Roaming Around On Friday

On the way back in from a meeting in Sumter, I stopped by the summer program at the Trinity Apartments run by Camden First United Methodist Church through the “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” grant.  It was great to see 90 kids actively engaged in academic enrichment, arts, and personal development activities.  Camden First does a super job with this program, just as it does with its after school program during the school year.

Also got by Jackson School, where Principal Matia Goodwin and her staff were training to implement Stephen Covey’s “The Leader in Me” program this fall.  This program has been tremendously successful throughout the country, and I really commend the staff at Jackson for taking the initiative with it.

Thursday Highlights….

I was honored to be invited to a ceremony sponsored by the Black Caucus honoring Mr. Clifton Anderson for his service to the community and a number of students for their achievements during the past school year.  It was a wonderful occasion!

I also appreciated Nathan Martin’s invitation to join him for a couple of innings on WPUB’s broadcast of the Dixie League All-Star Tournament over at Woodward Park.  I hope I didn’t hurt the ratings…..It’s a great blessing to have a local radio station that broadcasts youth sports!!

Crisis Simulation

On Thursday, the District participated with local law enforcement, Kershaw Health, and the Coroner’s Office in a very productive crisis simulation drill.  Although no one ever wants this kind of situation to actually occur, it is essential that the community be prepared for a crisis situation.  Many thanks to all of the agencies that participated and to Mary Anne Byrd of the District staff for her leadership and Dan Matthews at Camden High School for hosting the drill.

“The Last Lecture”

I thought it was a very good idea for there to be a common book assigned to all of our high school students for summer reading.  The book assigned, “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch is the text of a lecture done by Dr. Pausch at Carnegie-Mellon University as he was dying of pancreatic cancer.  I read the book while I was on vacation, and was deeply moved and impressed by it.  This is a book that our students can discuss with each other, with their teachers, with their families, and with any important people in their lives.  I’d even go so far to suggest that parents read the book with their students.  It’s a fairly quick read, but a very powerful one.  Kudos to the staff that chose this book for our young people!!

Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan’s podca

Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan’s podcast for the June 19th School Board meeting is now available online. (

Back From A Few Days Off

Back from a few days off….Always good to get away but just as good to get back…

I was pleased to learn that Ms. Laura Marshall at ATEC was selected as the 2012 Outstanding New Teacher of the Year for Health Science Educators.  Laura has done tremendous work in terms of bringing “real world” experience to our students! 

I was also extremely happy to see that Taylor Jones of Lugoff-Elgin Middle School had won several medals at the Beaufort-Low Country Jiu Jitsu Tournament.  Great picture of him on the from of the Elgin News!!!


BDK Wins 21st Century Grant

Congratulations to Baron DeKalb Elementary for winning a new 21st Century grant to continue its afterschool programs.  Special kudos to BDK teacher Donna Farnum for her leadership in seeking this grant!!!

The Budget Stalemate And What It Means

The current budget stalemate at the General Assembly, if not settled, has significant ramifications for school districts across South Carolina.  If a budget is not passed in time for July 1, a continuing resolution must be passed to keep the state running.  Under a continuing resolution, state funding would be at the 2011-12 levels versus the higher levels that would be in a new budget.  That means raises for teachers and other school employees and funding for other areas slated to be restored from the budget cuts of the past several years would be frozen.  I am proud of Senator Sheheen opposing any adoption of a continuing resolution by the Senate so that lawmakers can’t take “easy way out.”  The next week will be critical in terms of school districts across our state being able to continue the recovery from the huge budget reductions of the past three years.

Arts Arising

I got a chance this afternoon to spend a few minutes over at the “Arts Arising” summer program over at the Fine Arts Center.  Arrived just in time to see the kids rehearse a presentation for their parents later in the afternoon.  It always amazes me to watch even somewhat retiring kinds of kids come to life on stage.  Good stuff!!!

Better Spent On Instruction

This is the time of year that we get the new premiums for the various insurance coverages we have….I was extremely pleased to learn yesterday that our Worker’s Compensation insurance premium, which covers job-related injuries and accidents of our employees, actually went down!!!!  In 2007, the District’s costs in this area were rising at a steady rate.  Due to the efforts of everyone, and especially our safety coordinator Ed Estridge, we’ve reduced accidents and claims significantly.  This is money better spent on instruction….Great job!!!!!!