Lots of Exciting Stuff!

Lots of exciting stuff going on yesterday…

Over at ATEC, a Cobra helicopter was delivered for the students in David Weaver’s Auto Body class to strip and repaint.  The helicopter will ultimately be used by the military for recruiting and educational purposes.  The students were obviously ecstatic about the opportunity to work on and learn about the Cobra.  I know they’ll do a great job!

Over at Camden High, the school held a Career Fair for ninth graders to help them in their course choices for next year and in the future.  It was excellent to see so many community people involved in talking about possible careers with these students.  Outstanding event!

I also had the opportunity to meet with our school nurses in the afternoon.  Our district is obviously blessed to have such a dedicated group of health professionals working with our students and their families. 

At the end of the day, my wife and I enjoyed a fine spaghetti dinner at Lugoff Elementary!   You just can’t beat a school spaghetti dinner!

Conversations with Principals….

Over the past few weeks, I have had some excellent conversations with our principals about mid-year achievement data and the instructional adjustments that will be made based on this data.  What has really struck me is how everyone at the schools has been collaborating on how to use the data to do things that will benefit students.  The “team effort” involved has been truly exciting and energizing for me.  The excellent work done by this district over the past several years to develop the capacity of teachers and administrators to analyze and use data is really paying off in a big way!

Cornbread and Issues

Last night, I attended “Cornbread and Issues,” an event sponsored by out Teacher Forum where our state legislative delegation answers questions about education issues.  Senators Lourie and Sheheen and Representatives Funderburk and Cotty all attended and spent a good 90 minutes answering questions and talking with those in attendance.  It was a great session.  I am very grateful to our legislators for taking time while the General Assembly is in session to be with us.  Thanks also to the Teacher Forum for organizing and leading this opportunity!

On a side note – Our Teacher of the Year, Holly Sullivan, was not among the five finalists for the state award.  No matter what, she’s Number 1 in my book!   

Two KCSD schools earn recognition in FIRST Lego League state competition

February 26, 2008 – To win the top award in a state competition is nice.  To win it for two years in a row is even sweeter.  Just ask the Doby’s Mill Elementary School Techno Dolphins team, which again received the Champions Award in the FIRST Lego League state competition earlier this month.  This year, however, they were joined in victory by the Camden Middle School Bumblees team, which earned the first place trophy for teamwork.  Continue reading

Monday….

Yesterday morning, I was in Ms. Hudson’s class at Jackson.  The students were working on an essay describing their rooms at home. One rather enthusiastic young man wrote, “My room is messier than the inside of a whale.”  You have got to love that kind of imagery! 

 I enjoyed speaking to the ADK Education Sorority last evening.  It’s always fun to spend time with folks who are passionate about education and who have dedicated their professional lives to young people.  The soup was also excellent!  I really appreciated the invitation!

Many thanks to the folks at Midlands Printing for the generous contribution to the Camden Middle School Robotics Team.  In its first competition, the team won first place in the teamwork category.  Midland Printing helped make this possible!

Camden Elementary Recognized

I was really pleased to learn that Camden Elementary School has been named as one of five South Carolina public schools that are finalists in a program sponsored by the Richard and Tunky Riley Foundation to recognize schools that foster exemplary parent and community engagement.  These schools will be recognized in Columbia on March 8, when a first place winner will also be announced.  This recognition is a tremendous credit to the leadership of Principal Ed Yount, Assistant Principal Betty Turner, the faculty, and the many parents and community members who so energetically and enthusiastically work in support of the school.  Great job!

Chamber Legislative Luncheon

On Friday, I attended the annual Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.  This was an excellent opportunity for folks to hear from both our state legislative delegation and from U.S. Congressman John Spratt.  Representative Bill Cotty, who is on the House Ways and Means Committee, indicated that the House budget does not reduce public education, certainly good news.  Congressman Spratt, in response to a question I asked, reported that it is unlikely that the federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation will be reconsidered until after the presidential election.  Mr. Spratt also gave an excellent analysis of the economic stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. Congress.  I really appreciated the fact that Congressman Spratt, Senator Lourie, Senator, Sheheen, Representative Funderburk, and Representative Cotty were willing to come to Kershaw County.  Thanks to the Chamber for sponsoring this very informative event.