Education News: March 11, 2018

During the last week of February, Thomas Sumter had an opportunity to see, observe and grade a plethora of science fair projects. Lower School winners (pictured) are: for Chemistry, Clara Ann McCaskill; for Biology, Taryn McBrayer; for Physics, a three-way tie between Trenton Spilker, Luke Wyrick and Blake O'Bradovich.
During the last week of February, Thomas Sumter had an opportunity to see, observe and grade a plethora of science fair projects. Lower School winners (pictured) are: for Chemistry, Clara Ann McCaskill; for Biology, Taryn McBrayer; for Physics, a three-way tie between Trenton Spilker, Luke Wyrick and Blake O'Bradovich.

Central Carolina Technical College

Come See Me at College Day

CCTC will host Come See Me at College Day for high school students in Kershaw, Lee, Clarendon and Sumter counties on Thursday. Students will learn about admission and financial aid requirements, as well as discover the 50-plus academic programs CCTC offers. They will be introduced to Central Carolina Scholars, CCTC's new initiative that provides qualifying high school seniors the first two years at CCTC tuition free. They will also have the opportunity to take tours of the Main Campus, Health Sciences Center, Legal Studies Center, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center and the Natural Resources Management Center.

For more information, call (803) 778-6602.

Graduation Fair

Central Carolina Technical College will host a Graduation Fair on Tuesday, March 27, on Main Campus in the atrium of building M500 from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to have graduation portraits taken, gather information about job searching, view class rings and check the status of their graduation applications. Graduation applications for spring and summer graduates are due by April 2.

Welding Skills Competition

Central Carolina Technical College is hosting this year's annual Welding Skills Competition on April 19 and 20 on Main Campus in Sumter. Ten South Carolina technical colleges will compete in six welding categories.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Welding Program Manager Axel Reis at (803) 778-7863 or

Veterans Forum

Central Carolina Technical College's Veteran Resource Center, Student Veteran Association and History Department will present a "Veteran Forum: Honoring Our Local Heroes." This event will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Main Campus in Building 400, Room M401. The event will feature a panel of several local veterans who will share their experiences and insight on how their military service impacted their education. Veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom will be on hand. This is a great opportunity for the community to interact one on one with these local heroes. This event is open to the public. - Catherine M. Wood

Morris College


On Thursday, March 29, Morris College will hold a dedication for the Solomon Jackson Jr. Administration Building at 10 a.m. in conjunction with the annual Pre-Easter Worship Service. The ceremony will be held in the Neal-Jones Auditorium at 10 a.m., and Dr. Solomon Jackson Jr. will deliver the message.

Jackson, a native of Columbia, presented a check in the amount of $10 million to the late Dr. Luns C. Richardson, president of Morris College, on Jan. 7, 2010. This was the largest individual gift in the institution's history. His first priority is the students, therefore, portions of Jackson's gift were used to provide endowed student scholarships, construct a new dormitory and aid in the construction of a new Student Health Services Center. Other designated capital development projects include construction of a new administration building, the purchase of a new coach bus, the roof replacement of an existing dorm, continued landscaping and beautification of the campus and adding to the college's general endowment.

Jackson describes learning God's word and fellowshipping with some outstanding teachers, preachers and students at the college as a "great experience." He publicly expresses his gratitude for the time he spent in the classroom of Morris College. Jackson proudly shares how studying theology at Morris College helped to mold him into the person he is today. He truly internalizes the school's motto, "Enter to Learn; Depart to Serve," and he exemplifies this by his unselfish actions toward the improvement of education. This great servant of the Lord is dedicated to family and friends and supports the future goals of education as provided by Morris College.

2018 Commencement Speaker

Morris College has announced Loretta E. Lynch, 83rd Attorney General of the United States, will address the graduating class of 2018 at the May commencement exercise at 10 a.m. on May 5 at Sumter County Civic Center.

Under Lynch's leadership, the Department of Justice focused extensively on national security and terrorism, corruption both domestic and international, human trafficking and improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Her father, who was a pastor, spurred her fascination with the legal system by taking her as a young girl to watch court proceedings at the courthouse in Durham, North Carolina. He and her mother, who was an English teacher and librarian, instilled in her a love of learning and a passion for public service.

Lynch received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Harvard College in 1981, and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1984, where she was an adviser to the first year moot court competition and a member of the Legal Aid Bureau and Harvard Black Law Students Association. In 1990, after a period in private practice, Lynch joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, located in Brooklyn, New York - the city she considers her adopted home. There, she forged an impressive career prosecuting cases involving narcotics, money laundering, organized crime and public corruption. In one notable instance, she served on the prosecution team in the high-profile civil rights case of Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was sexually assaulted by uniformed police officers in a Brooklyn police precinct in 1997.

In 1999, President Clinton appointed her to lead the office as United States attorney - a post she held until 2001. In 2002, she joined Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) as a partner in the firm's New York office. While in private practice, Lynch performed extensive pro bono work for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations in the 1994 genocide in that country. As special counsel to the tribunal, she was responsible for investigating allegations of witness tampering and false testimony. While in private practice, she also served on several boards including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Legal Aid Society of New York.

In 2010, President Obama asked Lynch to resume her leadership of the United States Attorney's Office in Brooklyn. Under her direction, the office successfully prosecuted numerous corrupt public officials, terrorists, cybercriminals and human traffickers, among other important cases. - Anika Cobb

University of South Carolina Sumter

Spring Break

The University of South Carolina Sumter will not hold classes Monday through Friday because it is spring break; however, campus offices will be open to serve students and the community during this time. - Misty Hatfield

Wilson Hall

Fisher and Tavarez named National Merit Finalists

Seniors Kirsten Fisher and Matthew Tavarez have been selected as National Merit Scholarship Finalists. They represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. As two of the approximately 15,000 graduating seniors in the nation to receive this high honor, they are eligible to receive a National Merit Scholarship or a corporate-sponsored or college-sponsored merit scholarship. Finalists are selected based on their test scores, academic record, course work, school recommendation, extracurricular activities and leadership, and student essay. More than 1.5 million juniors in nearly 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Chess Teams Compete

The lower school and middle school chess teams competed in the S.C. Independent School Association State Chess Tournament held at the Sumter Civic Center on March 1. The lower school team finished fourth out of 17 teams, and the middle school team finished fifth out of 20 teams. Jeanna Mahr is the adviser for both teams.

College Scholarships

As of March 2, 90 percent of the 69 members of the senior class received merit-based scholarship offers totaling more than $2.5 million to a four-year college or university. The following is a partial list of scholarship recipients compiled from information submitted to the college counselor, Diane Richardson. Clemson University offered an academic scholarship to Steph Areford, Chandler Curtis, Liza Lowder, Bryce Lyles and Madison Reaves. Auburn University offered a True Blue Scholarship to Emily Barnes, Baylor University offered an academic scholarship to Jacob Cotton, and the University of Mississippi offered an Academic Excellence Scholarship to Breland Land. Coastal Carolina University offered a Coastal Scholar Award to Zan Beasley, Kelly Brady, Corbin Bruce and Charlton Commander. - Sean Hoskins

Sumter School District

Sumter Education Foundation delivers books to R.E. Davis

Thanks to a donation from the Williams-Brice-Edwards Charitable Trust, the Sumter Education Foundation distributed $10,000 worth of books to R.E. Davis Elementary School. Five additional schools also benefited from the $50,000 donation. Members of the Foundation's Board of Directors helped celebrate Read Across America Day with this presentation and read to the students in their Ben Carson Reading Room donated by Thompson Construction Group.

Last spring, the Sumter Education Foundation, which serves as the philanthropic arm for Sumter School District, embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise money to purchase books for classroom libraries. The 500 for $500k aims to support teachers in Sumter School District in strengthening the reading proficiency of every student from preschool to high school.

Thanks to the generosity of donors such as BD, Eaton, Thompson Construction Group, Kaydon, NBSC, SAFE, private foundations and individuals, more than $135,000 has been donated to the campaign. The foundation's goal is to raise $500,000.

Children who spend more time reading grow into strong, proficient readers who are workforce and college ready.

Sumter High Drama Department rates superior

The Sumter High Theatre Department competed in the Palmetto Dramatics/S.C. International Thespian Festival and achieved well-deserved results. Their play, "Personal Effects," won the highest rating of Superior and was awarded a perfect score from one of the judges. Will Lane and Hutson Self won double Superiors and qualified in their duet acting comedy to compete at the next level at the National Convention in June. Donovan Green was one of 10 actors to win the Superior Acting award, and Laura Grace Wylie and Hutson Self won Excellent Acting awards for their one-act play entries. In addition, Donovan Green, Will Lane, Andrew Lawrence, Logan Martin, Maggie Morse, Shay Simmons, Katherine Singleton and Laura Grace Wylie also won Superiors in their respective individual acting events.

Lakewood student places 2nd at competition

Derek Kirby, a senior at Lakewood High School and a student in the welding program at Sumter Career and Technology Center, placed second at the Midlands Technical College American Welding Society competition. Derek received a customized welding helmet worth $350. After graduation, Derek plans to pursue an Associate's Degree in Welding at Central Carolina Technical College.

IB students raise money for American Cancer Society

Students in Sumter High School's International Baccalaureate program's Creativity, Activity, Service class hosted their seventh-annual Kickin' for a Cure soccer tournament at Patriot Park. The students raised close to $1,000, which will go to the American Cancer Society.

CAS, which stands for creativity, activity and service, is the IB Diploma program course that works with the development of the whole student: socially, emotionally and physically. According to Sumter High School teacher and CAS supervisor Ann-Frances Brown, "The development of attitudes and traits that will be respected by others, such as determination, commitment, initiative and empathy, are a key focus of the course. Students often identify this course as the highlight of their IB program experience because it emphasizes personal growth and student interests."

Brown says that while the course focuses heavily on service, it is not the only focus. Students are encouraged to grow as individuals while pursuing the skills and knowledge IB encourages throughout the 18-month program. All the projects done in the CAS class are initiated and planned by the students, who are encouraged to investigate causes that interest them, identify areas of need and implement projects that will best support that need in the community. The students are required to reflect on the CAS experiences and include the reflections in their final senior year portfolio that highlights the most meaningful experiences.

SHS Drill Team wins top honors

The Sumter High School Air Force ROTC drill team competed against 10 other schools at the Low Country Drill Competition held at Charleston Southern University. The cadets earned seven first-place trophies, four second-place trophies and one third-place trophy. On Saturday, the cadets will fight to retain their title as the top Air Force JROTC unit in S.C. as they complete in the Stinger Drill Meet held at Irmo High School. - Shelly Galloway

Thomas Sumter Academy

Science fair projects

During the last week of February, Thomas Sumter had an opportunity to see, observe and grade a plethora of science fair projects. Lower School winners are: for Chemistry, Clara Ann McCaskill; for Biology, Taryn McBrayer; for Physics, a three-way tie between Trenton Spilker, Luke Wyrick and Blake O'Bradovich. Most creative was Reese Distelsweig. Our overall Lower School winner for our Main Campus is Trenton Spilker who will represent our main campus at the SCISA Science Fair.

TSA Middle School winners were:

- Chemistry - first, Kaci McBrayer; second, Annie Lee Kessinger; and third, Emily Holladay

- Physics/Engineering - first, Jenene Grover; second, Lillian Lindler; and third, Savannah Butler

- Behavioral and Social Science, Botany, Environmental, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, and Zoology - first, Jordan Thornton; second, Abby Cox; and third, Alex Goins

Overall winners for the Middle School - first, Jordan Thornton; and second, Kaci McBrayer

TSA High School winners were:

- Chemistry - first, Maci Willetts; second, Lizzie Silvester; and third, Matthew Daily and Cameron Dixon

- Physics - first, Ava Claus; and second, Zach Davis

- Behavioral and Social Sciences - first, Graham Campbell and Josh Fugate; and second, Logan Oxendine

- Biology, Engineering, Environmental, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, and Zoology: first, Ethan Lisenby; second, Trey Bolton; and third, Alyssa Law

Overall winners for the high school - first, Ava Claus; and second, Ethan Lisenby - Dr. F.L. Martin III

Coastal Carolina University

More than 40 Coastal Carolina University students volunteered during the eighth annual Women's Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women on Feb. 5-6 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach.

Jeannette Pryor, a graphic design major from Sumter, and Jessamine Ibe, a biology major from Sumter, volunteered at the event.

Wofford College

SPARTANBURG - Dr. Michael J. Sosulski, provost of Wofford College, has announced the following local students were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2017 semester:

- Sumter - Essence Unique Buckman, Anna Christian Lyles, Edward Brode McMillan and James Patrick Muldrow

Western Governors University

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The following Sumter students have received their degree from Western Governors University at its 64th commencement ceremony at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando on Feb. 10: Craig Stevens received his Bachelor of Science in IT-Security Emphasis degree; and Stacey Pack received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Newberry College

NEWBERRY - Students representing the Newberry College Department of Arts and Communications recently competed in the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association State College Festival Competition held at South Carolina State University. In the competition with several other colleges, Nigel Johnson of Manning placed first in the Theatrical Design category.

Charleston Southern University

CHARLESTON - Charleston Southern University has named the following local students to the Dean's List for the fall 2017 semester.

- Sumter - Thomas Zackery Cook; David Christopher White; Megan Kelley Taylor; Deja Alease Richardson; Lindsey Cheyenne Barwick; April Darlene Overby; Lauren Ashleigh Cain; Courtney Marie Simpson; Christopher Tanner Brunson; Dustin Tyler Way; and

- Turbeville - Jesse Renee Beasley.

Students named to the Charleston Southern Dean's List have earned a 3.5 GPA or better and earned 12 or more credit hours for the semester.