Education

D45 considers grand jury findings

The Barnwell District 45 School Board had a short 30-minute meeting Oct. 23 before going into an hour long closed session.
Superintendent Jay Grissom said the district has received the 2014 Barnwell County Grand Jury Report. This comes after the grand jury inspected county facilities, including school buildings, on an annual tour over the summer.

D19 reviewing bus procedures after 5-year-old child left alone

Barnwell District 19 is reviewing school bus transportation procedures after a child was dropped off at the wrong location and left unattended.
Natoya Hallingquest of Blackville said her five-year-old son Dennis Johnson is supposed to be dropped off by the bus after school at his grandmother's house; however, that was not the case Oct. 20. Instead, Hallingquest said her son was dropped off at her house where no adults were present.

D29 to hold public forum, conduct online survey to assist in superintendent search

Williston District 29 is seeking the public's input as they search for a new superintendent.
During the Oct. 21 school board meeting, Judy LeGrand with the S.C. School Boards Association, who the board hired last month to search for its next superintendent, gave an update on the search timeline. The SCSBA is in charge of putting out the vacancy notice nationwide so anyone interested in the job can apply.

JDA students getting career experience

New initiatives at Jefferson Davis Academy are aimed at giving students real world experience.
Eight seniors are taking the careers class, which the private school in Blackville started last school year. They started a building construction class this year.
"We want them to wake up and see the world," said Melinda Price, the teacher of the careers class. "We're branching out and beginning to offer new things to prepare them for college and careers."

Mitchell expecting ‘continued success’ at WEHS

Joel Mitchell was looking to lead a school with academic excellence, good teachers and a supportive community. He said he found that at Williston-Elko High School.
He comes to WEHS from Lugoff-Elgin High School in Kershaw County where he was one of four assistant principals, but previously taught and coached several sports for six years. As an assistant principal, Mitchell was responsible for 650 of the school's 1,700 students. He helped with discipline, transportation and athletics, all of which prepared him for the administrative duties of his new job.

Anderson to focus on positive behavior at Macedonia Elementary

The new principal of Macedonia Elementary School plans to do all she can to help students succeed, but encourages parents to do their part as well.
"I just love learning. Learning just feeds our soul," said Dr. Carolyn Anderson, who holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Capella University with a specialization in Leadership in Education Administration.

Harris wants to boost student achievement to ‘highest level’ at schools

As the new principal of Barnwell District 19's upper two schools, Sterling Harris is excited to watch students mature and develop as they transition to high school.
"I am a heavily student oriented principal," said Harris, who is looking forward to meeting each student at Blackville-Hilda's junior high and high schools. "I want to develop strong personal relationships" in order to know how to help students grow.
That correlates with his number one goal of improving student achievement. "I want to move student achievement to its highest level," he said.

Superintendent’s resignation accepted

Following an emotional speech, the Williston District 29 school board unanimously granted Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler's request to be released from his contract, effective September 9.
The move came during a special-called August 5 meeting where the board received legal advice about Siler's resignation. He is leaving to become superintendent of Lexington District 2.

Superintendent’s resignation accepted

Following an emotional speech, the Williston District 29 school board unanimously granted Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler's request to be released from his contract, effective September 9.
The move came during a special-called August 5 meeting where the board received legal advice about Siler's resignation. He is leaving to become superintendent of Lexington District 2.

Superintendent’s resignation accepted

Following an emotional speech, the Williston District 29 school board unanimously granted Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler's request to be released from his contract, effective September 9.
The move came during a special-called August 5 meeting where the board received legal advice about Siler's resignation. He is leaving to become superintendent of Lexington District 2.

Experience and a paycheck - youth own both

Eight recent high school graduates from the tri-county area spent their summer earning work experience and a paycheck.
The teens from Barnwell, Bamberg and Allendale counties were part of the Summer Youth Work Experience, which is part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. After taking an employability study and learning proper workplace etiquette, the six-week program paired teens with an employer.
"It helps you know what to expect when you get a job," said Selena Bellinger, who worked at Southern Palmetto Hospital. "I learned to be very outspoken and ask questions."

Volunteers clean up Blackville elementary school

Nearly 100 volunteers came together Saturday to freshen up Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville before the new school year begins in a few weeks.
"We wanted to spruce up the school so it will have a fresh look for students," said Dr. Carolyn Anderson, the school's new principal.
Parents, students, school and district staff, church groups and community members spent most of the day trimming trees and bushes, planting colorful flowers and raking up leaves and other yard debris. They also painted some inside the school and repainted parking spaces.

Volunteers clean up Blackville elementary school

Nearly 100 volunteers came together Saturday to freshen up Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville before the new school year begins in a few weeks.
"We wanted to spruce up the school so it will have a fresh look for students," said Dr. Carolyn Anderson, the school's new principal.
Parents, students, school and district staff, church groups and community members spent most of the day trimming trees and bushes, planting colorful flowers and raking up leaves and other yard debris. They also painted some inside the school and repainted parking spaces.

D45 board thanks Big 7, approves wrestling program

New books, new teachers, renewed accreditation and a new sports program were the highlights of the Barnwell District 45 school board meeting July 24.
Superintendent Jay Grissom presented a special award to the Big 7 Association for their donation of 7,000 new books to District 45's Literacy Outreach Program.
"Normally, the Superintendent's Apple Award is reserved for a district employee but considering magnitude of the donation, I felt it would be appropriate," said Grissom.

Barnwell Academy welcomes new head of school

A former public school teacher has been chosen as Barnwell Academy's new head of school.
Deanna Grubbs comes to Barnwell Academy after previously working six years as a second grade teacher at Barnwell Primary School. After spending a couple years outside of the education system working part-time at F.H. Dicks Company and raising her children, Grubbs said she is excited about this opportunity.

FFA summer camp offers fun, team building

Eight members of the Barnwell County Career Center FFA Chapter recently attended the SC FFA Camp at Cherry Grove.
The group participated in a week of paintball, kayaking, athletics, team building with low and high ropes courses, a cardboard boat building contest, a beach trip with Ag Olympics, and nightlife activities which included a sunset dolphin cruise, Legends In Concert, and unlimited go-cart riding.

Pajamas and pillowcases made in 4-H Sewing Fun Day Camp

Pajamas and pillowcases were made by participants at 4-H Sewing Fun Day Camp held July 9-11 at the Bamberg Extension Office.
The three-day sewing camp is designed to introduce youth to the basics of sewing, identify sewing tools, familiarize with a sewing machine, iron safety, pattern layout and following directions.
After three days of cutting, sewing and following directions, comfortable pajama bottoms were completed with applique T-shirt to match. Pillowcases were made on the first day to introduce new sewers to sewing machine basics.

Nobles named SC FFA Star Farmer

The Barnwell County Career Center FFA along with over 110 other South Carolina FFA chapters participated in the 87th Annual South Carolina FFA Convention held at the Brooks Center for Performing Arts of Clemson University June 11-13.
Watching as chapter president Coltin Nobles was recognized as the South Carolina FFA Star Farmer of the Year was definitely the highlight of the trip for the BCCC members.

D29 adopts 2014-15 budget, hires new employees

The Williston District 29 School Board finalized its budget June 24, including a projection of more revenue.
Since the budget's second reading earlier in the month, the district received new projections of its revenue from the state. While the numbers could change, the district projects $7,206,014 in revenue, according to budget documents.
The added revenue will help the district pay for some of the extra expenditures it wants next year and decrease how much they need to take from the fund balance - or reserve fund.

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