• January 2020 Special Recognitions

  • January 20, 2020 

    School Board Recognition Month

    Governor Henry McMaster has declared January 2020 School Board Recognition Month in South Carolina. The theme this year is — School Board Strong — highlighting the unique role school boards play in championing and advocating for quality education and the ownership they take for governing their local public schools. As the elected/appointed representatives of the people in their local communities, they represent their local communities’ voice and vision for their public schools. The Charleston County School Board was recognized for their dedication and commitment to the students and staff in CCSD. In addition, board member Cindy Bohn-Coats was recognized by the School Board Association for her ten years of service to CCSD.

    Professional Grounds Management Society and Green Star Award Recognitions

    The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees recognized Ron Kramps (Executive Director of Facilities and Maintenance) and Dennis Burgess (Plant Operations Director) with CCSD's Facilities Management Division for being honored as the only K-12 school district to receive an Honor Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS).CCSD competed in the Society's 2019 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the Athletic Fields category for exceptional grounds maintenance. West Ashley High School was the focus of the 2019 Green Star Award submission. 

    Project Prevent Grant

    Alicia Kokkinis (CCSD Grants Officer) led a team of over 40 CCSD staff and 15 partner organizations to put together the winning proposal for a grant to provide mental health. Jennifer Coker, (Executive Director of Alternative Programs & Services) and Lisa Allison (Director of Intervention & Psychological Services), are serving as co-advisors on the grant. Thanks to the hard work and leadership of our team and our partners, this grant will help our children be ready to learn, keep children safe, and build stronger families.

    Project Prevent is a grant that will allow our District to do even more for children who have experienced trauma. The funding will pay for more mental health counselors; it will pay for teachers and school staff to be trained to identify and address trauma, and it will pay for families to receive wrap-around services. Only 15 districts across the U.S. were awarded this competitive grant. CCSD is the only district in South Carolina to receive it and will receive $5 million to support students.

    The grant team was recognized at the regularly scheduled Charleston County School District Board meeting on January 27, 2020.

    2019 Youth Volunteers of the Year Winners

    With a full schedule of advanced courses, after-school jobs, and other extra-curricular activities, Grace Hill, Evelyn Howe, J.R. Wilson, and Brady Zingerella still found the opportunity to volunteer some free time in their community. These students were recently recognized at an Appreciation Dinner in their honor and were named 2019 Youth Volunteers of the Year. Thanks to the West Ashley Optimist Club, for shining a light on their selfless acts of volunteerism.

    Grace Hill (AMHS)- has been volunteering at MUSC since the summer of 2017. Since then, she has served over 500 hours. Most volunteers do a maximum of 100 hours per year, but Grace has well surpassed that in her three and a half years. She started out as a Candy Striper, volunteering time during her summer break to learn more about the medical world. She then returned the following summer. From that experience, she became a full-time volunteer, serving year-round as a weekly volunteer. Grace not only volunteers at MUSC, but also at her church and an art camp teaching children ages 3-9. Recently she started serving with the Comfort Meal program for the Children's Hospital where she and a group of her peers are now serving meals to help our families, as they have to pay for every single meal while staying in the hospital.

    Evelyn Howe (School of the Arts) has volunteered at Roper Hospital for the past year in the transport department and has completed the SCRUBS mentoring program. She has over 100 hours with Roper, helping to discharge patients, and shadow nurses, aides, doctors, and support staff throughout the hospital.

    J.R. Wilson (C.E. Williams MS) - the only middle schooler to receive this award, volunteered over 300 hours with St. Parks and Recreation and the City of Charleston. Each week he would help younger students with fostering positive relationship skills, team building, tutoring, implementing new activities, managing the camp store, and helping to keep counselors organized for individual and group activities. Receiving CPR and First Aid training, he proactively jumped in to help a student who got overheated and became very ill. J.R. has been a role model for many, and several parents have sung his praises for his leadership.

    Brady Zingerella (Wando) In just under a year, Brady has already volunteered over 150 hours---assisting the staff, patients, and visitors in MUSC Health’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). The MICU is a volunteer assignment that is usually reserved for older volunteers, but the program coordinator had no concerns with placing Brady in this role. The hospital has received numerous compliments from various MICU staff members, including the unit’s nurse manager, acknowledging how great Brady is in his role. They all love the way he engages every visitor to the MICU, and they appreciate that he takes the initiative to get things done in such a helpful way.

    In total, these students have volunteered over 700 hours in just a matter of months. The Charleston County School Board recognized their selflessness at their January Board meeting on January 27, 2020.

    Wando High School Swim Team

    The Wando’ High School Swim team swam their way to success, by earning the top spot in the state for their class. They received their third straight State title. In the 5A Championship Meet, they beat runner-up Spartanburg by 133 points. And individually, Estelle Bauer won the 500-yard freestyle state championship, 5:07.99). The team was recognized at the monthly CCSD board meeting on January 27, 2020.

    Wando High School Band
    Recently Wando’s Marching Band won the 2019 S.C. 5A State Marching Band Competition, earning them the state record of most 5A titles. They are no strangers to receiving both state and national recognition, proving their elite performance ability year-after-year. They are the only S.C. Band to be ranked TOP 20 in the Nation by Horn Rank (a premiere national scholastic marching band rankings website, focused on covering the best high school bands and band competitions in the United States). To add to their accomplishments, they recently received the National Band Association Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award. 
    In addition, Bobby Lambert, who has been the Director of the Band at Wando High School, for the last six years, has led the marching and concert bands to several victories, on both a state and national level. Back in the Fall, he was awarded the 2019 CAP (Cultural Arts and Pride) Arts & Humanities Award, for his notable contributions towards the Arts in the Town of Mt. Pleasant; providing musical performances for various celebrations ad events in the Town, and helping students excel in music. 
    The band, Lambert and principal Sherry Epplesheimer were all honored by the Charleston County Board of Directors Monday, January 27, 2020.