My wife and I attended the Christmas tree lighting ceremony last evening at Monument Square in Camden. It was a lot of fun to see families enjoying the holiday music by an ensemble from the Camden Community Band and the beautifully lit square. A nice way to end the Thanksgiving weekend and start the countdown to Christmas!
I enjoyed North Central High School student Keonna Simon’s column in this morning’s Chronicle-Independent. In it, she talked about the Junior Leadership class visiting the three Kershaw County high schools and Camden Military during a session a couple of weeks ago. In the column, Keonna talked about how each of these schools is unique and special in its own way and how visiting the other schools was an excellent learning experience for her and her fellow Junior Leadership classmates. What was exciting to me about Keonna’s column was the way she described this experience as one that broke down barriers and misconceptions. As a community, there’s much more that unites us than separates us if we’ll each take a little time to get by the barriers and misconceptions that sometimes get in our way.
There are many ways to reach out during the Christmas season. I am extremely pleased that the District Office staff will be collecting non-perishable food and new and gently-used coats during the holiday season. Citizens who wish to join us in this effort can bring these items by the District Office (1301 DuBose Court next to Kershaw Health) during regular business hours.
Kathy Brand, the curriculum coach at Doby’s Mill Elementary, has been honored as the “Conservation Teacher of the Year” by the Kershaw County Conservation District. Kathy has been instrumental in starting the “Green Steps” program at Doby’s Mill. Congratulations on a richly-deserved honor!
Each year, the Kershaw County International Literacy Association recognizes individual school and district Reading Teachers of the Year. I was pleased to learn that the following teachers are this year’s Reading Teachers of the Year for their respective schools: Sophia Knight, Baron DeKalb Elementary; Paula Bordner, Blaney Elementary; Amanda McGee, Bethune Elementary; Wendy Todd, Doby’s Mill Elementary; Karen Perrotta, Jackson Elementary; Beverly Weatherford, Pine Tree Hill Elementary; Tonya Seay, Lugoff Elementary; Camden Elementary, Molly Eckenroth; Midway Elementary, Alice Brice; Wateree Elementary, Elizabeth Davis; Kayci Brazell, Lugoff Elgin Middle; James Marlow, Stover Middle; Cindy Sparks, North Central Middle.
At its annual banquet last week, Wendy Todd, second grade teacher at Doby’s Mill Elementary and Cindy Sparks, Library Media Specialist at North Central Middle School were recognized by the Association as the district’s Reading Teachers of the Year.
Last night, I got to see the production of a comedy entitled “Chateau La Roach” staged by Ms. Julie McCallum’s Drama II class at Lugoff-Elgin High School. Normally, this class will put on a series of one-act plays, but this year, the students in this class decided to do a whole production. They did a great job in every way! Ms. McCollum always brings out the best in her students, and this production was no exception. (The memory of a young man named Conner Bull playing a human-sized cockroach will stay with me forever!) Bravo!