Bringing Our Community Together

Category archive

Schools

Local students attend leadership program

in School News/Schools by
four

Photo above: From left are Clayton Ruff, May Harrelson, Will Warren and John Manos, who are displaying their certificates from the 2017 Palmetto Boys-Girls State Encampment. Photos provided.

From left are American Legion Post 207 Auxiliarians Jamesetta Inabinett, Ernestine Norman, Kim Holms and Alice Gaskins joining Chuck Lurey of Post 9 to congratulate May Harrelson for attending Palmetto Girls State Encampment.
From left are American Legion Post 207 Auxiliarians Jamesetta Inabinett, Ernestine Norman, Kim Holms and Alice Gaskins joining Chuck Lurey of Post 9 to congratulate May Harrelson for attending Palmetto Girls State Encampment.

Staff reports

American Legion Beaufort Post 9 sponsored three young men and the Samuel J. Bush Post 207 Auxiliary Unit sponsored two young ladies, all five local high school rising seniors, to South Carolina’s Palmetto Boys and Girls State encampments in June. 

Palmetto Boys State’s 1,050 participants gathered at Anderson University; while the Palmetto Girls State’s 640 young women met at Presbyterian College in Clinton. 

John Manos of Beaufort High School was elected mayor of his mock city, Congaree. “I learned an overwhelming amount about elections, winning and losing, and how many great future politicians there were,” he said.

Another attendee, Clayton Ruff, also of Beaufort High, hoped “that even more Beaufort boys have an opportunity to attend such a great week.” 

Will Warren of Beaufort Academy added that having already studied the structure and function of government, Boys State “made it very real for me in ways that a classroom never could.” 

May Harrelson of Beaufort High said Girls State “was a life-changing experience and a real eye opener on just how many really intelligent young women are in South Carolina.” 

Sarah Suber, also of Beaufort High, added that she “made so many friends and connections while attending Girls State.”

Boys State was first held in June 1935 in Illinois. South Carolina began to host the program in 1940. 

The American Legion founded the Boys State program to teach young men about government and politics. More specifically, the program is intended to spark interest and pride in government on a local level as well as the national scope. 

The greatest aspect of the program is that the participants learn by doing. Active participation in Boys State is key.

Palmetto Girls State is a one-week leadership and citizenship training program, created to educate outstanding high school students about state and local government and citizenship. 

Girls attending Palmetto Girls State experience governmental procedure by simulating political campaigns, elections and the political process. They also learn about the principles of citizenship and public service from guest speakers, expert panels and staff members.

The delegates, who are rising seniors in high school, are selected for the program based on the leadership skills and involvement they have shown in their respective schools and communities.

The South Carolina Department of the American Legion Auxiliary has organized and administered Palmetto Girls State since 1947. 

For more information, visit palmettoboysstate.com/about-palmetto-boys-state and palmettogirlsstate.net.

Sarah Suber and May Harrelson attended the 2017 Palmetto Girls State Encampment.
Sarah Suber and May Harrelson attended the 2017 Palmetto Girls State Encampment.

School briefs for September 7th-13th

in School News/Schools by

State of the Schools to be held Sept. 13

The Beaufort Regional Chamber will hold a State of the School event from 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Holiday Inn & Suites, 2225 Boundary St.

South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and the leaders from the area school systems will share information concerning education in Beaufort County and the impact on our community.

Speakers will include Spearman, Dr. Jeffrey Moss of the Beaufort County School District; Dr. Richard Gough, Technical College of the Lowcountry; and Dr. Al Panu, University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Guests will also hear from a panel of leaders representing the area’s private and charter schools including: Beaufort Academy, Bridge Preparatory School, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School, John Paul II High School, Lowcountry Montessori School, Riverview Charter School and St. Peter’s Catholic School.

The cost is $20 for chamber members; $25 for nonmembers; and $160 for a table of eight. 

Contact LaNelle at LaNelle@BeaufortSC.org.

HTCC names chair of Humanities Department

Jonathan Councell
Jonathan Councell

Holy Trinity Classical Christian School has appointed Jonathan Councell chair of the Humanities department. Councell is a passionate and outspoken advocate of classical Christian education. In addition to teaching, he is a consultant in curriculum and pedagogy, a freelance writer and a lecturer.

Councell earned a Bachelor’s in Economics and a second Bachelor’s in Literature at Wheaton College in partnership with St. Anne’s College of the University of Oxford in England. 

Wheaton College is a Christian, private, residential, liberal arts college and graduate school located some 25 miles west of Chicago. The school is noted for its “twin traditions of quality academics and deep faith,” according to Time magazine. In 2016, Wheaton ranked eighth in the category of “Best Undergraduate Teaching” in the national rankings of American colleges and universities compiled by U.S. News & World Report. 

One of Oxford’s largest colleges, St. Anne’s prides itself on being informal, yet academically demanding. It is known for preparing its students for the globally connected society of the future.

Councell is also a graduate of the CiRCE Institute’s Master Teacher Program. CiRCE (Center for Independent Research on Classical Education) is a leading provider of inspiration, information and insight to classical educators throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Councell’s academic interests are classical education, pedagogy, humane letters curriculum, Arthurian literature and metaphysical poetry, Miltonic Studies and Middle English.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club Alumni.

Councell and his wife, Laura, have a daughter, Claire Elaine; a springer spaniel named Bertram, a fife canary named Bryn, and a hedgehog named Nigel.

Founded in 2012, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School provides 300 students with a distinctly Christian and classical education. 

The student body of Holy Trinity is comprised of families from over a dozen Christian churches of various denominations. 

Visit www.htccs.org. 

Free GED classes are being offered

The Beaufort County School District Adult and Community Education and Palmetto Goodwill are offering free GED classes from 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting Monday, Sept. 11.

Classes will be held at the Palmetto Goodwill Career Opportunity Center at 137 Parris Island Gateway in Beaufort.

For more information or to register, call 843-322-0780.

Holy Trinity names Borgert to faculty

in School News/Schools by
Dr. Elinor Borgert and her son Gray are shown here. Her daughters, Morgan and Mary, also attend Holy Trinity. Photo provided.
Dr. Elinor Borgert and her son Gray are shown here. Her daughters, Morgan and Mary, also attend Holy Trinity. Photo provided.

Holy Trinity Classical Christian School has appointed Dr. Elinor Borgert as a temporary high school science teacher for the fall semester.  

According to Holy Trinity Headmaster Rev. Chad E. Lawrence, “Holy Trinity is blessed to have a faculty member of this caliber. Although her appointment is temporary, Dr. Borgert’s contributions have already been significant.”

Borgert earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Medical Humanities at Davidson College in North Carolina and an M.Sc. in Health Economics at the University of York in England. In 2002, she earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health at Chapel Hill with a concentration in epidemiology.

Prior to accepting her teaching assignment at Holy Trinity, Borgert worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Switzerland; the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C.; and the Belmont University College of Pharmacy in Nashville, Tenn. She has also spent nearly 12 years teaching at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

She is a lifelong member of St. Helena’s Church and a Master Naturalist, having been certified in 2014. 

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, running, cooking and helping her children with their Holy Trinity homework.

Founded in 2012, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School provides 300 students with a distinctly Christian and classical education. Holy Trinity is the result of a long-standing commitment to education by the Parish Church of St. Helena, beginning in 1748 with the founding of the first free school in Beaufort, and later in 1801 by the donation of 20 acres of land for the establishment of Beaufort College, resulting in what is now the University of South Carolina Beaufort. The current student body of Holy Trinity is comprised of families from over a dozen Christian churches of various denominations. For more information about the academic excellence offered at Holy Trinity, visit www.htccs.org. 

Dataw Island members collect school supplies

in School News/Schools by
dataw

Photo above: Dataw Island members collected hundreds of items for Operation Backpack. Photo provided.

As any parent can attest, “back to school” time can be a costly venture. Although it can be a great boon for retailers, some families are not able to meet the demands of the back-to-school spending bump and the kids risk starting out the year two steps behind with insufficient supplies and ill-fitting uniforms.

Enter Dataw members. 

Whether gathering supplies for the children of migrant farm workers, supporting local school supply drives through United Way, adopting a school or volunteering with literacy programs, each year Dataw Island members contribute to the education of local children by donating supplies, money and a great deal of time and talent. 

One major initiative to which they contribute is Operation Backpack. A subsidiary of United Way of the Lowcountry, Women United started Operation Backpack four years ago to provide children in our community the tools they need to be successful in school. 

Dataw Island members play a large role in Operation Backpack under the guidance of fellow member Alison Barton, who coordinates the Dataw drive, collects the supplies, and serves as the liaison to United Way.

Jaime Dailey-Vergara, the director of Marketing & Communications for United Way of the Lowcountry, said, “We want to break any barrier that would prevent a student from succeeding in school, so when we learned that many students were starting the school year without the school supplies they needed, Operation Backpack was born.”

Local school guidance counselors help identify children in need who are not being served by another agency. Women United collects supplies and fills the backpacks with everything from pencils and paper to folders, crayons and glue sticks. Each of the children in the program are also given two school uniform shirts, which are specific to their size and school. Participating schools are also given paper products, hand sanitizer and other supplies for the classroom. 

“The support we receive from Dataw Island for this effort is incredible,” Dailey-Vergara said. “Dataw Island residents generously donated school supplies and financial support again this year to help make Operation Backpack successful. In addition, many Dataw residents volunteered their time helping to pack the backpacks and deliver them to the schools.”

As the saying goes, “It takes a village…” and this year was no exception. Two young ladies learned the gratification and joy of volunteering when Barton sought out volunteers to sort and organize the donations being collected, as she was not going to be in town during this phase of the project. 

In her absence, another Datawite, Kitty Trice, stepped up to the plate and volunteered herself and her granddaughters to take on the task, thinking it would be a nice activity for them one afternoon.

The first day that they went by Barton’s house to organize the collected supplies, Trice, along with Maddie, 11, and Lindsay, 7, were shocked to see the size of the pile of supplies that had already gathered. All three of them had fun working through the organization, Kitty said. 

The next day, they returned to see if any stragglers had showed up, and found another huge pile. And again, the next day.

“The girls and I were delighted,” Trice said. “They just loved being able to contribute to something meaningful and we all enjoyed the time together.”  

Barton expressed her gratitude for all of the volunteers. 

“We want to say a special thank you to the volunteers who collected the items, the volunteers who packed the bags, and the volunteers who delivered the backpacks to the schools (many over an hour away).  In two days, we packed over 600 backpacks. This could not have happened without the most generous donations from Dataw Island residents. Many, many thanks!”

Dailey-Vergara added, “We are so grateful for the generosity and caring spirit of the Dataw Island community. Dataw Island residents know what it means to live United!”

Begun just four years ago, Operation Backpack has continued to grow each year as more people learn about it and provide support. This fall, 600 backpacks full of supplies were delivered to students at eight schools throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties. Those interested in learning more about United Way of the Lowcountry and Women United can visit www.uwlowcountry.org or call 843-982-3040.  

For more on Dataw Island, visit www.dataw.com.

School briefs for August 31st-September 6th

in School News/Schools by

TCL is accepting nursing applications

The Technical College of the Lowcountry is accepting applications through Wednesday, Sept. 6, for spring 2018 entry to its associate degree in nursing (ADN) program. Classes start in January.

“Prospective students don’t have to wait until next fall to start pursuing their dreams of becoming a nurse,” health sciences dean Dr. Glenn Levicki said. “The sooner students start the program, the sooner they’ll finish and be able to enter a high-paying nursing career.”

TCL’s two-year ADN program prepares graduates to practice as registered nurses. Students experience on-campus learning using high-tech simulation equipment and receive additional hands-on practice at clinical sites located throughout Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.

“The TCL nursing program in particular is rigorous but produces extremely qualified and successful graduates, giving them the confidence they need to excel in the nursing field,” nursing program director Mary Ann Jarmulowicz said.

TCL has campuses in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hampton. With S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance, South Carolina residents pay around $1,000 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.

For more information, call 843-525-8267 or visit tcl.edu.

State of the Schools to be held Sept. 13

The Beaufort Regional Chamber will hold a State of the School event from 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Holiday Inn & Suites, 2225 Boundary St.

South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and the leaders from the area school systems will share information concerning education in Beaufort County and the impact on our community.

Speakers will include Spearman, Dr. Jeffrey Moss of the Beaufort County School District; Dr. Richard Gough, Technical College of the Lowcountry; and Dr. Al Panu, University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Guests will also hear from a panel of leaders representing the area’s private and charter schools including: Beaufort Academy, Bridge Preparatory School, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School, John Paul II High School, Lowcountry Montessori School, Riverview Charter School and St. Peter’s Catholic School.

The cost is $20 for chamber members; $25 for nonmembers; and $160 for a table of eight.

Contact LaNelle at LaNelle@BeaufortSC.org.

Schools briefs for August 24th-30th

in School News/Schools by

22,000 students head back to class

Teachers and school staff greeted about 22,000 students as the Beaufort County School District’s 2017-18 academic year officially got underway.

About 3,640 students – one of every six district-wide – are attending schools outside their zoned attendance areas in the third year of the district’s expanded school choice program. Parents can apply to send their children to any academic program at any school in district, regardless of where they live.

Curriculum options approved by the board of education include such instructional choices as Montessori, International Baccalaureate, arts infused, classical studies, dual language immersion, early college, leadership programs and advanced math and science.

Superintendent Jeff Moss expressed confidence that the academic improvements of recent years would continue.

“Our students and educators have produced solid gains in academic achievement over the past few years, and our on-time high school graduation rate is at an all-time high,” Moss said.  “I’m very confident that student achievement will continue to improve.”

Moss said the school district had processed an additional 2,000 school volunteer applications over the past few months.  

“That brings us to a total of 8,200 volunteers, up from 1,300 just five years ago,” he said.

Students at five Beaufort County schools were greeted by new principals:

• Chad Cox, former principal at Whale Branch Middle School, is the new principal at Battery Creek High School.

• Bonnie Almond, the district’s former director of innovation, is the new principal at Beaufort High School.

• Michelle Sackman, former assistant principal Whale Branch Elementary School, is the new principal at Mossy Oaks Elementary School.

• Jennifer Morillo, the district’s former director of teaching and learning, is the new principal at Robert Smalls International Academy.

• Freddie Lawton, former assistant principal at Whale Branch Middle School, is the school’s new principal.

District bell schedules are unchanged from last year, with elementary schools starting classes at 7:45 a.m. and middle, high and PreK-8 schools starting classes at 8:45 a.m.

Bridges Prep student named to national society

Suchir Shetty
Suchir Shetty

Suchir Shetty, a 10th-grade student at Bridges Prep in Beaufort, is the newest member of a scholarship organization founded by the Nobel Prize family.

Shetty was inducted to the National Society of High School Scholars by founder and chairman, Claes Nobel, during the summer. Nobel’s family established the international Nobel Prizes.

“On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Suchir has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence. 

“Suchir is now a member of a unique community of scholars – a community that represents our very best hope for the future,” Nobel said.

Shetty said his favorite subjects are math and science and he hopes to become a medical doctor. 

He’s attended Bridges Prep since sixth grade and was among the first students to attend the then-new state charter school.

“Bridges is a good learning situation and if I ever need help, the teachers are always there for me,” he said.

Dee Matthews, chair of the Bridges Prep board of directors, said Shetty has worked hard to reach such heights. 

“Suchir has a strong work ethic, he applies himself and he has a strong family support system. He’s also a very bright young man with a wonderful future ahead.”

In addition to being a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, Shetty also is a South Carolina Scholar and earned entry to the Duke University Talent Identification Program – both based on high scores on college entrance exams.

“We are extremely proud of Suchir’s academic achievements and he has an extremely bright future ahead,” Bridges Prep Head of School Dr. Nick Ithomitis said. “Congratulations to him and his family on being recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars.”

USCB Beaufort campus opens residential housing

The University of South Carolina Beaufort is introducing a new living, learning community for honors BSN nursing students on the Beaufort campus in the fall of 2018.

USCB is expanding residential housing on the Beaufort campus, thereby allowing students to live and learn together in a select nursing cohort that offers a common experience and keeps learners accountable to each other, which is highly valued by the university’s students.  

The cohort structure offers students a unique support system. 

Students will be directly admitted to the cohort via a competitive entry process.

This cohort model has proven successful at universities across the country. Residential learning communities improve student engagement, develop a sense of community, improve retention rates, result in higher GPAs and help students complete degrees in a timely manner.

USCB is currently seeking proposals from private owners of housing facilities in the local Beaufort community for student housing to accommodate the nursing cohort. 

Students’ first two years are spent on the Beaufort campus in preparation for completion of the BSN, the last two years of which are delivered on the Bluffton campus.

Firefighters seek to keep kids safe in classroom

in School News/Schools by

Burton FD_Jacob Kit_0811017a

With the threat of school violence becoming more prevalent, along with the unique challenges it presents to emergency responders, the Burton Fire District is piloting a new program based upon national studies with plans to implement the program in all of its schools. 

On Aug. 15, at Broad River Elementary School, the Burton Fire District launched the Jacob Kit program. 

The Jacob Kit is a small trauma kit designed to stop critical bleeding and will be placed in all 45 classrooms at Broad River Elementary School.

Burton firefighters hope this kit will bridge the gap between the time a child suffers a life threatening injury and the time emergency responders can arrive by their side to start rendering aid. 

This kit is based upon the recommendations of the Hartford Consensus. Shortly following the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events was formed by the American College of Surgeons. 

This consensus was built upon data compiled from military and civilian experiences and places emphasis on early bleeding control. 

The study “strongly endorses” civilian bystanders’ involvement, and in 2015 the Department of Homeland Security launched a national initiative called “Stop the Bleed” to encourage civilian training programs.

Burton firefighters have named this program after Jacob Hall, a 6-year-old South Carolina student who suffered a bullet wound to his leg during a shooting at Townville Elementary School in 2016. While he survived the initial wound, he died three days later. 

The kit was inspired by Angela Byrne, a 26-year teaching veteran at Broad River Elementary (BRES), who followed Jacob’s story and asked her firefighter/paramedic husband what she could have done if Jacob had been her student. 

With the community’s help, the Burton Fire District hopes to continue this program in each of the schools in its district. 

This program initiative at BRES was made possible through donations from Washington National Insurance, Kiwanis Club of Beaufort and the Stuart Hardy family.  

It is the goal of the Burton Fire District to keep this program a community-supported program. Fire officials feel the school district budget should be spent on educating our children, and that societal issues such as school violence should be addressed by the community.

Individuals or businesses wishing to donate to this program can do so through the Burton Fire District FAST team. Each kit costs $50, a kit plus supplies for a classroom installation costs $75, and installation for a whole school is approximately $3,500. 

For more information or to inquire about making a donation, email safetyed@burtonfd.org.

School briefs for August 17th-23rd

in School News/Schools by
Children from throughout Beaufort County started school on Aug. 17, and many of them got some help to kick off the year with new school supplies. Here, about a dozen volunteers help fill new back to school backpacks with all kinds of school supplies donated by area businesses, individuals and a few gated communities during Operation Back Pack recently at United Way office on Ribaut Road. “We’re filling 600 back packs destined for eight schools in Beaufort and Jasper counties,” said Jaime Dailey-Vergara of the United Way. “We’re working through school counselors to assist in identifying students in need not currently being served by any other agencies.” Photo by Bob Sofaly.
Children from throughout Beaufort County started school on Aug. 17, and many of them got some help to kick off the year with new school supplies. Here, about a dozen volunteers help fill new back to school backpacks with all kinds of school supplies donated by area businesses, individuals and a few gated communities during Operation Back Pack recently at United Way office on Ribaut Road. “We’re filling 600 back packs destined for eight schools in Beaufort and Jasper counties,” said Jaime Dailey-Vergara of the United Way. “We’re working through school counselors to assist in identifying students in need not currently being served by any other agencies.” Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Six district schools earn arts grants

Six Beaufort County schools have earned nearly $67,000 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.

“Arts education enriches the lives of our students and our community members, too,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “The fact that six schools earned grants this year demonstrates our district’s commitment.”

The six grant-winning schools in Beaufort County were:

• Beaufort Middle ($12,458, ninth award) will use its grant funds to support a joint musical theater production with Mossy Oaks Elementary students; artists in residence; classroom supplies for arts integration; and a partnership project with feeder elementary schools.

• H.E. McCracken Middle ($12,294) will use its grant funds to develop a room called “Howlywood” in the school’s “Genius Village,” a performing arts lab where students will rehearse classic plays, develop original screenplays and create dance choreography. 

• Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts ($9,466, 15th award) will use its award to provide professional development for teachers; classroom supplies for arts integration; and support for lesson planning.

• Lady’s Island Elementary ($10,088, seventh award) will use its grant funds to provide professional development for teachers; artists in residence; student field trips to dance/theater performances and art galleries; professional development for teachers; artists in residence; and quarterly family nights for students and parents.

• Lady’s Island Middle ($11,209, fourth award) will use its grant funds to support artists in residence; new band instruments; teacher professional development; and student field trips to museums in Charleston and Savannah.

• Mossy Oaks Elementary ($11,275, second award) will use its grant funds to support theater productions, including one musical in collaboration with Beaufort Middle School students; artists in residence, classroom supplies for arts integration; and student field trips to arts-related events.

 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. 

School buses are focus of new TV show

The Beaufort County School District’s Auxiliary Services division and its school bus transportation system will highlight the next “Our Schools” television program, which is airing on the County Channel.

Appearing with Superintendent Jeff Moss will be Gregory McCord, chief auxiliary services officer; Lakinsha Swinton, director of Student Services; James Morrall, director of Prevention and Outreach, Hopeful Horizons; Maria McClure, director of transportation); Tori Mitchell, safety supervisor; and Arlene Blue, bus driver.

“Our Schools” is a partnership between the school district and the County Channel.

The new edition of “Our Schools” will air four times weekly: at 11:30 a.m. Mondays, 9 p.m. Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.  The broadcast will air on local cable networks: Comcast’s channel 2, Hargray’s channels 9 and 113, and Spectrum channel 63.  The show also will air at those times on the County Channel’s website at this link: www.bcgov.net/departments/community-services/county-channel/index.php    

In addition, the show will be archived and can be watched any time at the same link.

For new headmaster, leadership is everything

in School News/Schools by
Dan Burbin 1

Photo above: Dr. Dan Durbin was the principal at Beaufort High School before being named headmaster at Beaufort Academy. Prior to that, in Evansville, Ind., he was appointed as the managing director of the Signature Learning Center. That school has since been recognized as one of the most successful charter schools in the United States. Durbin is married to Angela Durbin and they have three children. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

By Aileen Goldstein

Beaufort Academy’s first day of the new school year, Thursday, Aug. 17, is quickly approaching. And along with a new year, this school’s long history will be revitalized with new leadership — in more ways than one.

Beaufort Academy, known simply as BA, welcomed a new headmaster last spring, Dr. Dan Durbin. He will begin his first full academic year at the school with the 2017-2018 year.   

According to Durbin, “both Beaufort Academy and I are old relics.”

There is a noticeable twinkle in Durbin’s eyes as he talks about the changes that will be happening on BA’s campus this year.  

“Now our focus is preparing leaders for tomorrow,” he says. This direction came when he questioned what makes Beaufort Academy different from every other school. And while all schools prepare students for the future, for college and for life in general, the question Durbin came back to each time is, “Why BA?”

According to Durbin, leadership will be the backbone of the curriculum and the essence of the entire school.  

Teachers will participate in training upon their return to begin incorporating a leadership focus into every level of the curriculum.  The largest focus will be throughout the higher grades and will include four years of core classes for high school students.

The first of these classes will be a Fundamentals of Communication and Leadership for ninth graders. This class will focus on thinking critically and developing persuasive skills and will include a wilderness team- building activity in late winter.

Sophomores will learn about ethics and values and visit the capitol for hands on experiences. Juniors will be focus on community leadership and will complete a community service project.  

Finally, seniors will be matched up with a mentor in the community and complete a year-long internship that will cumulate with a senior project pertaining to the experiences acquired throughout the internship.

In addition to the core leadership courses required, students will also have the opportunity to take advantage of new electives offered this year.  

A new vocal music program, lead by Vic Varner, will be available this year.  The school will also offer a Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and an international studies and leadership class.  

As for changes to the campus, construction is set to begin in January to add a performing arts stage to the gym.  

“We want to make sure our art students feel as honored as our athletes,” says Durbin.  

The addition will also incorporate a hall of fame to highlight the important contributions alumni of Beaufort Academy have made throughout the years.

Students can also expect the daily schedule to be different this year. Durbin says the school will use a block system that will include alternating days of classes for students.  

According to Durbin, students will also have more of a voice this year through a student advisory committee. This committee, alongside a parent advisory committee, will allow and encourage site-based decisions.

The community will also be able to take part in the changes happening at Beaufort Academy.  

The school will offer multiple community programs beginning this year, including after-school programs for students and continuing education classes for adults.  

Local children will be invited participate in a new sports development program, in addition to a variety of theater, music and art programs.  

Adults in the area will be able to take advantage of six weeklong classes that will be offered at the school on a wide variety of subjects taught by local members of the community.

Durbin’s excitement about the upcoming school year is palpable, his love of kids is obvious and his eagerness to begin is evident.  

Durbin sums up his entire philosophy with this: “We figure out what is best for our students, what will give them the best advantage, and then use that to develop our program.”  

According to Durbin, Beaufort Academy is committed to one thing: developing leaders.

About Beaufort Academy

Beaufort Academy is a coeducational independent college preparatory school of 250 students in grades pre-K through 12. 

It is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members represent the various constituencies of the school, as well as the community.

Beaufort Academy is an independent, nonprofit, Judeo-Christian school, which admits students of all races, nationalities, creeds and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The campus sits on 24 acres on Lady’s Island. 

Average class size is 16 with a student-faculty ratio of 7 to 1. More than 50 percent of the faculty holds advanced degrees.

In each of the last five years students have received combined college scholarship offers in excess of $1.5 million per year; 100 percent of its graduates are accepted by four-year colleges and universities.

Call 843-524-3393 or visit www.beaufortacademy.org.

School briefs for August 10th-16th

in School News/Schools by

TCL pins 53 at Aug. 3 ceremony

The Technical College of the Lowcountry recognized 53 health sciences graduates during its Aug. 3 pinning ceremony at the Beaufort Campus. The ceremony honored graduates of the massage therapy, medical assisting, surgical technology, radiologic technology, practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs.

The special ceremony allows students to receive the respective pins for their professions while being recognized by faculty, staff, friends and family. 

The ceremony also includes class speakers, pledges and graduation traditions unique to each program. For example, the nursing tradition involves lighting of a lamp, a nod to Florence Nightingale who carried a lamp to light her path as she cared for the sick and dying soldiers during the Crimean War.

In the last five years, TCL has graduated nearly 500 health care professionals. After completing these programs, graduates will pursue licensing and become healthcare professionals in Lowcountry hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physician offices, assisted living facilities, schools and more. Others will choose to continue their education. 

For more information, visit www.tcl.edu/health.

The graduates are:

• Massage Therapy: David Audelo, Devon J. Anthony, Laurel A. Berkey, Juliette Jenkins-Smith, Sarah A. Rider and Latoya Smalls, all of Beaufort County; Kayla M. Harmon of Jasper County; Cynthia Mills of Hampton County; and Bethany K. Skipper of Chatham County, Ga.

• Medical Assisting: Renita Drayton and Roslyn Todd, both of Beaufort; and Shakeri Stephens of Hampton.

• Surgical Technology: Jasmine Simmons, Lisa Vogel, Ryan Arbuckle, Kindra Blodgett, AJ Herrera-Moreno, Cherelle Poole, Tracy Mason, Lexy Cajigas and Jonathan Cohen, all of Beaufort; Jerri Bess of Jasper; Jenea Boni of Chatham; Judith Johnston of Effingham; and Kenna Robertson of Colleton.

• Radiologic Technology: Toni Ellis, Rudolph Golec, Wendy Hollingsworth, Natalie McQuillen, Ilsy Olan, Alexander Ramos, Sara Ricketts, Frank Sliva, Lauryn Strozier and Ashley Wallace, all of Beaufort; Bobbi Sue Harmon, of Chatham, Ga.; Chelsea Nicholson of Colleton; and Faith Rea of Hampton. 

• Practical Nursing: Korey D. Burns of Chatham; Mary Louise Frame, Tracy L. Kinard and Lakisha D. Spiegel, all of Beaufort; and Stevi J. Mingledorff of Jasper.

• Associate Degree Nursing: ChiRhonda M. Neal, Shannon O. Angelo, Ashley L. Campbell, Alexis B. Clark, Taylor E. Lammy and Olivia W.P. Lanava, all of Beaufort; Terrand J. Eady of Hampton; Melissa A. Ford of Jasper; David J. Laumeyer of Chatham; and Taylor M. Price of Effingham. 

Teacher of year finalists announced

Five classroom teachers have been named as finalists for Beaufort County’s 2017-2018 District Teacher of the Year.

The finalists are Duncan Aspinwall-Winter, an IB History teacher at Hilton Head Island High School; Angela Bellantone, a literacy coach at Bluffton Middle School; Jennifer Friend-Kerr, a third-grade teacher at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts; Meredith Rhoden, an engineering teacher at Beaufort Elementary School; and Dr. Nancy Ungvarsky, a biology teacher at Beaufort High School.

Superintendent Jeff Moss announced the five selections before an audience of hundreds of educators at the opening session of Summer Institute 2017, the district’s annual three-day summer professional development conference. This year’s conference is being held at May River High School.

“Great teaching is the No. 1 ingredient in an excellent education, and today we announced five top-notch professionals who epitomize great teaching,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our finalists are terrific representatives for all of our district’s teachers.”

The District Teacher of the Year will be announced Friday, Sept. 22, at an awards breakfast.

Becoming District Teacher of the Year is a three-step process that began when school-level teachers of the year were selected in April. Those wishing to compete for District Teacher of the Year submitted detailed applications in June.

In the second step, a selection committee consisting of parents, former educators and community leaders from across Beaufort County reviewed the applications and rated them using a numerical scoring system. The five highest-scoring applicants were named as finalists. 

In the next step, the five finalists will be interviewed by a separate review committee again composed of judges from across the county. The judges will begin by reviewing a video of each teacher doing a classroom lesson.  

The judges will then score candidates based on how well they respond to questions about their teaching methods as shown in the video, as well as how they respond to questions about current education issues.  

After those interviews, the panel will select a District Teacher of the Year to represent Beaufort County’s classroom professionals.

The current Teacher of the Year is Hilton Head Island High School teacher Beth McMurray.

1 2 3 21
Go to Top