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School Board Address Multiple Issues Tuesday night
By Anne Waits
web posted September 13, 2012
JOHNSTON – Following the usual call to
order, invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, the regularly scheduled
meeting of the Edgefield County School Board began Tuesday night with
an attempt to show a brief presentation entitled, "Remembering 9/11,"
that had to be delayed until later in the evening due to technical
difficulties. The presentation had been shown Tuesday morning at Strom
Thurmond High School at 8:46, the time of the terrorist attacks 11
The film gave a description of what happened on that day and showed
actual scenes from the event.
"On that day, Sept. 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked by the
terrorist group Al Quida," said the narrator. He told how the
terrorists had prepared themselves for the attack and each plane's
target. After the first plane hit the twin tower, some family members
were able to receive messages from loved ones on other planes, he said.
"Americans all came together to help each other," he said. "It was a
time when Americans stopped to think about and appreciate the freedom
The film asked for each person to take a minute to close their eyes and
reflect on that day.
Edgefield County Superintendent of Education Greg Anderson said the
basis for the remembrance was that so many of today's school children
are too young to remember that day and that this is the first time the
anniversary has fallen on a Tuesday.
Edgefield County Council Chairman Dean Campbell addressed the School
Board with a couple of items. First, he mentioned that the County
Council had been visited by a representative of the American Red Cross
who conveyed some of the training currently available which includes
CPR and other medical training, and babysitting.
"Some high school students may be interested in this," he said.
He then gave an update on the Edgefield County Strategic Plan."This
plan was put together to include all county business and it was meant
for us all to work together to accomplish these goals," he said.
Another of our goals is in the area of internship and education," he
said. "We encourage the communities to match skills with internships."
On of the intentions is to establish tours for high school students in
manufacturing, he said. "We intend to meet with local industries to
determine the skills needed for jobs and to match accordingly," he
said. Also, under future goals is the countywide summit in 2013 to
discuss collective futures. Campbell said County Administrator Lynn
Strom is to provide an update in four to six weeks.
Following Campbell's address, the School Board approved a request by
Eric Dawson for the Antioch Baptist Church and the Fellowship of
Christian Athletes to hold a Homecoming post-game concert on the
football field of JET Middle School on Oct. 5 and granted permission
for Stephen Hampton of JET Middle School to take students to
Washington, D.C. Feb. 15-18, 2013.
In other items on the agenda, Assistant Superintendent of Education
Donna Strom asked Strom Thurmond High School Principal Jill Jet to
introduce Alicia Butler Martin, director for the Alternate School
Programs in Edgefield County.
Martin gave a brief alternative/transitions report in Edgefield County
Schools and said she is proud to be a part of the team and what they
She said the first-year behavioral interventionist, Johnnie Williams,
has begun a letter-writing campaign in which he asked students who had
been through the process to write to her. She read some of the letters
(not using names) to show the progress the students are making. The
students said they are glad to have returned to regular school and even
though they like her, they will do their best to stay away from PRIDE
(the alternative school in Edgefield County).
"Our focus is to show children what their choices are," she said. "It
is a very structured program, small and consistent. We teach children
the ABCs--attendance, behavior and classwork. It is a transition place
and our goal is to return them to the regular classroom."
Williams spoke and said that in the student transitions, there have
been no major instances. He gave some examples of interactions between
students that were successfully resolved.
"We're slowly getting acclimated," he said. "The transition to Strom
Thurmond is better than I had anticipated. I believe this has made a
Martin said, "We have a plan in place. I want to commend Mr. Williams
on his work here. There are other children who didn't come to Strom
Thurmond from PRIDE who he works with."
Williams said he is extremely proud there have been no major fights and
that the conflicts were resolved and no one has had to be sent back to
Under the Office of Superintendent items, Anderson shared a written
report from AdvancedEd that conveyed that Edgefield County was credited
last year with a few areas still to work on and added that those areas
are being worked on. A time was set for the special called meeting on
Sept. 18 for 7 p.m., when the School Board will meet with Bobby Bowers
of the Columbia office and Sen. Shane Massey to begin the process of
In closing, School Board Chairman Brad Covar mentioned an item that had
been brought up in the Economic Development meeting concerning transfer
trucks that are traveling Sweetwater Road and the way they are driving.
"I realize they are trying to conserve all the gas they can these days,
but there are school buses out there and our students are at risk," he
said. "We are looking at meeting with the highway department and ways
to get something done about the situation."
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