; Laura DeRenne Roddey is studying abroad in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Roddey; and Natalie Simkins is studying abroad in France.

Ping-pong tournament to benefit BHS tennis

A ping-pong tournament fundraiser for the Beaufort High School tennis teams will be held on Saturday, March 11, at the high school gym.

Levels of play will include juniors, beginners to open division tournaments. There will also be singles, doubles and mixed events.

In addition to the ping pong, there will be food, drinks, raffles and trophies.

The first 60 entries will get a tournament shirt.

Tables, paddles and ball will be provided.

The cost is $35 for up to three events.Make checks payable to the Beaufort High Booster Club and mail your entry to: Todd Stone , 89 Dolphin Point Drive, Beaufort, SC 29907 or email

School briefs for January 26th-February 1st

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Beaufort Co. recognizes School Choice Week

National School Choice Week, which is from Jan. 22-28, was recognized by Beaufort County with a proclamation.

There are 306 events planned in the Palmetto State to raise awareness about K-12 school choice, and 21,392 events locally and nationwide.

The events in South Carolina, which are independently planned and independently funded, include everything from information sessions and open houses at schools to rallies, policy discussions, and movie screenings organized by community groups.

National School Choice Week provides families in South Carolina with the opportunity to research and evaluate the K-12 school choices available for their children in advance of the 2017-2018 school year. The Week also raises awareness of the importance of providing every child with effective education options.

For more information, visit

Holy Trinity students recognized for essays

holy trinity

Three American History Essay Contest winners from Holy Trinity Classical Christian School will be recognized at the Thomas Heyward Jr. chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution annual award ceremony next month.

Fifth-grader Jakob Stepp, seventh-grader, Mary Elinor Chumney and eighth-grader Maley Grace Baisch all submitted essays based on the contest’s prompt to “Pretend you are writing a journal while visiting one of the 58 national parks. Identify its location. Discuss why and when it was established as a national park. What makes this park one of our national treasures?”

The competition is open to students in grades 5-8, with local chapters selecting one winner per grade level.

According to Holy Trinity Headmaster Rev. Chad E. Lawrence, “Holy Trinity is honored to have had students place in this essay contest since we opened our doors in 2012. This year’s topic once again complemented our liberal arts curriculum, giving our students the opportunity to share an important moment in American history from a first-person perspective.”

To learn more about the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest, visit

To learn more about the classical Christian education offered at Holy Trinity, visit

Beaufort Academy students earn honors

The following Beaufort Academy students have been named to the Headmaster’s List or the Honor Roll for the first semester of the 2016-17 school year:

• Fifth grade

Headmaster’s List – Brockton Luzzo Mariano Bettle, Melanie Margaret Hiers, Virginia Claire Tumlin

Honor roll – Olivia Clare Dinkins, Andrew Connor Gates, Vann Harrison Hefner, Clayton Thomas Lohr, Artency Lashley Lynn, Jenna Marie Raber

•  Sixth grade

Headmaster’s List – Brycen Lee Ambrose, Brock David Bekemeyer, Erik Deaunte Lane, John Olin McDougall III, Ansh Patel, Katherine Elise Taylor, Ilse Caroline vonHeimburg

Honor roll – Mary Grace Carter, Hampton Joseph Lane, Katherine Brooke Luckey, Caroline Perry Patterson, Virginia Ledare Pingree, Charlotte Grace Price, Alexander Jay Roberts, George W. Simmons, Benjamin Elliot Steen, Cynthia Ashleigh Wilson

Seventh grade

Headmaster’s List – Emma Grace Dinkins, Marjorie Leith Gray, Mary Hanna Hiers, Cameron James Keenan, Luke P. Rhatigan, Jack Carter Worrell

Honor roll – Margaret Grace Hager, Benjamin Smiley Lubkin, Stephen Miles Spratling

• Eighth grade

Headmaster’s List – Maeve Weilin Kalady, Julianna Ruth Lane, Margot Phipps Packard

Honor roll – Emma Selene Dillinger, Madison Riley Gates, Kristin Makenzie Levesque, Camille Salley Pendarvis, Judith Emily Wilson

• Ninth grade

Headmaster’s List – John Peter Dastous, Olivia Ann Packard

Honor roll – Lauren Tacey Bartlett, Connor Raymond Benson, Dawson Haynes Coleman, Grace Landon Cope, Jenny Rebecca Harry, Albert Calvin Quinn Harvey, EmilyAnn Halford Hiers, Thomas McMillan Holladay, Amelia Lewis Huebel, Nathaniel Philip Keenan, Elizabeth Ray Muniz, Morgan Hope Ogden, Grayson Rhodes Price, Jeffery M. Rushing, William Charles Tumlin Jr., Cady Evelyn McNair Wilson

• 10th grade

Headmaster’s List – Mary Alden Cooper, Caroline Quinn Fleming, David Morgan Mathai, Alyssa Renee Patrick, Joseph Scott Stowe Jr.

Honor roll – Margaret Louise Lachicotte Aimar, Madison Lynn Aivaz, Julian Hale Alicknavitch, Anna Riley Daubert, Priscilla Campbell Dukes, Hunter Leigh Harley, Emma Louise Higgins, Emma Dyan Hincher, Russell Lawrence Lindsay

• 11th grade

Headmaster’s List – Charlotte Fjeld, Milana Lee Ingraham, Courtney Renee Kirberger, Breanna Dawn Meek, Emily Lawton Potter, Allison Elizabeth Suber, William Alan Warren

Honor roll – Eliza Albritton Akers, Brycen Elizabeth Bridwell, Thomas Walker Dean III, Virginia Nolte Dukes, Kendall Grace Duncan, Jeffrey Fitzgerald Hiestand Jr., Elizabeth Jennings Tumlin

• 12th grade

Honor roll – Christopher Jonn Boggs II, James Huel Carden Jr., Mary Louise Gallant, Luke Whetsell Harper, Amanda Hope Kahn, Mary Blake Keane, William Shannon Lindsay III

Board of education elects slate of officers

in School News/Schools by
Photo above: The Beaufort County School Board, from left in the front row, are Vice Chair Earl Campbell, Chairwoman Patricia Felton-Montgomery and Secretary Geri Kinton. Second row from left are JoAnn Orischak, Bill Payne, David Striebinger, Joseph Dunkle, Mary Cordray, Evva Anderson and Christina Gwozdz. 
Photo above: The Beaufort County School Board, from left in the front row, are Vice Chair Earl Campbell, Chairwoman Patricia Felton-Montgomery and Secretary Geri Kinton. Second row from left are JoAnn Orischak, Bill Payne, David Striebinger, Joseph Dunkle, Mary Cordray, Evva Anderson and Christina Gwozdz.

The Beaufort County board of education has taken on two new members and also elected a new slate of officers.

Career educator Patricia Felton-Montgomery will represent District 6 (Okatie and Sun City), and physician Christina Gwozdz will represent District 9 (Bluffton). Their terms will run through 2020.

The board also elected its officers for 2017: Patricia Felton-Montgomery as chair, Earl Campbell as vice chair and Geri Kinton as secretary.

Felton-Montgomery is a former superintendent of the Lawnside School District in New Jersey, and she also has served as director of Educational Leadership for the U.S. Department of Education’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College at Rutgers University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Syracuse University and a doctorate in educational administration from Teachers College Columbia University.

Mary Cordray decided not to accept any nomination to continue as chair of the Beaufort County board of education, saying to the board, “I appreciate the support and encouragement that I have received from those of you that have encouraged me to seek re-election to the chair position.

“My goal has always been and continues to be moving the school district forward. I am concerned that too much focus will be on me and not on what we are doing as a board or in our schools if I were to be elected chair for the upcoming two years.

“The position of chair requires that you support and advocate the will of the board and not your personal agenda, which is not always an easy position to be in. I have tried my best to live up to that responsibility. As most of you know, being chair was never a goal I had for my service on the board. … I sincerely hope that my decision not to run will allow the board to come together and focus on what we are really here for: the children in our school district.”

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