Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards

I just learned that several of our elementary and middle schools have achieved Palmetto Gold or Silver recognition status: 

Lugoff-Elgin Middle was one of only 47 middle schools in the state to receive a Gold award in the general performance category.  Silver award winners were Bethune Elementary, Blaney Elementary, Camden Elementary, Leslie M. Stover Middle, North Central Middle and Wateree Elementary.

In addition, Baron DeKalb Elementary, Lugoff-Elgin Middle and North Central Middle received Silver awards for closing the achievement gap. 

 Great news!  Outstanding work by everyone involved!

Friday At Jackson School

While I was over at Jackson School on Friday morning, I was very pleased and excited to look at the school’s data wall.  There has been excellent progress made by the JES students since the beginning of the year, and the staff is using the data wall as an effective tool to work with specific student instructional needs.

Principal Dr. Gerald Gary also shared his excitement with me about the robotics tournament that will be held at Jackson on Saturday, February 19.  Teams from a number of areas and Doby’s Mill will be participating.  This is going to be a great event!  Many thanks to the local IGA for helping to sponsor the tournament.

North Central Middle School Science Fair

I had a great time Thursday evening visiting the North Central Middle School Science Fair.  Seventh grade Science teacher Mona Stogner and the rest of her team members did an outstanding job working with the students on an imaginative variety of projects.  I was especially impressed by the fact that along with project display, each student was prepared to present his/her project through a Powerpoint on a laptop.  It was obvious that the students had done a tremendous amount of work and preparation on these projects.  It was also excellent to see so many family there to support the work done by the students.  Kudos to everyone involved!!!

Finding Money For College


Columbia, SC…As South Carolina climbs slowly out of the Great Recession, families still find themselves faced with the daunting task of paying for college, even as they watch tuition rates rise. To help those families, ETV and the South Carolina Department of Education’s ITV team have once again put together a special program with updated information for 2011 that no parent or student will want to miss.

“Finding Money for College” airs LIVE Sunday, January 30, 5-7 p.m. on ETV. The new program will be hosted by Bette Jamison, co-hosted by Warren Wise, and will feature West Ashley High School from the Charleston County School District. School counselors from West Ashley will share how they assist students in finding money for higher education, and eight seniors talk peer-to-peer about what has helped them in the process. Throughout the program, a panel of financial aid experts from SC colleges and universities, SC Tuition Grants, and the Commission on Higher Education provide the current ins-and-outs of expenditures associated with pursuing a degree in higher education.

Viewers are invited to call in with inquiries during the live broadcast via a toll-free number that will be announced on air.

Encore broadcasts are schedule for:

  • Sunday, Feb. 6 at 6–8 p.m. on the South Carolina Channel
  • Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 9:30–11:30 p.m. on the ETV World Channel

*Note: Call-in questions will not be answered during encore airings.

Lunch At Doby’s Mill

It was a treat to be invited to have lunch with some of Amanda Cook’s fourth graders at Doby’s Mill Elementary.  What a wonderful group of young people!  Great conversation!  Also got to see the school’s Science Fair, which was excellent.  There were some really outstanding projects, although I think my personal favorite had to do with putting Mentos into bottles of Coke and Diet Coke.  High point of the day!

Dinner With Local Leaders

Several Board members and I had the pleasure of attending a dinner meeting last night involving leaders from KCSD, the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and Kershaw Health.  Senator Vincent Sheheen also attended, which everyone greatly appreciated given his very busy schedule at the General Assembly.  It was an excellent opportunity to discuss the significant financial challenges facing all of us and ways we can cooperate and collaborate to meet these challenges.  Thanks to Camden Mayor Jeffrey Graham and the City of Camden for hosting this event!

LEMS Wrestling Team Triumphs

Congratulations to the Lugoff-Elgin Middle School wrestling team, which won the Carolina Invitational  Tournament this past Saturday for the sixth time in the past eight years, besting the second place team from Fort Mill by over 60 points.  Great job by Coach Ted Monroe and these athletes!