BCCC honors retiring custodian Louvenia Staley retires after 19 years at school

Louvenia Staley's co-workers at the Barnwell County Career Center honored her 19 years of service in caring for the needs of the school and everyone there with a special luncheon Sept. 28 - her last day as a custodian.
"We appreciate your service and consistency," said BCCC Director Sam McKay to Staley who retired. "I'm a little bit jealous (of her retiring) but am very happy for her."
After nearly 20 years, Staley said it's going to be weird not being at work by 6:45 a.m. each morning. "I may get up Monday and come in," joked Staley.

Scruggs named D-45 Teacher of the Year

A Barnwell High School U.S. history teacher is now part of her school's history after being named the 2012-13 District 45 Teacher of the Year.
Brenda Scruggs was selected by a committee of last year's teachers of the year for the district title out of the four teachers of the year. Paige Beddingfield of Barnwell Primary, Deree Ward of Barnwell Elementary and Kathy Furtick of Guinyard-Butler Middle were also recognized by the school board during the Sept. 27 meeting for being their school's Teacher of the Year.

D-29 given the ‘all clear’

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Williston District 29 School Board was short, sweet and to the point as they received updates on the new school year.
Topping off the night, Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler said the district recently received the "all clear" status from the State Board of Education. This is the highest status a district can receive under the state's accreditation criteria set in the Code of Laws of 1980, according to information from the district.

Locals selected for Girls State

The Blackville American Legion Auxiliary Unit 91 sponsored four girls, who are now seniors at their respective high schools, for the Palmetto Girls State June 10-16.
Hannah Elizabeth Flowers of Blackville-Hilda High School, Carlee Ashton Creech of Jefferson Davis Academy, and Lauren Brooke Perry and Raven Pasley Cooler of Barnwell High School, attended the 66th Palmetto Girls State, which was held on the campus of Presbyterian College in Clinton.
The purpose of the weeklong event is to educate youth in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.

New JDA teachers complete training

South Carolina Independent School Association Executive Director Larry Watt announced that members of the staff at an area school have completed the SCISA Teacher Institute.
Jefferson Davis Academy teachers Bernardo Belesquez, Marcus Antley and Noretta Jackson completed the two-day training program.
"The goal of the SCISA Teacher Institute is to give teachers who are new to SCISA schools a thorough orientation and to insure a working knowledge of the policies under which the teacher will be working," Watt said. "It is also a great refresher course for veteran teachers."

B-H approves ‘healthy’ policies

Blackville-Hilda Public Schools took steps to improve the "health" of some of its policies.
During its Sept. 10 meeting, the Barnwell District 19 board approved the first reading of six health-related policy changes, including three new tobacco-free policies. While the district already has policies in place relating to a tobacco-free campus, Superintendent Dr. Teresa Pope said the new ones from the S.C. School Boards Association are "more detailed."

D-29 amends budget

With a new school year underway, the Williston District 29 School Board approved several budget amendments to maintain a balanced budget.
Since passing the third and final reading of their budget during their June 19 meeting, the district realized their local tax revenue was $82,000 more than previously projected, said Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler.
"Adjustments were changed based on actual revenue received in the 2011-2012 fiscal year," stated a district memo about the changes.

Re-DO Café open for learning at BHS

The Re-DO Café is looking to cook up a recipe for student success at Barnwell High School.
Principal Jon Burdge informed the Barnwell District 45 School Board about the new student resource during their Aug. 23 meeting. "We do not accept failure," said Burdge.
The Re-DO Café is a new opportunity for students to complete missing homework or class assignments - not tests and quizzes - in a supervised environment during lunch. "We want to decrease failure and provide further opportunity for students to master content," said Burdge.

BCCC looking to allow non-residents as students

The Barnwell County Career Center board took steps Aug. 20 to allow non-resident students entry into their programs.
Currently, non-residents are not allowed into the school, but "it became necessary to look at the options," said BCCC Director Sam McKay. He referenced a Jefferson Davis Academy student who recently sought admission to take courses at the BCCC, but could not because he is not a resident of Barnwell County.
"We're trying to adjust (our policies) to where out-of-county residents can attend," said McKay.

College students earn degrees, honors

S.C. State University

Lee Belton Tobin of Blackville graduated May 4, 2012 from S.C. State University with a degree in mathematics education and a minor in psychology. He graduated magna cum laude for earning a 3.50-3.74 cumulative grade point average.
Tobin plans to attend graduate school in the fall at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.
He is the son of Lassie Tobin and the late L. Belton Tobin of Blackville.

Aiken Technical College

Student walked in U.S. leaders’ footsteps

Harrison Miller of Barnwell joined more than 250 other middle school students from across the country to take part in an extraordinary leadership conference in Washington, D.C. this summer.
Miller, a rising sixth grader at Barnwell Elementary School, attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference, themed Voices of Leadership: Reflecting on the Past to Create the Future. He is the son of Nathaniel and Lily Miller of Barnwell, and the grandson of Louis and Bernice Dix of Allendale.

BHS grads awarded Lions Club scholarship

At a recent meeting of the Barnwell Lions Club, scholarships were presented by Lion President D.J. Washington to Barnwell High School graduates Lindsey M. Gantt and Austin "Kitt" Moore.
Lindsey, the daughter of Police Chief Todd and Angela Gantt, will be attending Charleston Southern University, and Kitt, son of Don and Sherry Moore, will be attending Clemson University.

Local public schools help state break record

Barnwell County seniors helped South Carolina's Class of 2012 earn a record-breaking $1 billion in college scholarships.
Last year's senior class from Barnwell County's three public high schools accounted for more than $4.5 million of the $1,063,112,048 worth of scholarships received by the Class of 2012 across the state, according to a S.C. Department of Education press release.

B-H kicks off school year with food, fun and supplies

More than 100 students and their families enjoyed a back-to-school bash at Blackville-Hilda High School Aug. 18.
During the event, students enjoyed free food, music, a car show and free school supplies to help them start the new school year off right.
District 19 teachers and administrators were on hand to greet the families and help out.
BHHS Principal David Norman said the event was meant to get people excited about the school year and allowed parents to come out and get involved with their children's education.


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