School briefs for February 23rd-March 1st

in Uncategorized by

Prom boutique to be held; dresses and more needed

The Junior Service League of Beaufort (JSLB) is hosting its sixth annual Prom Boutique from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the YMCA of Beaufort. 

Since 2011, JSLB’s Prom Boutique has helped girls in Beaufort and Jasper counties experience the magic of finding the perfect prom dress.

In past years, over 75 girls have attended the event where they are able to choose from a wide variety of new and gently used formal dresses, accessories and jewelry at no cost. 

JSLB members serve as personal stylists for the girls, helping each to pick the perfect gown and complete her look. And this year, JSLB is excited to expand the opportunity to Hampton Country students as well.

“The most rewarding part of this experience, and why we continue to host this event year after year, is the reaction of the girls when they find the perfect dress,” said Missy Nelson, co-chairwoman of the Prom Boutique. “The girls leave the Prom Boutique with a sense of confidence that serves them far beyond the memorable occasion of prom.”

Similar to past years, the Prom Boutique offers attendees a red-carpet experience and includes a VIP hour from 11 a.m. to noon for those who pre-register for the event. 

VIP attendees have the opportunity to have first pick of all dresses and accessories, while enjoying even more personalized attention from JSLB’s personal stylists. 

VIP applications are available through school guidance counselors and on the website at

Any student in Beaufort, Jasper or Hampton counties is invited to attend the boutique. Shoppers must show their student ID or have a letter on school letterhead from their guidance counselor, teacher or school administrator. All girls who attend the event are welcome to bring family members or friends to help them shop. 

The YMCA of Beaufort is located at 1801 Richmond Ave. in Port Royal.

Dresses and accessories are needed for the event. JSLB will accept new or gently used long and short dresses in all sizes and accessories, such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, shawls and handbags. Dresses must be clean and have no visible tears or stains. 

Donations can be dropped off through Monday, March 6, at the following locations:

• SugarBelle, 905 Boundary St., Beaufort.

• Amazing Event Rentals, 35 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort, or 352 Argent Blvd., Hardeeville.

Classroom teachers, staff attend professional training

Nearly 2,000 classroom teachers and school staff attended a full day of professional development training at multiple sites as the school district hosted its fourth annual Best Practices Day.  

The mid-year event is an opportunity for local educators to expand their knowledge and enhance their skills.

More than 100 sessions were offered, with topics for teachers ranging from “Classroom Management Strategies” and “Using Case Studies to Increase Interest and Achievement in High School Earth Science” to “Progress Monitoring Made Simple” to “Paint, Glitter and Glue, Oh, My! Arts Integration in PreK.”  

Support staff could sign up for special sessions geared to their responsibilities.

“We have outstanding classroom professionals and school staff in our district, people who are experts at what they do,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our annual Best Practices Day lets us leverage that expertise and make our teachers and staff more effective, which ultimately benefits students.” 

Bluffton High School tapped for specialized AP program

Students throughout Beaufort County can apply to attend a new program at Bluffton High School, one of only a few South Carolina schools approved to implement this program that helps students to develop skills valued by colleges and employers.

The new AP Capstone program, scheduled to begin for the 2017-18 academic year, will become a new school choice in addition to Bluffton High’s current offerings of Project Lead the Way and Acceleration Academy.  

Any student in Beaufort County can apply, and the deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

AP Capstone is a special diploma program that allows students to develop their research, collaboration and communication skills by taking two Advanced Placement courses in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research.  AP Capstone is coordinated by the College Board, the nonprofit organization that manages SAT college entrance exams as well as Advanced Placement exams that allow students to earn college credits while still in high school.

Only 1,000 high schools worldwide offer the AP Capstone program, and only four South Carolina schools currently offer AP Capstone.

Middle school girls attend STEM day

Fifty middle school girls spent a recent Saturday immersed in learning activities related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

Local professionals in those STEM fields led the workshop.   

The daylong session, Launch Your Future with STEM, was supported by the Beaufort Chapter of the American Association of University Women and funded by a grant from the Society of Women Engineers through a donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation.  

The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of South Carolina-Beaufort and the Beaufort County School District.

The participating girls were students at Robert Smalls International Academy as well as Beaufort, Lady’s Island and Whale Branch middle schools.

Women often are not familiar with STEM career possibilities although high-paying jobs in STEM-related fields are increasing quickly and companies are actively seeking out women to apply.

Horton scholarship winner is named


Beaufort Academy and the Thomas H. Horton Jr. Memorial Scholarship committee have selected junior Anna Miller as its 12th annual scholarship recipient. She is the daughter of Aaron and Karen Miller.

Tom Horton was a beloved teacher and coach at Beaufort Academy for 23 years.  In 2003, he died, leaving a legacy behind at the school. His family established the Thomas H. Horton Jr. Memorial Scholarship in 2004 to memorialize his life and commemorate his contributions to the development of the minds and characters of students.

Due to Horton’s love of travel, the scholarship is designated to give Beaufort Academy students a chance to participate in a summer study abroad program. 

Anna, the 2017 recipient, inspired by literature, and driven by her own love for creative writing, will travel to Ireland for 25 days this summer as a part of “The Irish Life Experience.”  

She will be studying past and present authors, local culture, drama, writing and song. 

During the last 11 years, the scholarship has allowed recipients the chance to study abroad in a variety of locations including England, Italy, Scotland, Switzerland, Spain, France, Peru, Ecuador and the
Galapagos Islands.

DATAW Visual Arts Club makes visit to Lady’s Island Middle

Eight members of the Dataw Island Visual Arts Club (VAC) toured the Lady’s Island Middle School (LIMS) art department recently. Art teacher Cadra Rooney conducted the tour.  

This excursion was a follow-up to see the students at work in their art center after the VAC donated $1,400 recently to support the LIMS art program.

The tour began in the gallery that the students designed themselves in 2016.  To ensure success, they conducted research and toured the Telfair Museum, Columbia Museum and SCAD to observe how effective galleries operate. They took measurements, priced out supplies, and then contributed to final decisions during the construction process.

The next stop was the drawing studio set up with a still life arrangement surrounded by easels, ready for students to begin drawing. The last stop was the main art room where the students drew a pattern for a slab box with a hinged top, rolled out the clay, cut the forms and began to create a treasure. Rooney explained that in the next step the pottery would be glazed using a variety of newly purchased glazes.

Dataw VAC members said they were very pleased to see their donation was making a positive contribution to the community, and they received many thank-you notes from appreciative students for donating to the school’s art funds.

BA students take part in SCISA spelling bee

Twelve Beaufort Academy students in grades 3-8 participated in the SCISA Spelling Bee on Jan. 25. 

Overall, Beaufort Academy placed 5th out of eight schools. 

Eighth-grade student Emma Dillinger placed in the top two and will be heading to the SCISA state competition. 

Seventh-grader Mary Hanna Hiers placed in the top four, also earning points for BA. 

The other Beaufort Academy competitors were Sam Schools, Trip Nellen, Caroline Schools, Langdon Taylor, Andrew Gates, Brock Bettle, Ilse Von Heimburg, Ledare Pingree, Emma Grace Dinkins and Margot Packard.

Bridges Prep educator named Favorite Teacher

Bridges Prep teacher Katherine Tapia was recently named Favorite Teacher by Winning Orthodontic Smiles of Beaufort and Bluffton.

Katherine Tapia, a third-grade teacher, received a $100 gift card to Staples. It was the first time any Bridges Prep teacher had received the award since the school’s opening.

One of Tapia’s students, Caitlin Conley, nominated her teacher for the monthly award. She signed up her teacher when visiting the orthodontic office of Dr. Skeet Burris, Dr. Travis Fiegle and Dr. Katie Plunkett.

“This was a nice surprise for Mrs. Tapia and her students,” Bridges Head of School Nick Ithomitis said. “The kids adore her and I think it’s wonderful that one of her students thought to nominate her at the orthodontist’s office as Favorite Teacher.’”

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