Education Briefs

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Beaufort middle schooler aces WordMasters

A Beaufort Middle School 6th-grader was one of eight Beaufort County School District elementary and middle school students who earned perfect scores in the fall edition of a national vocabulary competition.

Liam Gibbons was perfect on the WordMasters Challenge, the nation’s longest-running language arts competition for elementary and middle school students, which holds three meets for nearly 125,000 students during each school year. 

“We’re very proud of these students and their teachers,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said in a release. “A strong vocabulary is an important part of being able to communicate effectively, and these national recognitions show that these students and their teachers are off to a tremendous start.”

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that encourages students to become familiar with new words that are considerably harder than grade level, then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies that express various kinds of logical relationships.

4 Holy Trinity students National Merit finalists

Four Holy Trinity Classical Christian School students were among the 15,000 nationwide who have advanced to National Merit Scholarship finalists.

Four seniors from the first graduating class advanced – Sydney Lawrence, Caroline O’Neal, Morgan Chumney, and Sarah Lawrence. These four students were named as Semifinalists in September and went through a qualifying process that includes providing their academic record, the school’s curricula and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, a written recommendation provided by their school, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the finalist’s own essay in order to advance to finalist standing.

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, more than half of these finalists will be selected to receive a Merit Scholarship award. 

United Way offering scholarship for female students

The United Way of the Lowcountry is now offering a $1,000 scholarship open to local female college students of any age.

The recipient must be a resident of Beaufort or Jasper Counties, must be currently employed and have viable satisfactory employment rating, may be a new or returning student seeking to register for a minimum of six credit hours at Technical College of the Lowcountry or USC Beaufort (If a returning student, must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater).

Candidates must have references from two employers or faculty/administrators to speak to the applicant’s professionalism and work-ethic, and must have made some contributions to the community through volunteering in church, non-profits, civic organizations, educational institutions, etc.

Applicants must submit a one-page personal statement, explaining how this scholarship will help break barriers to education and how the funds will be utilized. Application deadline is March 6.

Board approves program manager, four construction firms

The Beaufort County Board of Education approved Atlanta-based CBRE Heery Inc. to help manage construction projects funded by the school district’s $345 million bond referendum approved by voters in November.

The Board also approved four South Carolina-based construction firms – Contract Construction of Ballentine; H.G. Reynold Co. of Aiken; M.B. Kahn Construction of Columbia and Thompson Turner Construction of Sumter – to build specific referendum-funded projects related to safety/security, technology upgrades, playground improvements at one school and athletic facilities improvements at another.

Referendum projects will be completed at Beaufort High School; Lady’s Island Middle School; Beaufort Elementary School; Hilton Head Island Elementary School; Whale Branch Middle School; H.E. McCracken Middle School; and Right Choices.

Two additional schools – Bluffton Elementary and Whale Branch Elementary – will be closed this summer for previously scheduled work funded with “8 percent” dollars, and while closed, additional referendum-funded work will occur. Whale Branch Early College High School is scheduled to have its athletic track resurfaced using 8 percent funding. While this work is under way, referendum-funded athletic work at the football field will occur.

Beaufort’s Mitchell named to Dean’s List at Limestone

Sammy Mitchell of Beaufort was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2019 semester at Limestone College in Gaffney. Full-time students (taking a minimum of 12 semester hours) receiving the grade of “A” in all their courses are included on the Dean’s List.

Beaufort cadets awarded gold stars at The Citadel

Gold stars were awarded to cadets and students at The Citadel who achieved a 3.7 grade point average or higher in the fall 2019 semester. Cadets and students who achieve gold star recognition are also placed on The Citadel’s dean’s list.

The nearly 600 cadets and students awarded gold stars included the Beaufort trio of Thomas Henderson, Christian Najjar and Reed Reichel.