School briefs for December 21st-27th

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Photo above: Holy Trinity sixth-graders had an opportunity to meet George and Martha Washington as part of their study of American History. The portrayers, Bill and Cara Elder, traveled to Beaufort from DeLand, Fla., and enjoy providing lessons in living history as first-person interpreters of the Washingtons. Photo provided.

TCL honors associate degree nursing graduates

The TCL nursing graduates are Brittany Cava, Joseph Dimaria, Antoinette Elliott, Richard Free II, Daniel Henry, Tonja Kraft, Erin Rodnicki and Jessica Rooney.
The TCL nursing graduates are Brittany Cava, Joseph Dimaria, Antoinette Elliott, Richard Free II, Daniel Henry, Tonja Kraft, Erin Rodnicki and Jessica Rooney.

The Technical College of the Lowcountry recognized eight associate degree nursing (ADN) graduates during its Dec. 14 pinning ceremony at the Beaufort Campus.

“The TCL nursing program in particular is rigorous but produces extremely qualified and successful graduates, giving them the confidence they need to excel in the nursing field,” nursing program director Mary Ann Jarmulowicz said. “We are so proud of this new class of nurses.”

During the ceremony, graduates receive their pins and light lamps, a nod to Florence Nightingale who carried a lamp to light her path as she cared for the sick and dying soldiers during the Crimean War.

In the last five years, nearly 200 students have completed TCL’s associate degree in nursing program. TCL’s two-year ADN program prepares graduates to practice as registered nurses. Students experience on-campus learning using high-tech simulation equipment and receive intense additional hands-on practice at clinical sites located throughout Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.

Visit www.tcl.edu/nursing to learn more about the program.

Beaufort County School District earns kudos

For the 18th consecutive year, the Beaufort County School District has earned an exemplary financial review from outside auditors.

The Greenville-based auditing firm of Elliott Davis told the board of education that it had found no weaknesses or deficiencies in the school district’s internal financial controls during the 2016-17 fiscal year and no findings of noncompliance with state or federal laws.

South Carolina state law requires all school districts to have their finances reviewed and analyzed each year by independent outside auditors.  

From May through October, a seven-person team of Elliott Davis auditors reviewed the school district’s FY 2016-17 finances. 

“Eighteen straight years of clean audits is strong evidence of a consistently efficient and effective financial operation,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our county’s taxpayers can be confident that the district’s financial house is in order.”

In addition to the audit, the district contracts with Elliott Davis to more intensively examine its system of purchasing goods and services. The Beaufort County Board of Education also recently authorized a third independent audit to focus on expenditures made with purchase cards used by school and district office staff.

Applications open for Bridges Prep

Online applications for Bridges Preparatory School are being accepted through Wednesday, Jan. 21, for newly-enrolling students in grades K-11.

Bridges Prep is a fast-growing state charter school with an emphasis on active learning focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – plus a component of international study. It’s a tuition-free state charter school located in Beaufort.

Applications are taken online. Each new student applying for enrollment will be placed into a lottery for spots at Bridges Prep in 2018-2019. To help and encourage families to apply, computer kiosks are available at all three Bridges Prep campuses – the main office at 1100 Boundary St., K-12 at Celadon on Lady’s Island and the upper grades at Green Street.  

In January, families already attending Bridges Prep will be asked to submit their letters of intent to return for the upcoming school year, and those students are guaranteed a spot. Newly-enrolling students will be chosen by lottery for available spots in each grade.

When needed, wait lists are set for each grade; openings occur throughout the school year for students on the wait list. Applications received after Jan. 31 won’t be included in the Feb. 15 lottery and will be wait-listed.

To apply, visit www.bridgesprep.org and go to Apply! on the left-side navigation. Online applications are available in English and Spanish.

“We have seen continued strong growth in Bridges Prep and we are excited as we move into the high school grades,” board Chair Dee Matthews said. “In May of 2017 our academic growth and achievement earned us recognition as a State Charter School of Distinction. We are getting ready to start Phase 1 of our new school campus in Port Royal. It’s an exciting time to be at Bridges.”

Bridges Preparatory School was chartered by South Carolina in mid-2012 and opened at near capacity in August 2013. Since then, enrollment has grown steadily to almost 700 students this year. For the 2018-2019 school year, Bridges Prep will expand to 11th grade and by 2019 will be a full-service K-12 public charter school.

The current school is spread across three buildings in Beaufort and Lady’s Island. For the upcoming school year, grades K-2 will be at the Celadon Campus on Lady’s Island and grades 3-7 will be on the main campus at 1100 Boundary St. Upper School grades 8-11 will be housed in modular classrooms at the Port Royal property just south of Walmart at Cross Creek on Robert Smalls Boulevard.

As a state charter school, Bridges Prep is open to all students in the Lowcountry without tuition. 

To learn more about Bridges Preparatory School, visit www.bridgesprep.org or call 843-982-7737.

New scholarship will benefit local students 

Inspired by the movie “Hidden Figures,” a Beaufort County couple has established a new endowment that will provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) college scholarships for Beaufort County students.

The movie, released earlier this year, is about a group of African-American women math experts who worked in the early 1960s for what later became NASA. The women’s math skills and determination to overcome high hurdles made them irreplaceable to the nation’s nascent space program.

“When we saw the movie ‘Hidden Figures,’ we were very touched by its lessons and positive images,” said David Stewart. “So many children today would benefit from direction and something to believe in – the most important tools in the path to success.”

Stewart and his wife Catherine have set up an endowment to fund two STEM scholarships for graduating seniors each year through the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.

“The Hidden Figures STEM Scholarship fund is a welcome addition to our roster of community charitable giving, and we look forward to shepherding its growth,” said Gloria Duryea, the foundation’s stewardship officer.

Stewart said that he and his wife are encouraged by the positive response to date from the endowment’s fund-raising drive, and they expect to offer the first scholarships in 2018.

Interested persons should send their checks to: Coastal Community Foundation,  2015 Boundary St., Suite 215, Beaufort, SC 29902.  

Donors are asked to include on their checks’ memo lines the words “Hidden Figures STEM Scholarships.”  

For more information, contact Catherine Stewart at  stewart.cat@gmail.com.

The Stewarts also purchased two DVD copies of the “Hidden Figures” movie for every school media center in the district.

 “STEM education is a key part of the Beaufort County School District’s mission, and it’s impossible for students to watch this movie and not be inspired to learn as much as they can and work as hard as they can to achieve their personal goals,” said N’Kia Campbell, the district’s director of Academic Initiatives.

Exchange Club names Student of the Month

Will Warren
Will Warren

Will Warren, a senior at Beaufort Academy, won Student of the Month for the Beaufort Exchange Club. He will now advance to the Student of the Year competition. The program advances through the state and national levels. 

The Exchange Club of Beaufort is America’s Service Club, which works to better the community through programs of service in Americanism, community service, youth activities and its national project, The Prevention of Child Abuse. The Exchange Club of Beaufort was chartered in 1987 and is dedicated to the elimination of child abuse. Through their Annual Charity Auctions, Ghost Tours and various contributions,  the Exchange Club has raised more than $850,000  from its service activities for the Child Abuse Prevention Association of Beaufort County in addition to over $25,000  worth of youth scholarships to worthy high school seniors.

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