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Local students win BJWSA Drinking Water Week contests

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Each year, Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority marks National Drinking Water Week with poster and essay contests for local students. This year’s winners submitted work representative of the theme Water: How can we build a future we want? Contestants were asked to pay special attention to drinking water quality, efficiency and infrastructure. The Authority received 76 poster submissions and 27 essay and short story entries from Jasper and Beaufort counties.

Thomas Heyward Academy fourth grader Caitlyn Williams created a poster showing the importance of water conservation. Her class was treated to a pizza party at the school.

Quinlan Bruen, a sixth grader at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, outlined her three-point plan – Save the Wave – Every Drop Counts. Bruen’s initiative seeks to reduce storm water in the local ecosystem by promoting the use of rain barrels, rain gardens and pervious pavers. Short story winner Taylore Simmons, a tenth grader at Beaufort High School, created a fictional world where clean water is scarce and two teens save their community using distillation in her composition Potable. Bruen and Simmons were awarded iPads for their efforts.

Top photo: Dottie Hofmann, BJWSA deputy general manager, presents a ribbon to Caitlyn Williams, seen with her teachers Tina McLemore and Denise Boyles.

Corey Murphy, principal Beaufort High School watches as Ed Saxon, BJWSA general manager and Dottie Hofmann, BJWSA deputy general manager present Taylore Simmons with an iPad for her winning essay.
Corey Murphy, principal Beaufort High School watches as Ed Saxon, BJWSA general manager and Dottie Hofmann, BJWSA deputy general manager present Taylore Simmons with an iPad for her winning essay.
Ed Saxon, BJWSA general manager, presents Quinlan Bruen with her new iPad.
Ed Saxon, BJWSA general manager, presents Quinlan Bruen with her new iPad.

TCL honors 46 health sciences graduates

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The Technical College of the Lowcountry honored 31 Associate Degree in Nursing graduates and 15 Physical Therapist Assistant graduates at its May 12 pinning ceremony.

“We are so proud of these graduates for their perseverance and commitment to excellence,” health sciences dean Dr. Glenn Levicki said. “TCL’s health sciences programs are rigorous but produce extremely qualified and successful graduates, giving them the confidence they need to walk proudly into the field.”

Students experience on-campus learning using high-tech simulation equipment and receive intense additional hands-on practice at clinical sites located throughout Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties. Many students go right to work in the Lowcountry.

The Physical Therapist Assistant graduates are:

Joseph “Ryan” Blanton, Beaufort
Kassie Buchanan, Hampton
Princess “Tamara” Bulcock, Beaufort
Casey Cameron, Beaufort
Susan Eison, Beaufort
Kathryn Ernandez, Charleston
Greg Kluk, Beaufort
Margaret Menendez, Beaufort
Desirée Morris, Beaufort
Austin Nöe, Beaufort
Sara Pluff, Effingham
Shawna Sanders, Beaufort
Kristina Triana, Chatham
Danielle Williams, Colleton
James “Derek” Williamson, Jasper

The Associate Degree in Nursing graduates are:

Tina M. Aaron, Beaufort
Skylan E. Bodkins, Beaufort
Michelle L. Clark, Beaufort
Michael J. Coccia, Beaufort
Kimberly J. Cole, Effingham
Pamela L. Davis, Chatham
Terry “Norman” Drawdy Jr., Beaufort
Kerry R. Dulina, Bryan
Courtney A. Epperley, Jasper
Robyn M. Farris, Beaufort
Allison B. Fisk, Colleton
Jennifer L. Floyd, Effingham
Jordan A. Freeman, Beaufort
John J. Gundermann, Beaufort
Danielle B. Hadsall, Beaufort
Jessica M. Harbuck, Chatham
Chelsea L. Harrison, Beaufort
Katie L. Howell, Effingham
Kaitlynn E. Johnson, Beaufort
Rhonda F. Lamar, Beaufort
Sharita M. Lewis, Effingham
Amy Lombarski, Beaufort
Sherri A. Manning, Beaufort
Carlotta D. Pickett, Chatham
Crystal L. Powell Jasper
Eden A. Robbins, Beaufort
Casijo A. Ross, Beaufort
Caroline M. Sutherland, Hampton
Christopher A. Webber, Effingham
Candis M. Williams, Beaufort
Quinterria “Terry” Wilson, Hampton

Whale Branch seniors earn record number of high school diplomas plus two-year college degrees

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A record 15 Whale Branch Early College High School seniors recently received their two-year college Associate’s degrees today, ahead of when they will receive their South Carolina high school diplomas.

The students took advantage of a partnership with the Technical College of the Lowcountry that allows Whale Branch students to take college courses – and earn two-year associate’s degrees – while still in high school, and at no cost to themselves or their parents. The TCL degree represents a two-year head-start as the students work toward earning a Bachelor’s degree or entering the workforce.

The 15 students represent a significant improvement for the joint WBECHS-TCL initiative, which is completing its fifth year. Only one student earned both a high school and college associate’s degree in spring 2012, but that number increased to two in 2013, seven in 2014 and nine in 2015. Today 15 students will get joint degrees.

While any district student can take college-level courses at TCL, Whale Branch High’s instructional program is built around its partnership with TCL. Of this year’s graduating class of 103 seniors, 34 percent completed college classes and earned college credits – the highest percentage in the high school’s history.

Ninety-one students who live outside Whale Branch Early College High’s attendance zone – also a record number – will attend next year through the district’s expanded school choice program.

“The news from Whale Branch gets more exciting every year,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “It’s a win-win for students and their parents. Students can earn a four-year college degree in just two years, and their parents pay for only two years of tuition. The increasing numbers of students who choose to attend Whale Branch shows that students and parents understand that earning college credits without having to pay for them is a good deal.”

This year, 10 Whale Branch seniors have earned TCL associate’s degrees in both Arts and Science. Those 10 seniors are London Becker-House, Lacy Brooks, Jared Davis, Brooke Everly, Tayla Hill, Ernest Jenkins, Deystinee Lightner, Julian Parker, Ashley White and Kevin Young.

Four Whale Branch seniors – Nadiah Gantt, Lauryn Goodwin, Juliet House and Rana Norris – have earned Associate in Arts degrees, and Whale Branch senior DaJa Smalls has earned an Associate in Science degree.

In addition, 10 other Whale Branch seniors will graduate from high school with college certificates for completing significant college-level coursework at TCL: Bre’Ann Barrett, Bryan Brantley, Ivan Bryant, Ashley Chance, Geordy Delcid, Samuel Green, Jonae’ Riley, Shanelle Webb, Nicole Wilson and Jordan Wright.

College courses are offered on site at Whale Branch, and students have the option of taking additional courses at the TCL campus. Among some of the most popular college courses are Probability and Statistics, College Algebra, Western Civilization, English Composition I and Introduction to Computers.

Attention Parents of Beaufort High School Athletes!

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Physicals are required in order to participate in sports during the 2016-2017 school year. Physicals are scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2016. They will be held in the Beaufort High main gym (84 Sea Island Pkwy, Beaufort, SC, 29907) from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Athletes should come with a physical form signed by a parent/legal guardian or be escorted by a parent/legal guardian. The cost is $20.

TheraVista to host “Camp Un-Plug”

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Are you looking for something fun this summer that will allow your child to disconnect from technology for a few days but not have to travel far? Look no more…Camp Un-Plug does just that. It is a mobile device-free residential camp for 9-12 year olds at TheraVista on Lady’s Island. Through using a variety of activities including Water Play, Creative Play, Land Play and Yummy Food Play, the staff at Camp Un-Plug is committed to demonstrating and teaching ways for your child to connect with themselves and nature.

Girls Camp will run from July 11-14 and the Boys Camp July 18-21. The deadline to register is May 31st. For more information, please call 843-812-1328 or email Elizabeth at

Historic Beaufort Foundation takes campers back in time this summer

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Looking for something fun and different this summer for your boys and girls between 8-11 years old? Let Historic Beaufort Foundation take them back in time! Campers will explore a different slice of history each day through walks, crafts, hands-on activities, and more. Important milestones in Lowcountry history will be featured – Five days – 327 years of Beaufort History!

Camps are open to ages 8-11 and are offered three weeks this summer: June 20-24; July 11-15; and August 1-5. $70/week per camper for members of HBF with a family membership or higher $80/week per camper for non-members of HBF.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Camps will include field trips to nearby cultural sites/museums; register each child and session separately; Camp hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. For additional information or to register children please call 843.379.3331.

John Paul II recognizes newly inducted National Honor Society members

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John Paul II Catholic School held their National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and National Honor Society (NHS)  induction ceremonies recently.

The NJHS and NHS are the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school and middle school students. More than just an honor roll, NJHS and NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

National Junior Honors Society Members
National Junior Honors Society Members

National Junior Honors Society Members

Mark Alvarez
Cohen Bruner
Elizabeth Chain
Lindsay Franklin
Abigail Gigliotti
Hayden Jennings
Dayton Loper
Christine Lundblad
Eileen Lundblad
Emily Oldham
Katherine Reilly
Andrew Swanson
Milla Wojciechowski

National Honors Society Members
National Honors Society Members

National Honors Society Members

Sidney Anger
Abigail Barker
Emma Burton
Joey Cucinotta
Thomas Kender
Parker Kenyon
Alina McMath
Darby O’Donnell
Blake Parsons
Andrea Suarez
Morgan Summers
Mark Tigges
Brad Tigges

Five district schools earn arts in education grants from South Carolina Arts Commission

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Five Beaufort County schools have won more than $52,000 in grants to enhance arts education in their classrooms, the South Carolina Arts Commission has announced.

Only one South Carolina school district – Richland District 1 in Columbia – had more 2017 grant winners than Beaufort County.

The five schools were:

  • Beaufort Middle School ($9,437, eighth grant) and Mossy Oaks Elementary ($12,883, first grant) will work together to produce a musical performance of “The Lion King Jr.” to showcase the skills and talents of students for parents and the community. The grants also will help support the schools’ artists-in-residence programs.
  • Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts ($10,799, fourteenth grant) will use its grant to purchase dance shoes for students, arts supplies, costumes and props for theater productions and teacher professional development in the arts.
  • Lady’s Island Elementary ($11,509, sixth grant) will create expanded performing arts spaces in classrooms, support its artists-in-residence program and also purchase classroom materials that support the integration of the arts into its curriculum.
  • Lady’s Island Middle ($8,327, third grant) will create a lab for arts and math teachers to use in creating collaborative student projects that involve both disciplines. The grant will also support the school’s artists-in-residence program.

“Arts education enriches not only the lives of students who participate, but also the lives of entire communities,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “These five schools serve as models for our district and our state.”

The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment statewide. Created by the General Assembly in 1967, the Commission works to increase public participation in the arts through arts education, community arts development and artist development.

CPR training made mandatory for all SC high school students

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On April 21st, Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that requires all South Carolina students to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a news release from the American Heart Association.

The bill requires that students learn hands-on CPR as part of the high school health education curriculum. South Carolina is now the 30th state to require hands-on CPR is taught to students in middle or high school.

The American Heart Association applauds the bill saying “far too many people die suddenly from cardiac arrest who might have been saved, if only those around them were trained to administer CPR” in its release.

Nearly 424,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 10.4 percent survive, according to the association. When administered right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.

In Beaufort County, several of our fire departments are certified as Advanced Life Support medical providers, meaning they provide paramedic services and cardiac medications and treatment, and are advocates for public CPR training and early intervention by bystanders. Recently, a Burton off-duty firefighter administered CPR to a woman who had collapsed in a department store. The patient lived due mostly to the fact that the system worked: bystander CPR, fire department response, EMS response, followed by a quick transport to the hospital. Having all students trained in CPR will make the likelihood of having a bystander with the appropriate knowledge much greater.

Favorite Teacher goes to Patel at BA

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Photo above: Mrs. Patel with her three students who nominated her: Katherine Taylor, Jack McDougall, and G. Simmons along with Pam Reed and Janet Villata who presented the award. Thank you to Dr. Skeet Burris, Dr. Travis Fiegle at Winning Orthodontic Smiles for being so generous! 

Beaufort Academy’s very own Middle School teacher, Mrs. Amanda Patel was awarded $100 for being the winner of this month’s Favorite Teacher Contest! Mrs. Patel won the money to use towards classroom supplies, after three of her students entered her into this Favorite Teacher Contest sponsored by Winning Orthodontic Smiles. Congratulations, Mrs. Patel!

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