Recognitions top District 19 board meeting

The Barnwell District 19 School Board kicked off their Aug. 13 meeting with several recognitions, including to two of their members.
Board members Jameka Hagood and Michael Thomas received a certificate from Superintendent Dr. Teresa Pope for reaching Level 3 of the S.C. School Boards Association's Boardmanship Institute. The institute "offers a year-round training calendar to help board members develop skills and stay abreast of state and national education issues," according to

New KEES principal is Blue Devil ‘to core’

The newly-hired interim principal of Kelly Edwards Elementary School may be a new administrator, but she is no stranger to the school or Williston-Elko community.
"I'm a Blue Devil to the core," said Nakeisha Baxley, an Elko native and 1993 graduate of Williston-Elko High School. She has dedicated the past 12 years to teaching second graders at KEES.

Grading Barnwell County

Here’s how Barnwell County’s three school districts performed under a new
federal report card:

Barnwell District 45 earned a 62.6 (D):

Williston District 29 earned a 94.5 (A):
KEES-93.5 (A)
WEMS-96.7 (A)
WEHS-88.5 (B)

Barnwell District 19 earned a 48.8 (F):

Work session prepares D-45 board for new year

In preparation for the coming school year, the Barnwell District 45 School Board held a special work session July 31.
Superintendent Roy Sapough called the session a "very informative" way to "keep the board up to date" on the direction District 45 is aiming for, including curriculum and instructional plans.
"The days of teaching from a textbook are behind us. You just can't do that anymore," said Sapough of textbooks. "We want to be teaching standards, not textbooks."

D-29 approves principal’s resignation, begins search

The search is on for a new principal at Kelly Edwards Elementary School following the Williston District 29 School Board's approval of Donna Selvey's resignation.
Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler recommended the board accept Selvey's resignation, so she can accept a new job as principal of Barnwell Primary School in Barnwell District 45, during a special-called July 31 meeting. Board member Billy Williams Jr. made a motion to approve Selvey's resignation. The motion was seconded by Chris Rivers and unanimously approved, though Chairman Calvin Melton said Selvey will be missed.

JDA recognized for excellence

Larry Watt, the executive director of the S.C. Independent School Association, presents Eve Hogarth (left) and Jane Hunter, Jefferson Davis Academy’s heads of school, the Outstanding Professional Leadership Development Award June 25 at SCISA’s headquarters in Orangeburg. The award is for creating excellence in their school. Watt stated that he is very proud of all the positive changes and new programs that Jefferson Davis Academy now offers to all of its K-3 through 12th grade students.


Photo Contributed by: JDA

High School dropout rate falls

COLUMBIA — In school year 2010-2011, 365 fewer students dropped out of state high schools than in the previous year, according to a new report from the South Carolina Department of Education.  The dropout rate for all students was 2.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percent from 2009-2010 and 1.1 percent from 2007-2008.
This marks the third consecutive year of declining dropout numbers. Since 2007-08, the state’s total annual high school dropouts have declined from 8,032 to 5,900 - a 26 percent reduction.

Four named to Girls State

The Williston American League Auxiliary Unit #75 selected four girls as representatives for this year’s Palmetto Girls State. The selection is based on an essay written by each delegate as well as being an all around student, including character, leadership, ability, interest in government, maturity, scholarship, honesty, cooperativeness and a desire to attend Palmetto Girls State.

Davis competes in S.C. Geography Bee

A Williston-Elko Middle School student represented his school for the second time at the S.C. Geography Bee in Columbia.
Eighth-grader Kelvin Davis Jr. competed against other students from across the state March 30 in the National Geographic Society sponsored event after winning at his school level.
Though he didn't win the competition at the S.C. State Museum-something he did two years ago-Kelvin Jr. finished eighth. He said he still had a good time. "It's something I enjoy," he said, "especially learning about the cultures."

Richberg earns perfect attendance

Tierra Richberg worked hard to earn her diploma from Williston-Elko High School, including never missing a day of school in her 12-year education career.
Richberg, the daughter of Cassandra Donaldson and Terry Richberg, earned the rare recognition while being involved in several organizations like the National Technical Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America, plus playing five sports-softball, basketball, track, volleyball and cheerleading.

Pope graduates with perfect attendance

While Ansley Katelyn Pope, the valedictorian for Blackville-Hilda High School’s class of 2012, has much to be proud of when she receives her diploma May 31, it will also signify 12 years of perfect attendance in school—about 2,160 days.
Ansley considers earning perfect attendance “a really big honor,” though it would not be possible without her family, including her parents George Jr. and Dr. Teresa Pope. Dr. Pope is the superintendent of Blackville-Hilda Public Schools. “Education has always been important to my family,” said Ansley. “I’ve always enjoyed school.”

Children ride for a cause

Three-year-olds Jamiya Mayes, Renajah Jenkins and Morgan Robinson race in the Aiken/Barnwell Regional Head Start’s annual trike-a-thon May 18 in Barnwell. The trio, who are in Cheryl Banks class, were among 30 children who participated to raise $219 to help sick children at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event also promoted bike safety and parent involvement, as several parents helped with the event, said Willielee Dowling, a family service worker for the local Head Start.

Danner wins Kindle from school

Katelyn Danner, a third grader and daughter of Sgt. and Mrs. Donald Danner of Barnwell, was the lucky winner of the Amazon Kindle E-Reader that was given away in the “Valuable Trash” contest at Barnwell Primary School. Katelyn turned in 75 “Valuable Trash” items to enter this contest. The prize was worth $100.
“Valuable Trash” consists of many items you may be throwing away at home or work.

Literature brought to life

A steady flow of viewers perused the Living Literature Museum presented by Blackville-Hilda High School seniors May 4 at the Blackville Community Center.
“Each year, they try to come up with different characters. All of them have done a great job this year and have added to their characters,” said Dinah Gaines, English department chair.

“Law and Order” 4-H’ers attend Junior Teen Weekend

South Carolina 4-H held its third annual Junior Teen Weekend at Camp W.W. Long in Aiken April 13-15, 2012. Approximately sixty 4-H’ers and volunteers attended from throughout the state. The theme of the weekend was “Law and Order: 4-H Special Unit” and 4-H’ers came ready to meet new people and participate in a host of fun and educational activities designed to launch their leadership and citizenship skills.

Fireall named to scholar’s society

Tandria Tenys Fireall of Barnwell has accepted membership into The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS).
“NSCS is more than just a symbol of academic achievement. Membership gives students access to a number of amazing benefits, including career and networking resources, scholarships, travel, and service projects both on campus and in the community,” said Stephen E. Loflin, NSCS founder and CEO.

MES tees off for reading

Macedonia Elementary School celebrated its third annual March Readathon with a softball game April 10 sponsored by MES Library Media Center and Save The Children Program.
Each grade level was challenged with the goal of passing 200 or more Accelerated Reader Quizzes during the month of March. Grade levels competed to see “Who Could Read The Most?”


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