As I think the community knows, the School Board has started looking at the redrawing of elementary school attendance lines in Camden (to coincide with the construction of the new Jackson School) and in West Wateree (to coincide with an addition at Blaney).  Right now, the Board is in the information-gathering stage.  This morning, there was a brief in the Chronicle-Independent saying that redistricting would be an action item on its agenda tomorrow evening at Bethune.  A fully honest mistake, but I don’t want anyone to think that any vote on redistricting will occur tomorrow night.  Once the Board has proposals to take out to the public, there will be a series of public meetings for feedback.  I apologize for any confusion.

Friday Night Lights

It’s rare that I get to see all three of our football teams play on the same night.  But last night, Camden was playing North Central in Camden and and Lugoff-Elgin was at home against White Knoll.  I got see a half or so of both games.  It was a really nice evening for football.  There was a cool breeze blowing and I managed to miss the rain that fell at the Lug0ff-Elgin game.  You just can’t beat high school football on a Friday night!

More Fun Than Being In The Office….

I was hung up in interviews all day yesterday, so I really wanted to get out in the field some today…

I enjoyed spending a few minutes with the new Junior Leadership class over at the Chamber.  This year-long program involves juniors from our three high schools and Camden Military.  It’s fun to watch how the group evolves and comes together over the course of the year.  I look forward to visiting them each month as they go through a number of leadership-building experiences.  This is an outstanding program!

I visited Ms. Matthews’ first grade at Camden Elementary while they were working on basic probability using “number cubes” (otherwise known as one of a set of dice).  I marvel at the complexity of the math taught in elementary school now.  I can tell you that I didn’t learn anything much about probability until I was in the seventh or eighth grade.  The kids in this class were really engaged because the lesson was so “hands-on.” 

I also visited Midway Elementary and was extremely pleased to see how teachers there are using technology in their lessons.

Being out in schools is certainly more fun than being in the office!

Postscript – Our “Teacher of the Year,” Melody Johnson has an excellent column in today’s Chronicle-Independent!

Early Childhood Class At ATEC

I always enjoy visiting the Early Childhood class at ATEC, especially during the first couple of weeks of school.  This class is set up so that the students care for 15 or so preschoolers under the supervision of a teacher.  During the first couple of weeks, the preschoolers just entering the program are still trying to decide if they like this whole thing and are finding their way.  It’s always enjoyable as the year goes on to see how they start to blossom.

Forum With Anton Gunn

I appreciated the opportunity to attend a public forum held by Representative Anton Gunn at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School last evening.  Lots of good discussion about the direction of the state and legislative priorities for the coming session.  As a citizen and an educator, I’m pretty open about the fact that I believe the biggest priority facing the General Assembly is a revision of the tax structure so that revenues for public services are reasonably stable and predictable.  I did enjoy listening to the discussion about other areas of concern.  Thanks to LEMS principal Dan Matthews for facilitating this event at his school.


For the past several years starting when I was in my previous position in Virginia, I have started my week in a school reading and working with elementary students.  This m0rning, I started working with two young men at Jackson on their reading.  Doing this always serves to remind me what complex work teaching reading is.  There’s a lot of folks out there who think it can be reduced to some kind of “one size fits all” formula.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. 

I also had a great time eating lunch with Ms. Woodberry’s kindergarten class at Blaney.  What a very polite and enthusiastic group!  There’s nothing like lunch with a group of five year-olds to energize you.  It also occurred to me that it’s been almost 51 years since I was in their shoes.  It doesn’t seem that long ago…..

Friday Night In McBee

I’m kind of ashamed to say that although I’ve eaten a lot of fruit from McBee since I’ve been here, I’d never actually been to the town of McBee.  So Friday night, my wife and I made the trip there to see North Central play its first football game against McBee High School.  Although the Knights had a tough night, I was really heartened by the large number of North Central faithful who made the trip for the game.  I hope an even larger crowd will come to the Camden for the North Central-Camden game this coming Friday night.