Coach Smoak

There’s a wonderful column by Mr. Dwight deLoach  in this morning’s Chronicle-Independent about long-time Camden High School tennis coach Roger Smoak.  Mr. Smoak has coached tennis at CHS for 40 years.  Although his teams have been  tremendously successful over the years, Mr. deLoach focuses on the life lessons that Mr. Smoak as taught to the athletes he has coached.  A well-deserved tribute to a great coach and an exemplary man.


Because our graduations are all at 9:00 a.m., I alternate the one I attend each year.  This year, I attended the Lugoff-Elgin High School graduation.  It was an excellent ceremony, especially because the student speakers, Robert Coy Gibson, Kaci Elaine Summerton, Meredith Blythe Kidd, and Alyssa Marie Huggins were just outstanding!  And althought there were heavy storms in the area last evening, the weather cooperated and there was even a bit of a breeze.  A great morning!

Postscript – A nice picture of the Camden High School graduation is in the Sunday edition of The State.

Golden Club

I always look forward to speaking to the “Golden Club” every year about this time, which I did this past Thursday.   This is a group of retired men in our community.  The conversation is always a lot of fun and I always learn something about the history of the community that I didn’t know.  My thanks to Mr. Bob Watkins, who invites me each year.

Chamber Recognizes Schools And ATEC Staff Member

At last night’s annual meeting of the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, I was pleased and proud that Camden High, North Central High, Lugoff-Elgin High, Camden Middle, Lugoff-Elgin Middle, and Camden Elementary were recognized with “Community Pride” awards.  In addition, Mr. Ed Garrison of ATEC was recognized for his outstanding work with the Junior Leadership program, a longstanding collaboration between the district and the Chamber.  Well-deserved honors all around.  I am deeply indebted to the Chamber for its strong support of our schools and our young people.

Nursing Graduation

It was a privilege for me to participate in Tuesday evening’s Nursing graduation at ATEC.  What I truly enjoy about this event is that the graduates are for the most part adult learners who have balanced family and other responsibilities to complete this very challenging program.  It was also very obvious how the graduates had bonded together as a class and supported each other during the two years of the program.  I am deeply appreciative to the Kershaw Health Hospital Foundation and to the Kiwanis Club for the scholarships provided to our Nursing Program students that were presented at the graduation.

School Spirit!!!

I learned yesterday that Lugoff-Elgin High School teacher Terri McManus allowed the baseball team to give her a “buzz cut” in honor of the team’s state championship.  If that’s not school spirit, I don’t know what is!

Bravo Kershaw County Show Choir!

I was extremely pleased to learn that the Kershaw County Show Choir competed last weekend at Carowinds and earned a “Superior” rating.  Anyone who has seen this group perform knows that the Show Choir is as good a high school performing group as you’ll see in this country.  Congratulations to Director Sandy Pace and to the members of the Show Choir on this accomplishment.  Great job!