EDUCATION NEWS

BEAUFORT COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANS OUTDOOR GRADUATION CEREMONIES 

The Beaufort County School District plans on holding in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies for its 2021 graduates. To hold the ceremonies outdoors, the graduation schedule is adjusted in order to accommodate rain days: Beaufort High School, June 14 at 7 p.m. (Rain date: June 22 at 10 a.m.); May River High School, June 15 at 7 p.m. (Rain date: June 22 at 7 p.m.); Whale Branch Early College High School, June 16 at 7 p.m. (Rain date: June 21 at 7 p.m.); Hilton Head Island High School, June 17 at 7 p.m. (Rain date: June 19 at 7 p.m.); Bluffton High School, June 18 at 10 a.m. (Rain date: June 19 at 10 a.m.), Battery Creek High School, June 18 at 7 p.m. (Rain date: June 21 at 10 a.m.); June 23 is an extra rain day if needed. The district planned to submit plans to the S.C. Department of Commerce and Department of Health and Environmental Control for approval.

BATTERY CREEK HIGH EDUCATOR HONORED AS SCHOOL COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR 

Latoshia MiddletonLatoshia Middleton of Battery Creek High School is the Beaufort County School District’s 2021 School Counselor of the Year. 

A recent graduate of The Citadel’s Educational Leadership master’s degree program, Middleton is passionate about helping young people explore their options for the future, a news release said. 

“Since I was a young girl, I loved to help people,” said Middleton. “Just knowing that I could leave someone in a better position than when I met them makes my heart smile.” 

Battery Creek Principal Chad Cox described Middleton as organized, interpersonal, and a strong communicator. 

The district also recognized River Ridge Academy’s Jillian Power as Middle School Counselor of the Year, Joseph S. Shanklin’s Latesha Jennings as Elementary School Counselor of the Year, and Hilton Head High’s Lisa Ditroia as Rookie School Counselor of the Year. 

A four-person panel of district administrators evaluated this year’s candidates and selected the honorees. 

PRITCHARDVILLE ELEMENTARY EARNS TOP RECOGNITION 

Pritchardville Elementary School has been named a 2021 Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School. The award will be presented to the school during the Blue Ribbon Schools’ Conference in Orlando, Fla., at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center on Dec. 3. Designation as a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School lasts for five years, at which time Pritchardville Elementary will be eligible for renewal. 

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD SETS ACADEMIC YEAR CALENDAR 

The Beaufort County Board of Education has set its 2021- 2022 academic calendar. The first day for students will be Monday, Aug. 16; the final day of classes will be Friday, May 27, 2022. Holiday dates are Sept. 6 (Labor Day); Nov. 11 (Veterans Day); Nov. 24-26 (Thanksgiving); Dec. 20-Jan. 3, 2022 (winter break); Jan. 17, 2022 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); Feb. 21, 2022 (President’s Day); April 11-15, 2022 (spring break, includes Good Friday); and May 30 (Memorial Day). Potential virtual weather make-up days are Dec. 20-21 and April 11. 

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS EARN RECOGNITION IN REGIONAL ARTS AND WRITING CONTEST 

Beaufort County School District students won 48 Southeast regional recognitions in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. There were 34 winners at Hilton Head Island High, eight at May River High and six at Bluffton High. Students in grades 7 through 12 typically submit more than 350,000 works of art and writing in 30 categories. 

The district’s 10 award-winners — Gold Key recipients — advance to judging at the national level. 

Nathalia Roca

Brittany Ramirez Mixed MediaGold Key winners from Bluffton High were Kelsey Buck for “Old Things” (Senior Art Portfolio); and Nathalia Roca for “Words Build Words” (Drawing and Illustration), “Self-imprisonment” (Drawing and Illustration), and “You Are What You Say” (Painting); Hilton Head High winners were Summer Carder for “Murky Skies” (Photography); Ellie Clark for “Wild Dream” (Photography); Katharine Crosby for “War Paint” (Photography); and Brittany Ramirez for “Untitled” (Mixed Media); and the May River High winner was Jirattikarn Yakhasem for “Checkerboard” (Drawing and Illustration) and “Hoop” (Painting). 

Jirattikarn YakhasemSilver Key winners from Hilton Head High were Regina Aguilar for “The Memory Project” (Drawing and Illustration); Camden Bernstein for “When Life Gives You Lemons” (Photography) and “Hidden Beauties” (Photography); Olivia Blondeau for “The Spiral of Nature” (Photography); Laney Duncan for “Sprout” (Photography); Emilie Fister for “Mind Blown” (Mixed Media); Cassidy Iverson for “Skater Vision” (Photography); Ryan Kurz for “Hilton Head Island Photos” (Photography); Amanda Magnin for “Death of the Ocean” (Sculpture); Kyle Pirnat for “Chiaroscuro Portrait” (Drawing and Illustration); Sasha Udvornocky for “The Memory Project” (Drawing and Illustration); and Mae Williams for “The Met” (Drawing and Illustration). A Silver Key winner from May River High was Sophia Wendel for “Vintage Camera” (Drawing and Illustration). 

HERITAGE ACADEMY NAMES ATHLETIC DIRECTOR 

Liz Nash has been named new athletic director for Heritage Academy. The school’s new program will have cross country, track, sailing, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming, and a sports performance academy. Nash has more than 20 years of coaching experience, including more than 20 years serving in the administration at Hilton Head Preparatory School and as associate athletic director and director of facilities and operations for Hilton Head Preparatory School.