LOWCOUNTRY FAMILIES HAVE MANY FIRST CLASS OPTIONS FOR THEIR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. EXPERIENCED ADMINISTRATORS, PASSIONATE TEACHERS AND MOTIVATED PEERS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE FOR STUDENTS. IN THIS SECTION WE CELEBRATE HIGH QUALITY CENTERS OF LEARNING IN BLUFFTON AND ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND.
- A Gift of Learning
NICHOLAS D. LUCCHESI SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED AT USCB
John Paul II Catholic School
John Paul II Catholic School offers students of all faiths an exceptional education in a safe, secure, Christ-centered environment. Students are well prepared to succeed in college thanks to the school’s rigorous honors and Advanced Placement programs. Beyond the classroom, an extensive athletic program, clubs and activities, and a growing performing arts program offer students opportunities to learn valuable teamwork and life skills. Community service learning is embedded in the curriculum, allowing students to understand how their Christian faith calls them to be joyful servants to those less fortunate in their community. Our graduates are truly scholars with a soul.
Featured Teacher: This year, John Paul II Catholic School welcomed Dr. George Poole, who recently retired from East Tennessee State University as professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics, into its math department. For the past 20 years, Dr. Poole has worked in the teaching and professional development of K-12 teachers, and he continues to conduct seminars and workshops on content and pedagogy across the country. He has published 50 scholarly papers and has international recognition in three fields of mathematics: geometry (Moser’s Worm Problem), matrix theory (generalized inverses), and numerical linear algebra (Rook’s Pivoting). Dr. Poole is thrilled about working with John Paul students, families, faculty and administration.
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School opened in 2006 and serves students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade with an enrollment of 185 students. St. Gregory strives to create a well-rounded environment that meets the needs of all students. The school’s motto of “Where Faith and the Sciences Excel” is enhanced with premiere science and technology labs where all students can explore their faith and the sciences.
In Oct. 2019, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School became the first non-public school in South Carolina and first Catholic school in the Diocese of Charleston to receive STEM Certification through Cognia (formerly known as AdvancED). This was a great accomplishment for the students, families, staff, and community of the parish. SGGCS worked to meet this goal through collaborative efforts, a strong transdisciplinary approach to education, and introducing new programs to allow students the opportunity to grow in their faith and their learning. Not only does SGGCS provide a Catholic education that is faith-based and built on the tenants of the Catholic Church, it provides students with opportunities to explore the world around them with complex and authentic learning experiences.
St. Francis Catholic School
For the past 23 years, St. Francis Catholic School, a fully SACS-accredited parochial Catholic school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, has provided an excellent academic environment for students. St. Francis Catholic School’s mission is to nurture students’ spiritual and intellectual growth in a Catholic community committed to academic excellence, with a focus on faith formation, quality academics and community. The school offers a variety of opportunities and enrichment activities for students and helps students mature in their faith through participation in the sacramental life of the church. St. Francis strives to develop each child’s intellect and motivate the child to action and service. Our hope is that every graduate is a person of faith, integrity and scholarship.
Sea Pines Montessori Academy
Sea Pines Montessori Academy is an independent, nonprofit school offering the highest quality of private education based on the principles of the Montessori method. The student body is composed of children from age 12 months through eighth grade, though the school is exploring adding programs for students starting at age 6 months. Celebrating its 51st year on the Hilton Head Island, Sea Pines Montessori promotes character development, leadership, confidence and discovery while encouraging independence and a love of learning.
The curriculum is geared to each child’s unique abilities and needs, allowing teachers to follow the child through observation and individual/group lessons in a safe, secure campus.
Technical College of the Lowcountry
The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs. Students can earn associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in an environment that fosters excellence in teaching and learning. The college prepares graduates with knowledge and skills they will need to transfer to senior colleges and universities and for careers in computer technology, industrial technology, engineering technology, occupational technology, business, health sciences and public service.
Student spotlight: Megan Hodges, a Regina and Harry Silletti Scholarship recipient, persevered even when life tried getting in the way of her college dreams. She recently graduated from TCL’s prestigious associate degree nursing program and is now working as a registered nurse at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Megan says, “with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”
University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training
USCB’s Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training offers valuable professional development opportunities, event management resources and quality standards management services. Its Island Ambassador program is especially popular with local businesses and includes in-person seminars about Hilton Head Island culture, knowledge and ecology. After the three-part Island Ambassador session, attendees can confidently discuss topics ranging from common wildlife seen on the beach to Hilton Head’s early history with island visitors and guests. More than 2,100 Island Ambassadors have been certified to date. The event management department also pairs USCB students with local community events to experience real-world event management. The quality standards management program works with local hospitality businesses, ensuring students learn to provide exceptional experiences for all guests.
What’s New in 2019-20: The center launched its Bluffton Ambassador Program to educate participants about Bluffton’s rich history, unique amenities and diverse ecology.
Hilton Head Preparatory School
The 2020 rankings are in, and Hilton Head Prep is leading the way in education — just as it has since its founding in 1965. According to the Best Schools Rankings list from Niche, Prep is the No. 1 private K-12 school in Beaufort County, the No. 1 boarding school in the state, the No 1. college prep school in the state, the No. 2 private K-12 school in South Carolina, and in the top 13% of all K-12 private schools nationwide. It all starts with Prep’s faculty — who average 20 years of experience and two-thirds have advanced degrees — and the administration, with more than 30 years of experience, on average — delivering Prep’s rigorous college prep curriculum, a strong arts and athletics program along with community service and character education. But here’s what matters more than the numbers: Faculty and staff members are passionate about learning and love the kids they teach.
Student spotlight: Hilton Head Preparatory School senior Felipe Mendoza has been awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Chicago through the QuestBridge program. Felipe was selected from a pool of 15,000 applicants through a rigorous screening process; winners of this scholarship are among the best and brightest in the country. This program “matches” applicants with their top-tier college partners and Felipe’s match was his first choice. His scholarship is worth over $350,000 and includes full tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. Felipe has attended Hilton Head Prep since kindergarten.
About the schools: Established in 1998, Cross Schools provides a Christian-based education for children ages 12 months through eighth grade. In 2020, the school will welcome its first high school class. Cross Schools strives to create an atmosphere where students develop a passion for learning through small classes, rigorous academics, various enrichment courses, and faith-based learning. At Cross Schools, students attend weekly chapel, participate in community service projects, and have the opportunity to join various clubs. The athletic program features 14 different competitive teams. The guiding principles of the Cross Schools community are academic excellence, Christian values, and community service.
New this year: Cross Schools’ enrollment is up 53%, with over 570 students enrolled from preschool through eighth grade. Cross Schools is now enrolling 9th grade for the Fall of 2020. The school completed its inaugural season for the football program, coached by former NFL player Keith Brooking, with a record of 5-1.
Hilton Head Christian Academy
When HHCA opens its new Bluffton campus for grades kindergarten through 12th in January 2021, it will be among the top 1% of schools worldwide built from the ground up to deliver an innovative learning environment designed for the future. HHCA faculty have undergone extensive training and are implementing a new learning model under the guidance of international experts in education planning and architectural design at Fielding Nair International. With a 100% college matriculation rate and over 90% of seniors earning merit-based scholarships, graduates are using their God-given talents to impact the world. Ranked among the top private schools in South Carolina, HHCA has a vibrant fine arts program and over 30 sports teams offering opportunities for students to excel. With a new campus on the horizon, interest is soaring, and many classes are nearing capacity as many families apply for the upcoming school year.
Faculty spotlight: The influence of James Berry, HHCA’s director of fine arts and music teacher extraordinaire, starts in HHCA’s band room and extends across the United States. Whether teaching fourth- and fifth-grade band students to play instruments or leading his nationally recognized Hilton Head Jazz Camp, which draws students from as far away as Alaska, Mr. Berry is helping a community of musicians develop their passion for music and the arts.