Schools briefs for June 15th-21st

BA hires new director of music program

Vic Varner

Vic Varner has been named the director of the new Vocal Music and Guitar program at Beaufort Academy. 

He is creating the new vocal music program for the school for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. He will be working with Lower, Middle and Upper school students.

Varner grew up in the Park Circle area of North Charleston. His undergraduate degree is in music education from Charleston Southern University and his Master’s of Music Education is from Winthrop University. 

He achieved Kodály Certification from studies at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and studied jazz arranging under artist Phil Mattson at Southwest College in Creston, Iowa.

Varner developed a “solfege” approach for teaching sight reading that has been adopted by numerous music educators in South Carolina.  

He retired from 30 years of high school music education in 2011. His school choirs have performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and have been nationally ranked in competitions from Orlando to Toronto.  

Since “retirement,” Varner has been teaching music courses at USCB and continuing his 40-plus years in church music as director of music at First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort. 

A singer/guitarist, Varner also works as a performer and recording artist at venues throughout the Southeast.  

He has been featured at Hilton Head’s Jazz Corner, Palmetto Bluff’s “Music to Your Mouth” jazz series and Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

Varner is returning to high school teaching because he misses creating order out of chaos and developing young people into musicians.  

“The biggest thrill for me is to see the light bulb click over a student’s head the moment he or she understands musical intervals. Simply put … I am a music educator and I love it.” 

Varner has plans to develop a first-class choral program where students are developing individual musicianship with a strong ensemble approach. The school is looking forward to seeing its students perform in major concerts and other community performances.

In time, the guitar students will hopefully emerge as an accompaniment for the singers, but will also be featured as a separate ensemble. 

Enrollment at Beaufort Academy is still open. Call 843-524-3393 or email Admissions Director MJ Simmons at mjsimmons@beaufortacademy.org. 

Visit www.BeaufortAcademy.org.

Schools announce Dean’s List, grads

The following students were named to Wofford College’s Spring 2017 Dean’s List: Michael Christian Bass and Laura Derenne Roddey, both of Beaufort. 

Tucker Langehans, also of Beaufort, was named to the Dean’s List at Grove City College.

Following are students who graduated from Wofford on May 21: 

• Mary Catherine Carmody received a bachelor of arts degree in English. Carmody is from Beaufort.

• Finn Arnung Koppernaes received a bachelor of arts degree in finance with a minor in economics. Koppernaes is from Beaufort.

• Laura Derenne Roddey received a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a minor in art history. Roddey is from Beaufort.

Summer reading camps provide student support

The South Carolina Department of Education and school districts across the state are gearing up to provide additional support and time on task for struggling third-grade readers through Read to Succeed Summer Reading Camps. 

Reading camps serve students with severe reading difficulties by providing them with the necessary skills to become successful lifelong readers.  

During the summer reading camps, students are taught by highly qualified teachers who have experience working with students with severe reading difficulties to improve their reading, writing and critical thinking skills. 

Students will have the opportunity to receive small group and individual instruction to meet their specific reading needs.  

“Our students deserve every opportunity to strengthen their reading skills to ensure a successful future,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We encourage all families of third-grade students having severe reading difficulties to contact your district to find out more about the literacy supports that will be provided at summer reading camps.” 

A person’s ability to read is a critical predictor of educational and lifelong success. A strong reading program, like Read to Succeed, beginning in kindergarten and continuing into the third grade and beyond, gives students the best possible chance to maximize their education and lifelong success. 

Beginning in fourth grade, a student must be prepared to comprehend facts in social studies and science, understand word problems in math, and interpret complex materials in language arts.

Results from South Carolina’s statewide assessment, SC READY, show that only 44 percent of third graders met or exceeded standards in English language arts, which includes reading, in 2016. Like other states, South Carolina recognized the need to combat alarming statistical trends that are associated with the inability to read by the end of third grade, including increased drop-out rates and fewer employment opportunities.  

The Read to Succeed Act is a strong initiative that focuses on mastery of reading skills before students advance to fourth grade. The Act requires each district to develop a comprehensive annual reading proficiency plan for Pre-K to 12th-grade students, establishes student reading intervention programs as early as kindergarten and mandates all initially licensed K-12 teachers to complete additional training to receive a Read to Succeed endorsement. 

Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, third-grade students who are not reading on grade level may be retained. Retention can provide students with severe reading difficulties the additional time they need to gain the necessary reading skills to be successful in fourth grade and beyond.  

For additional information on Summer Reading Camps,  visit ed.sc.gov/summer-reading-camps.

School district offers summer lunch program

The Beaufort County School District is offering a Summer Food Service Program to students who are participating in a variety of summer programs across the county. Meals will be provided to all eligible children free of charge.

Acceptance and participation requirements for the program are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. 

Meals will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and will be provided at various sites to children who are participating in several summer programs:

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry (lunches):

• Bridges Club, 1100 Boundary St. in Beaufort, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through July 21.

• Sheldon Club, 21 Agnes Major Road in Sheldon, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through July 28.

To enroll in the Boys & Girls Club Summer Camps, contact your local Boys & Girls Club office.

St. Helena Migrant Camp (lunches and dinners):

• 1025 Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch; 4:30-5:30 p.m. for dinner through July 7

To enroll in the St. Helena Migrant Camp, contact the Migrant Office at 843-838-6868. Enrollees of the Migrant Camp must be students in kindergarten through grade 12, and students’ families must have moved within the last 36 months for the purpose of engaging in agriculture.

Beaufort County YMCA (lunches):

• 1801 Richmond Ave. in Port Royal, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Aug. 16.

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