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Students earn recognition in national arts, writing contest

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Beaufort County School District students have won 54 Southeast regional recognitions in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition, with 51 of those awards going to students from Hilton Head Island High School.

The prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards describes itself as the nation’s longest-running recognition program for creative teens and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers. Students in grades 7 through 12 submitted more than 320,000 works of art and writing in 28 categories. Winning students earn opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.

Hilton Head Island High’s 51 awards included seven Gold Keys, 15 Silver Keys, 28 Honorable Mentions and one Scholastic Writing Award. The top award-winners – Gold Key recipients – advance to judging at the national level.

“These are very prestigious awards, and to earn so many of them is a wonderful reflection of the talents of our students and the quality of our teachers,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.

Judges evaluate student artwork based on originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. Former winners of Scholastic Awards include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Sylvia Plath and filmmaker Ken Burns.

Hilton Head Island High’s Gold Key winners were Chase Faulkner, “Enjoying the Sunday Paper: (Sculpture); Alanna Myers, “1st Street” and “Moriarty” (Digital Art); Danny Shaughnessy, “Bass Lake” (Digital Art); Alexandra Tappeiner, “Pyromania: (Digital Art); Alexis Yates, “At the Coast” (Digital Art); and Mariah Anderson, “Cracked” (Photography).

Hilton Head Island High’s Silver Key winners were Val Plasse, “Distance” (Photography); Ally Boys, “Triplets” and “Kitty Bot” (Sculpture); Junior Aedo, “Piano Competition” (Design); Eric Hunter, “Station 5 Logo” (Digital Art); Emma North, “The Keen Gaze” (Digital Art); Cade Saenz, “Hot Streak” (Digital Art); Brian Serrano, “Metastasizing Heart,” “Landscape” and “Happiness” (Digital Art); Danny Shaughnessy, “Light and Dark” and “Flaming Talon” (Digital Art); Alexis Yates, “Scarlett” (Digital Art); Johanna Moncada, “Badgalriri” (Digital Art); and Johanna Moncada, “Words from the Wise” (Film and Animation).

Beaufort High student Giammona Ashton won a Silver Key for “Miss Metamorphis” (Drawing and Illustration).

Battery Creek High School student Annette Burkey won an Honorable Mention for “Silent Tears” (Digital Art).

Bluffton High School student Ever Moreno won a Silver Key for “Out of the Window” (Drawing and Illustration).

Board of Education ends bus operations with private company

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The Beaufort County Board of Education voted today to end the school district’s relationship with a private-sector transportation provider and to have the district take over supervision of bus operations beginning July 1.

Superintendent Jeff Moss told Board members that he was confident that the district would provide improved bus service for students and families – and at a lower cost. Durham School Services’ bid to extend its contract for 2016-17 was $6.5 million, a $900,000 increase over 2015-16’s contract.

Moss said that planning to move toward district-supervised school bus operations would begin immediately.

Nearly 12,000 students ride buses to or from Beaufort County public schools each day, with buses traveling more than 11,000 miles daily.

The South Carolina Department of Education supplies, maintains and fuels a statewide bus fleet, with vehicles allotted to individual districts based on student enrollment. Local school districts hire and supervise bus drivers and also design routes.

Beaufort County has operated a partially privatized school bus system for 20 years through contracts with three companies: Laidlaw (1996-2004), First Student (2004-2010) and Durham School Services (2010-present).

Moss said that district Chief Auxiliary Services Officer Gregory McCord would meet with Durham employees and brief them on the school district’s plans. Current Durham drivers would be able to apply for driving positions with the district, he said.

The superintendent added that the school district would lease an undetermined number of buses to supplement those provided by the state, which are not numerous enough to provide the levels of service that parents want. Of the 190 buses currently operating in the district, 149 are supplied by the state and 41 are supplied by Durham.

4th grader ‘Breakfast Pinwheel’ earns top honors in 2016 Future Chef Competition

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SCHOOLS - 4th grade chef

Photo above: Sarah Laizer shows off some of her winning utensils in the Sodexo Future Chef Competition.

Fourth-grader Sarah Laizer from Red Cedar Elementary School created a dish that was both appealing to the eyes and to the taste buds and ended up taking top honors at the 2016 Sodexo Future Chef competition.

Laizer was one of 15 elementary school student finalists from across the district who prepared breakfast creations–this year’s competition category–for a panel of judges at the new Advanced Technical Center at Battery Creek High School. Judges awarded points based on the recipes’ originality, taste, healthy attributes, plate presentation, ease of preparation and kid-friendliness.

The 15 finalists were chosen from 75 young cooks from district elementary schools who submitted recipes in this year’s challenge, sponsored by Sodexo.

Laizer’s winning dish, “The Breakfast Pinwheel,” included peanut butter, cream cheese, apples, blueberries, strawberries on top of an English muffin, drizzled with honey. She won a gold medal, a certificate and a prize basket of kitchen utensils, a Fitbit wearable physical activity tracker and the chance to move on to the 2016 regional and national Future Chef competitions. Sarah was assisted in the kitchen by Battery Creek High School Culinary Arts student Trevon Grier.

First runner-up was Treafon Manigo (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary) for his “Fresh Fruit Burritos,” featuring bananas, strawberries, peaches, blueberries and yogurt wrapped in a whole wheat wrap. Second runner-up was Brady Sacha (M.C. Riley Elementary) for his “Cinnamon Apple Nachos,” including apples, cinnamon, bananas and peanut butter sauce on pita chips. Third runner-up was Bran’don Jenkins (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary) for his innovative take on breakfast muffins packed with spinach, eggs, and sausage.

“This is the largest number of entries we’ve seen in the four years that we’ve been sponsoring the Future Chefs competition,” said Roberta Edwards, general manager of Sodexo operations in Beaufort County. “And it’s always so exciting to see our young chefs in action. Their creativity is obvious, but so is their work ethic and their focus in the kitchen.”

The other 2016 finalists were Patrick Allen (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary, Eggs with Tortilla Chips, Salsa and Cheese), Landen Bradberry (Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Breakfast Egg Cups), Jay Brodie (River Ridge Academy, Breakfast 3-in-1), Mia Campbell (Red Cedar Elementary, Mia’s Muffin in a Mug), Uiulani Jean-Charles Folson (Mossy Oaks Elementary, Uu Breakfast Balls), Makayla Arianna Gillson (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary, French Toast Poppers), Mckenzie Griffing (Broad River Elementary, Palmetto Sunshine), Alex Marinov (Red Cedar Elementary, Breakfast Eggito), Alexia Pintos (Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, English Muffin Egg Pizza), Liza Raye Sherbert (Mossy Oaks Elementary, The Butterfly), and Sophia Tollerson (M.C. Riley Elementary, Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast).

Last year’s competition involved healthy snack creations, and Red Cedar Elementary fourth-grader Loncelle Daley took top honors for his Tropical Smoothie. Sandwiches were the center of attention in 2014, with Okatie Elementary School fifth-grader Jacob Himes winning for his Corn and Black Bean Wrap. In 2013, Whale Branch Elementary fourth-grader Dairrion McDaniel won for his Mango Berry Taco Tango Salad.

Bluffton Middle announces Mustangs of the Month

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SCHOOLS - Mustangs of the Month

Photo above in front row from left: Emily King, Dominique Romanelli, Miles Prusia, Brian Sanchez, Tyler Hlusek, Justin Vitiello. Back row from left: Brennan Toney, Victoria Murphy, Tess Wooten, Victor Lin, Nathaniel Green, and Principal, Ms. Freda.

Each month eleven Bluffton Middle School students are selected by their teachers as “Mustangs of the Month” based upon overall student performance and following the Mustang Path. The Mustang Path provides a model for proper behavior that is based on the BLMS mascot, the Mustang. The Mustang Path includes four core behaviors essential to a student’s development as a citizen. The four aspects of the Mustang Path are the following:  Responsibility, Academic Excellence, Respect, and Honesty.

Congratulations to our Mustangs of the Month for March 2016:

Nathaniel Green, Tyler Hlusek, Emily King, Victor Lin, Victoria Murphy, Miles Prusia, Dominique Romanelli, Brian Sanchez, Brennan Toney, Justin Vitiello, Tess Wooten

Beaufort High takes top spot in academic competition

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A team from Beaufort High School took the top spot recently in Beaufort County’s Academic WorldQuest Competition for the third consecutive year.

Beaufort High’s White Team finished No. 1, with Bluffton High’s Black Team finishing just behind in second place. Beaufort High’s Green team finished third.

First-place Beaufort High White Team members were Rasikh Hamid, May Harrelson, Sarah Suber and Alex Mazzeo. The team was coached by Debi Kidd.

The second-place Bluffton High Black Team members were Morgan Rizer, Haley Hubner, Josh Perri, Rory Witkowski and Eugene Yan. The team was coached by Pam Wolske.

The third-place Beaufort High Green team, also coached by Debi Kidd, was composed of Hays McDaniel, Max Crisologo, Aaron Peterson and Clayton Ruff.

The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head presented the annual Academic WorldQuest Competition in partnership with the Beaufort County School District. During the competition at Hilton Head Island High, eight high school teams faced a screen where multiple-choice questions were projected. Using electronic “clickers,” they had 30 seconds to answer each question posed. Audience members sat behind the competing teams and were able to see the questions as they were projected on the screen.

This year’s categories for questions focused on the nation’s top national security issues as voted on by the leaders of World Affairs Councils across the country. Those issues include: NATO, Asia, international trade and finance, food security and privacy in the digital age. Also included were questions on current events, world geography and global health.

This year’s winning team from Beaufort County will travel to Washington for the national competition, said Carlton Dallas, a Hilton Head businessman who serves as the project director for WorldQuest in Beaufort County.

“Our Academic World Quest Scholars learn about the world and develop a keen understanding of the underlying reasons for geopolitical outcomes,” Dallas said. “They study such topics as NATO, food security and privacy in the digital age, a particularly relevant topic in view of Apple’s response to the recent federal court order. Quite often these outcomes are confusing to those who don’t follow events over time, but our AWQ Scholars are well informed and are able to hold extremely logical conversations and provide insights that are not only informative, but also impressive in the depth of their thinking.”

Beaufort High student team receives state honors in engineering competition

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A team of students from Beaufort High School earned statewide honors in the prestigious 2016 Project Lead the Way South Carolina State Engineering Championship held at the University of South Carolina Engineering Center.

Beaufort High’s Principles of Engineering team won Best Innovation and also Best in Competition, beating a number of high-profile teams from around the state including Charleston’s Wando High, Columbia’s Dutch Fork High, Charleston’s Academic Magnet High and Charleston’s Charter School for Math and Science.

Working in a timed competition, the Beaufort High team – Jackie Kim, Lucas Cato and Anna Fosberry – designed, built and tested a device to feed a dinosaur.  The device featured a remote release on the end of a support arm, all cantilevered off the edge of a table top.

“Beaufort High has a well-deserved reputation for producing some of South Carolina’s best young engineering students,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “Year in and year out, their teams are simply outstanding.”

Teams at the Columbia competition were monitored by USC engineering professors as they worked, and upper-classmen engineering students conducted interviews with team members.  Teams were scored based on their performances and personal interviews.

Beaufort High has participated in the state competition the last six years, winning three state championships and one state runner-up title.  Two members of this year’s championship team – Kim and Cato – were also part of the 2015 State Engineering Champion Introduction to Engineering Design team.

Beaufort High’s team was coached by teacher Jim Wilkin.

TCL accepting applications for new certificate program

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Why medical assisting? It’s one of the nation’s fastest growing careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in medical assisting is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services. As physicians expand their practices to meet this need, they will hire more medical assistants to serve more patients.

Demand for medical assistants is also high in the Lowcountry. “A growing number of area health care facilities are seeking qualified medical assistants to help their offices run more smoothly,” program director Jaclyn Howarth said. “Medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills.”

Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical duties. They may answer phones, schedule appointments, manage medical records and greet patients. On the clinical side, they take medical histories, prepare patients for examination, assist the doctor during appointments, and perform numerous point- of- care tests, venipuncture, and electrocardiograms.”

Once eligible and accepted, TCL’s medical assisting course path will prepare students to graduate in three semesters with a total of 40 in-program credit-hours. The program’s general education, science and medical assisting courses are taught in the classroom and at various clinical sites in Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton and Hampton counties. Graduates earn a TCL certificate and are then eligible to take the credentialing exam.

BHS students bring home nine awards at state competition

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Beaufort High School students earned nine statewide awards at a state conference focusing on students interested in health-related fields.

The state HOSA conference features seminars and competitive events in health care knowledge, teamwork and leadership skills. This year’s award winners were: Riley Porter – First Place; Ashlyn Houston, Ella Madden, Devin Stanley and Hannah Ramsey – Second Place; Marah Aulabaugh and Sarah McMullen – Second Place; Andrew Stoddard and Jake Zentner – Third Place.

Beaufort High School’s HOSA advisor is Health Science and Biomedical Science Teacher Brad Smith. Smith is also Beaufort High’s current Teacher of the Year.

Student science projects earn recognition at 2016 Sea Island Regional Science Fair

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Nearly 400 Beaufort County students, all top finishers at individual school science fairs across the County, competed for honors at the 2016 Sea Island Regional Science Fair.

Four projects developed by local students were recognized with Grand Awards for best-in-show status:

· Victoria Hamlin (Hilton Head Island High) – Design of a Sounding Rocket for Maximum Altitude.

· Ashley Hamlin (Hilton Head Island High) – Writing a Mathematical Model for Bubble Formation.

· Decker Paulmeier and Drew Lee (Bluffton High) – Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Stealth Aircraft Methodologies.

· Maile Paulmeier (H.E. McCracken Middle) – Comparative Strength Analysis of an Artificial Monofilament Passive Fiber Skeletal Muscle vs. a Linear Actuator.

Grand Award winners at the high school level will travel to Phoenix, Az., in May for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where more than $4 million in prize awards is expected to draw about 1,700 student competitors from 75 countries.

“The work, the research and the creativity that goes into developing these projects is simply amazing,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “The entire district should be proud of these outstanding students and their teachers.”

First, second, third and honorable mention honors were awarded in categories of botany and microbiology; chemistry and biochemistry; environmental; mathematics, engineering and computer science; physics; social and behavioral science; and zoology and medicine in both the high school and middle school divisions.

First-place winners from the Beaufort County School District were Ashton Grant and Nathaniel Gosdin (Hilton Head Island High), Real Rocketry; Bill Dengler (Hilton Head Island High), Words that Can’t Be Strangled; James Lucas (H.E. McCracken Middle), Invisible Planes; Danielle Silvan (Hilton Head Island Middle), Sight and Balance; and Jenna Dean (Beaufort Middle), Fruit Fly Frenzy.

The independent nonprofit Sea Island Regional Science Fair’s mission is to “identify, encourage and support student talent in the physical, biological, engineering and behavioral sciences.”

Each year its volunteers judge about 25 individual school fairs in addition to regional fairs for elementary, middle and high school students. Its pool of about 50 judges is composed mostly of retired engineers, scientists and doctors who volunteer their time between November and April to help support science in education through science fairs and other activities.

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