Sacks Of Love

There’s a wonderful article by Gina Smith in this morning’s State newspaper about backpack programs that provide food for students when school is not in session.  Such programs have been essential during this very difficult economic time.  The article included our local “Sacks of Love” program, which is supported by many of our local churches and through the leadership of the Kershaw County Baptist Association.  Iam deeply grateful to the many members of our community who have made this program a reality.

Definitely A School To Watch

I was pleased to learn from Dan Matthews, Principal at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School, that the school had been recertified as a “School to Watch.”  This makes LEMS the first school in South Carolina to receive this designation and then to be recertified.  Outstanding job

An Energizing Day!!!

I spent today substituting in Ms. Bowling’s fourth grade class at Wateree Elementary School.  What a great time!  The students were a lot of fun and very hardworking.  Their families should be very proud of them!   It is obvious that Ms. Bowling has done an outstanding job with them all year.  I was also, as I always am, extremely impressed with the instructional focus and atmosphere at Wateree.  A truly energizing day for me!

Meeting With The Black Caucus

Each year, I am invited to speak at a meeting of the Kershaw County Black Caucus.  I met with this group last evening and participated in an excellent discussion about education issues in Kershaw County and the needs of African-American students in Kershaw County.  I deeply appreciate this group’s active interest in education.  Two members of the Caucus, Mr. Duke Brown and Mr. Mike McClendon, regularly attend School Board meetings.  I look forward to my time with this group each year.

Really Good Stuff!

I got an email from Dennis Reeder, Principal of Stover Middle School, telling me that 35 Stover Band students had received All-Region Band recognition and that 5 members had been named to the All-State Band.  You just can’t hold those Tigers down!

I was also pleased to hear that Kershaw County  middle school students in seventh and eight grade would be participating in Job Shadow Day on February 5.  Last year, almost 900 students participated in this activity.  In addition, students who remain at school on this day will be able to do virtual job-shadowing via approved Internet sits.  Last year, more than 500 students did this.  Thanks to Ed Garrison at ATEC and all the businesses and community members who make this day happen!


I had a question yesterday about discussion that took place at the General Assembly on Tuesday at  a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee concerning mandated statewide 5-day furloughs for teachers.  The discussion was for next year as part of the General Assembly’s 2010-11 budget development process.  The committee also discussed reduction in state testing and supply money provided by the state.  But I wanted to clarify that the discussion was focused on next year.

Meeting At Bethune

I appreciated the excellent turnout for the meeting at Bethune last night concerning the Small School Study.  I think a lot of good and valuable discussion took place, and I especially enjoyed having the opportunity to meet some folks I haven’t met before.  Thanks to everyone who came!