School briefs for August 4th-10th

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St. Helena Elementary has new principal

Tara Mack
Tara Mack

A veteran assistant principal has been named as principal at St. Helena Elementary School.

Superintendent Jeff Moss said that Tara Mack, an assistant principal at St. Helena Elementary from 2010-2013 and at Mossy Oaks Elementary from 2013-2016, will assume her new role immediately. She replaces Senfronia Smith, who was named earlier this month as principal of Cross High School in Berkeley County.

“Dr. Mack is a strong leader, and I’m confident that she will do a tremendous job at St. Helena Elementary,” Moss said.  “She already has work experience there, and she lives on St. Helena Island and knows the local community well.”

Mack has worked in the Beaufort County School District for the past 20 years. Prior to her six years as an assistant principal, she was a literacy coach at Broad River Elementary and also taught first grade at Broad River and St. Helena.

She was honored as Broad River Elementary’s 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year and also as a 2016 Emerging Leader by the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  She is a National Board-certified teacher.

“I’m excited to be going to St. Helena Elementary for a lot of reasons,” Mack said.  “It’s where I started my teaching career right out of college, and because I live on the island, I know what a wonderful group of children and parents we serve there.  It’s also exciting because we already have a terrific team in place and ready to go.”

Mack has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of South Carolina in Columbia, a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Cambridge College in Boston, a doctorate in Child and Youth Studies from Nova Southeastern University in Miami and an education specialist’s degree in Education Leadership from Liberty University.

Kinghorn Insurance Agency supports BA

Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the positive efforts of Beaufort Academy through a $500 grant.

The Selective Insurance Group Foundation is a philanthropic affiliate of Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

The grant represents a $500 donation from Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort, matched by a $500 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation. The grant will help Beaufort Academy’s Annual Fund.

“At Selective, Response is everything®… and this includes responding to the communities where we live and work to give back and help those in need. Together with Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort, we are proud to support Beaufort Academy and its efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Chuck Musilli, senior vice president, Distribution Strategies, Selective.

Kinghorn Insurance of Beaufort has insured families and businesses in Beaufort and the surrounding area since 1898. As the oldest and one of the largest insurance agencies in the South Carolina Lowcountry, it takes great pride in its professionalism and personal service.

Selective Insurance Group, Inc. is a holding company for 10 property and casualty insurance companies rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best. Through independent agents, the insurance companies offer standard and specialty insurance for commercial and personal risks, and flood insurance underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program. Selective maintains a website at

Bluffton recruits nominees for youth service award

Mayor Lisa Sulka and the town of Bluffton are recruiting students to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Community Service Award Program for the coming school year.

Sulka created and implemented the town’s Youth Community Service Award Program last year as a way to encourage and acknowledge the contributions of Bluffton’s younger residents. This program is a venue for younger residents to invest their time and talent in community programs and to be acknowledged for their service at the end of the school year.

“Part of the Bluffton culture is to contribute to our neighbors in time, talent or treasures,” Sulka said. “This program is important because it gives high school students a venue to make a difference in other people’s lives. Our local nonprofits can also tap into the talents of these energetic students, while at the same time the students have an opportunity to enhance their college and employment applications while experiencing the rewards of volunteerism.”

This award program will provide high school sophomores and juniors recognition for their volunteerism in the greater Bluffton community.

Sulka will formally recognize the students who volunteer at least 50 hours during the school year.

At May’s Bluffton Town Council meeting, Sulka recognized three students who received the Mayor’s Exceptional Service Award for registering more than 100 hours of community service and an additional 11 students received the Gold Award for performing more than 50 community service hours.

For program requirements and more information, visit

Back-to-School Expo to be held in Bluffton

The second Back-to-School Expo will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Bluffton High School.

The school district teams up with government agencies and private-sector business partners for the expo events, which are designed to give students and their families a day of fun and useful information about the upcoming 2016-17 school year.

An expo was recently held at Whale Branch Early College High School.

Participating business partners include Hargray, Walgreen’s, Walmart and Sodexo. The Bluffton High expo will feature:

  • Booths operated by district schools that can supply information about school activities.
  • Free school supplies for students, courtesy of Walmart, Walgreen’s and the district’s “Pack the Bus” campaign.
  • Free dental and health screenings for adults and children, including free HIV testing, by Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services and Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
  • Help with school registration and school lunch applications.

Top photo: Jay Taylor, a Beaufort Academy alumni and parent representing Kinghorn Insurance, is shown here with and the headmaster of Beaufort Academy, Stephen Schools.