I had the pleasure of attending the North Central High School graduation on Saturday.  It was a glorious day for an outdoor graduation.  Sunny and cool with a slight breeze.  A huge crowd watched the largest graduating class in NCHS history receive their diplomas.  The speeches by valedictorian Meghan Baytes and 1990 NCHS graduate Jason West were both outstanding.  I want to note that the reason that this year’s graduating class is the largest in school history is because the administration, faculty, and staff at NCHS has made graduation a priority and have worked tirelessly on this priority.  This year’s graduation was a triumph for both the graduates and the people that worked with them.  Great job!

“Partners In Education” Award

At last evening’s annual Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony, I was extremely pleased to help present our local Kiwanis Club the Chamber’s “Partners in Education” award in recognition of the club’s “Terrific Kids” program.  We are extremely fortunate to have the strong support of Kiwanis and of all our local civic clubs in our schools.  There are many, many programs and scholarships provided for our young people through these clubs.  As I attended various awards ceremonies in our schools this spring, I was just overwhelmed by the depth of this support.  Thanks!


For the past several years, I have spent time each week reading with an elementary student.  I do it first thing on Monday morning, which is a great way to start my week.  I got involved in this when a guidance counselor in my previous district “volunteered” me.  What could I say?  It’s turned out to be one of the most rewarding and informative things I’ve done.  Rewarding because it’s just plain enjoyable to have breakfast and read with a y0ung person.  Elementary kids give y0u a different slant on things.  Their perspectives are both honest and refreshing.  Informative because it reminds me of the complexities involved in teaching a child to read.  It’s not as cut-and-dried a process as some would have us think.  In fact, it’s a lot more individualized than anyone might imagine.  I strongly recommend doing this to anybody.  I’m living proof that it doesn’t take any special talent.

Nursing Graduation

Last night’s Nursing graduation ceremony at ATEC was a wonderful occasion!  What I always enjoy about this particular graduation is that the graduates include both fairly recent high school graduates and adults who have been out in the work world and decided to do something different.  I also enjoy seeing the happiness of the families of the graduates who have supported these folks during their journey.  It was honor for me to take part in this ceremony!

North Central Buses

Over night, 25 buses were vandalized in the North Central bus lot.  Tires were slashed and headlights were broken.  Because of this, bus transportation to the North Central area schools was delayed by two hours, although we did open schools in the area on time, so that buses could be brought in from other parts of the county to transport students.  The buses have now been repaired, and we expect to be back to normal this afternoon.  My sincere thanks to Mr. Tony Jones, Mr. Otis Bowers, Mr. Billy Smith,  Ms. Ernestine Ross, and the staffs at the North Central area schools for making a difficult situation work.  The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department is investigating this incident.  Any information folks might have that would help law enforcement identify who vandalized the buses would be greatly appreciated.  The phone number of the Sheriff’s Department is 425-1512.  You can also call me at 425-8916.  This kind of vandalism takes tax dollars that should be spent on other things.  We need your help!

Cosmetology Graduation

It was a privilege for me to be able to share a few thoughts with the ATEC Cosmetology graduates this afternoon, and also assist in awarding their graduation certificates.  The Cosmetology program is a very rigorous one.  To ultimately earn a license from the state, students must pass both a written and practical exam.  I am pleased and proud to be able to say that each of our graduates earned this license.  Congratulations to this outstanding group, and to their teacher, Ms. Becky Teal!


The Camden High School baseball team lost a close one this past Friday evening in the final game of the 3-A state championship series.  As far as I’m concerned, this in no way diminishes the accomplishments of the team.  This is a team that came from behind time and again all year to get to the state finals.  Every time I watched this team, I was tremendously impressed with their toughness and tenacity and the way team members supported each other.  Great job, Bulldogs!  We’re proud of you!