BLUFFTON AREA SCHOOLS

classnotes@islandpacket.comAugust 11, 2013 

School name: Bluffton Elementary School and Early Childhood Education Center

Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 1 at Early Childhood Education Center, 2 through 5 at Bluffton Elementary

Address: 150 McCracken Circle for Early Childhood Education Center; 160 McCracken Circle for Bluffton Elementary

Phone number: 843-707-0900 for Early Childhood Education Center; 843-706-8500 for Bluffton Elementary

Website: ble.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BLESECCWildcats

Enrollment: 450

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for the Early Childhood Education Center; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for Bluffton Elementary

School mascot: Wildcats

Principal: Christine Brown, 843-706-8500, christine.wright-brown@beaufort.k12.sc.us. Brown has been an educator for 16 years, 10 of those years as an administrator. She holds a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education, a masters in educational administration and a masters in educational technology. She is married to a retired Marine and has four children and five (soon to be six) grandchildren.

Administrators: Mark Mansell, Early Childhood Education assistant principal, 843-707-0900, mark.mansell@beaufort.k12.sc.us; Mary Rozek, Bluffton Elementary assistant principal, 843-706-8500, email atmary.rozek@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Head of guidance: Laura Marshall, Early Childhood Education Center, 843-707-0900, laura.marshall@beaufort.k12.sc.us; Michaela Johnson, Bluffton Elementary, 843-706-8500, michaela.johnson@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Teacher of the year: Gretchen Fritz began her teaching career in Jackson Township, Ohio, after graduating from the University of Akron. Her husband, Brett, and their sons, Michael and Tyler, have lived in Bluffton for six years. She has taught at Bluffton Elementary for six years and will begin her 14th year of teaching this school year.

School uniform: Red, yellow, royal blue or white polos or collared shirts, khaki pants, shorts, skirts, etc.

PTA/PTO contact: Melissa Copp, blespto@yahoo.com

School Improvement Council contact: Kathy Cuppia, kathycuppia2@gmail.com

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The school will start a "Bring your Own Device" program for fifth-graders and for third- and fourth-graders in talented and gifted programs. The devices can be a smartphone, iPad, iPod Touch, Kindle, Nook, tablet or similar mobile device. The Early Childhood Center will have new laptops in the classrooms and computer labs.

2. Assistant principal Mark Mansell and a guidance counselor Laura Marshall have been hired to serve the Early Education Center.

3. The school welcomes 150 new students transferring from Okatie Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary.

School name: M.C. Riley Elementary and Early Childhood Center

Grades:Pre-kindergarten through 5

Address: 200 Burnt Church Road; Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-706-8300

Website: http://mcr.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment:757

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School mascot: Riley Eagle

Principal: Adrienne Sutton is a University of South Carolina graduate, with both a bachelor's in elementary education and master's in reading. She lives on Hilton Head Island with her husband, Wendell Sutton. She has served Beaufort County School District as an assistant principal and principal for more than 20 years. She has been an adjunct professor for the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Her career started in Lexington as an elementary and reading teacher.

Administrators: Tracy Grubb, 843-706-8300; Tracy Lanese, 843-707-0800

Head of guidance: Joseph Brumbaugh and Carol Walters

Teacher of the year: Brooke Mendenhall

School uniform: Tops -- navy, red, white, gold; bottoms -- navy and tan

PTA/PTO contact: Alia DeLong, president, alia.delong@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8300

School Improvement Council contact: Jen Banks

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The school offers a STEM curriculum, as well as a lab and inquiry center.

2. The school offers opportunities for students to become career ready, academically focused and student leaders.

3. This year, the school will focus on developing leaders.

School name: Okatie Elementary

Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 5

Address: 53 Cherry Point Road, Okatie SC 29909

Phone number: 843-322-7700

Website: oes.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 610

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School mascot: Okie the Owl

Principal: Jamie Pinckney, jamie.pinckney@beaufort.k12.sc.us. Pinckney is in her 31st year in education, all in Beaufort County Schools as a teacher and administrator. She also attended Bluffton schools from kindergarten through high school graduation before earning her undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina. She was a part of the original staff that opened Okatie Elementary 10 years ago.

Administrators: Marva Neal, assistant principal, marva.neal@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Head of guidance: Jorja Scott, jorja.scott@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Teacher of the year: Julie Fletcher is an interventionist, master naturalist and native of the Lowcountry. She serves on the ELA committee, is co-chairwoman of the Wee Deliver inner-mail program, assists with new-teacher support and participates in all Sunset Family Science field trips.

School uniform: Red, white and navy blue

PTA/PTO contact: Julie Toirkens, jtoirkensart@hotmail.com, www.oespto.sutterfly.com

School Improvement Council contact: Kiley Wynne, Kiwynne@hargray.com

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. In December of 2012, the school was one of five nominated by S.C. Superintendent Mick Zais to apply for the National Blue Ribbon Award -- a result of the past three years' performance as a top 10 percent among state schools in PASS exam scores. Blue Ribbon winners will be announced in mid-September. If the school wins, representatives will attend the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18-19.

2. The school is developing an "Okie's Nest" for students. The program and space will provide incentives and rewards to inspire and motivate our students to continue to be respectful and responsible learners.

3. A bring your own device will be implemented in grade five starting in September. This allows students bring their iPads, iPods, Kindles, Nooks or laptops for opportunities to expand their technology skills into daily learning. The school will add fourth grade to the program in January.

School name: Pritchardville Elementary

Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 5

Address: 9447 Evan Way, Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-707-0500

Website: pve.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 737

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School mascot: Sammy the Sea Turtle

Principal: Charles R. Johnson, 843-707-0500, charles.johnson@beaufort.k12.sc.us. Johnson is a U.S. Army veteran, who says he has " invested time toward my own degrees, time toward teaching in the classroom for nearly a decade and time as an administrator and I have no regrets."

Administrators: Mary Beth Roulston, assistant principal, 843-707-0502, MaryBeth.Roulston@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Head of guidance: Jennifer Rook, 843-707-0511,jennifer.rook@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Teacher of the year: Jennifer Deal is a media specialist who taught fourth and fifth grades in Virginia for seven years. As a classroom teacher, she caught the technology bug and enjoyed learning about new technologies and how they could be used in the classroom. That, along with her love for children's literature, led her to become a library media specialist, a job she has held for five years.

School uniform: Tops -- kelly green, pale yellow, white, navy blue; bottoms -- khaki or navy blue

PTA/PTO contact: Jamie Harrison, 843-707-0500

School Improvement Council contact: Jennifer Morrow, 843-707-0500

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The school hopes to be excellent.

2. The school expects to host an NFL player this school year.

3. The school plans a year of rich experiences.

School name: Red Cedar Elementary

Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 5

Address: 10 Box Elder St., Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-707-0600

Website: rce.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 820

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School mascot: Red Cedar Fox

Principal: Kathleen Corley, kathleen.corley@beaufort.k12.sc.us. A Chicago-area native, Corley graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in music education and taught music and served as an assistant principal in a Chicago suburb. She later received a master's and doctorate in educational administration from the University of Illinois and became a principal in Lynchburg, Va. She has since opened three new schools, one in Salem, Mass., and two here in Beaufort County. She has been the principal of Red Cedar Elementary in Bluffton since it opened in 2009.

Administrators: Melissa Vogt, assistant principal, melissa.vogt@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Head of guidance: Jankoski, elizabeth.jankoski@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Teacher of the year: Emily Baker, Emily.Baker@beaufort.k12.sc.us. Baker grew up on Hilton Head Island and is a product of the Beaufort County School District. She has a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education from Clemson University and is working toward her master's in literacy from the University of Texas Arlington. As the summer comes to an end and Baker begins her eighth year of teaching, she says, "I look forward to my next group of students to learn and grow with."

School uniform: Blue bottoms (skirt, shorts, pants, jumper); yellow, gold, red or white shirts.

PTA/PTO contact: Jennifer Price, 843-707-0600

School Improvement Council contact: Michel Claudio, 843-707-0600, mclaudio@hargray.com.

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. Selected upper grade classes will pilot a "Bring Your Own Device" program. Students will bring their own cellphones or tablets for use much as iPad Minis -- for research on the web, responding to questions, geocaching and more.

2. The Road Map to Middle School program will help parents and students work with school staff to plot their success in middle school, starting with group and individualized meetings at 6 p.m. Sept. 5.

3. New stuff: Students will find a new coat of paint, one of their favorite foxes in a surprising place, new clubs, new teachers and assistants, new challenges for "Got a Problem?" and "Just My Imagination," and lots more.

School name: Bluffton Middle School

Grades: 6 and 7

Address: 30 New Mustang Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-707-0700

Website: blm.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 1,065

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 7:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

School mascot: Mustangs

Principal: Patricia Freda, pat.freda@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-707-0776. Freda will begin her second year as principal at Bluffton Middle this fall. She has 28 years of experience in education -- she taught mathematics at the middle-school level for 23 years and served as an administrator for five years. She attended Hofstra University, has a master's in secondary math from Long Island University and a master's in education administration from the University of South Carolina.

Administrators: Beth Bournias, beth.bournias@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-707-0774; Steven Schidrich, steven.schidrich@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-707-0758; Francina Shack, francina.shack@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-707-0988

Head of guidance: Marcia Ramsdell, marcia.ramsdell@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-707-0759

Teacher of the year: John Houpt has been a physical education and health teacher at Bluffton Middle School for three years. Houpt is a coach, mentor and an advocate for students, according to his principal.

School uniform: Bottoms -- black or khaki; tops -- white, gray, maroon, black; materials -- cotton or twill .

PTA/PTO contact: Mary Elizabeth Baughman, kbaughmanco@hargray.com, 843-384-5338

School Improvement Council contact: Stephanie Sutay, sutays@gmail.com, 843-384-3723

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The school's new sports complex, located directly across from the school at 30 Mustang Drive, will include a football field, track and softball field.

2. Bluffton Middle School will add exploratory Spanish for sixth- and seventh-graders as an elective. Carol Weir will join the school's faculty as the Spanish teacher. She has bachelor's degrees in Spanish and English and master's degrees in foreign language education and international relations.

3. The school will add a "shade structure" outdoor classroom next to its newly constructed rain garden. Students and teachers can enjoy learning through inquiry-based activities in the natural environment surrounding the campus.

School name: H.E. McCracken Middle School

Grades: 8 and 9

Address: 250 HE McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-706-8700

Website: hem.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 1,020

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

School mascot: Bulldog/Bobcat

Principal: J. Todd Bornscheuer, 843-706-8700, extension 70944. Bornscheuer joins H.E. McCracken after 17 years with the Aiken County School District. His resume includes seven years as a high school principal with a successful intervention focus with the ninth-grade year. He is married to Liz and is the father of two boys, Matthew and Luke.

Administrators: Lorene Pryor, assistant principal, 843-706-8700, extension 68758; Pamela Maddox, assistant principal, 843-706-8700, extension 68760; Lorene Pryor, assistant principal, 843-706-8700, extension 68758

Head of guidance: Suzan A. Ballard, 843-706-8700, extension 68764

Teacher of the year: Alicia Weaver is a ninth-grade English teacher at H.E. McCracken Middle School. She has taught for 13 years, her first 10 in Ohio and the past three in South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's in English from Ohio State University and a master's in literacy education from Ashland University. She is a member of the National Writing Project and is National Board certified. "I love teaching and being involved with the extra-curriculars of the school," Weaver said. "My classroom is very student centered with a lot of discussion, hands-on learning and student choice. My hope is that by the end of each school year I have turned my students into life-long readers and writers."

School uniform: Students must wear plain shirts with a collar. They can be solid white, black, gray or medium green. Shirts must be tucked in. Students may wear plain sweaters or sweatshirts over their school uniform, and they also must be solid white, black, gray or medium green. Bottoms must be solid khaki. Jeans, stretch pants or yoga pants are not permitted. Bottoms must be free of graphics and embroidery. Shorts, skirts, skorts and jumpers must be modest. The length of these articles of clothing shall be no shorter than three inches above the top of the knee when standing. Cargo-style pants and shorts are not permitted. Baggy or sagging pants or shorts are not permitted. "Low rise" clothing is not permitted. Pants, shorts, and skirts must be worn at the waistline. Belts must be worn if pants, skirts, skorts or shorts have belt loops. Flip flops, crocs, or slippers are not permitted.

PTA/PTO contact: Tracy Butts, tracy.butts@beaufort.k12.sc.us

School Improvement Council contact: Loretta Kefford, loretta.kefford@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Athletics booster club contact: Virginia Manning, virginia.manning@beaufort.k12.sc.us

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. McCracken Middle will "go green" with solar panels. Students will be able to study the impact of the solar project to heat the school's water. With application for classes in all areas of the curriculum, students will get an intensive understanding of solar power.

2. McCracken Middle students get their wish -- dance, weight lifting and a future-teacher program have been added in response to student interest.

3. McCracken's unique makeup is showing progress. Not a middle, nor a high school, the school has both 8th and 9th grades. Student test scores and high school-preparedness reflect academic improvement and success of the venture.

School name: Bluffton High School

Grades: 10 through 12

Address: 12 H.E. McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843-706-8800

Website: blh.beaufort.k12.sc.us

Enrollment: 1,230

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

School mascot: Bobcats

Principal: Mark Dievendorf, mark.dievendorf@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8809. Dievendorf is beginning his fourth year as principal at Bluffton High School, his 35th year in education, and his 24th year as a high school principal. As the result of the outstanding effort of students, staff, and the implementation of Dievendorf's multi-phased Academic Achievement Improvement Plan, Bluffton High School has improved its S.C. School Report Card absolute rating and improvement rating from average to excellent; received the SAT and ACT Magna Cum Laude Awards for Excellent Performance and Rapid Improvement; and exceeded national College and Career Readiness benchmarks; achieved county leading 96 percent and 91 percent passage rates on the SC-HSAP English and math assessments.

Administrators: Chloe Gordon, assistant principal, chloe.gordon@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8087; Joseph Parker, assistant principal, joseph.parker@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8944; Catherine Smith, assistant principal, catherine.smith@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8936

Athletics director: Dave Adams, charles.adams@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8926

Head of guidance: Kelly Homan, kelly.homan@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8906

Teacher of the Year: Joshua Fox

begins his sixth year at Bluffton High School. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Fox teaches English and is head varsity boys soccer coach. He is well-respected and admired for his ability to help at-risk and struggling students achieve success and for the positive difference he makes in the lives of his students and players, according to his principal.

School uniform: Tops -- solid white, black, green, or gray with a collar. Shirts may have school-approved logos. Shirts must be tucked. Students may wear plain or Bluffton High School hooded sweatshirts over school uniforms and must be white, black, green or gray. Pants, skirts, capri length pants and shorts -- solid khaki or black. Jeans are not permitted except on days specified by the principal. Bottoms must be free of graphics and embroidery. Skirts and skorts will be plain, straight or A-line, modest and of sufficient length. They will be no shorter than three inches above the top of the knee when standing. Cargo-style pants or cargo-style shorts are not permitted. Baggy or sagging pants or shorts are not permitted. "Low rise" clothing is not permitted. Pants, shorts and skirts must be worn at the natural waistline. Belts must be worn. Shoes, sneakers and boots -- must be worn at all times, and, as needed, shoes will conform to special requirements, e.g., PE class, ROTC, science labs, etc. Flip flops, crocs, slippers and heelies are not permitted

PTA/PTO contact: Leah Ortega, PTO president, leah.ortega@yahoo.com

School Improvement Council contact: Robert Collar, chairman, robert.collar@beaufort.k12.sc.us, 843-706-8049

Athletics booster club contact: Amy Waddell, president, amy.waddell@beaufort.k12.sc.us 843-706-8051

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. National recognition: The school has been nationally recognized by The Washington Post as one of "America's Most Challenging High Schools," ranking in the top 3 percent of all high schools in the country for the third consecutive year.

2. Palmetto Gold Excellence: The school received the state's Palmetto Gold distinction and improved its S.C. School Report Card Absolute Rating and Improvement Rating from "average" to "excellent."

3. Bobcat Nation Pride: Bobcat Pride abounds as a result of the recent academic, co-curricular, and athletic accomplishments emanating from student, staff, parent, and community investment in our school, according to the principal.

School name: Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence

Grades: 9 through 12

Address: 80 Lowcountry Drive, Ridgeland, SC 29936

Phone number: 843-987-8107

Website: www.bjace.org

Enrollment: 502

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8 a.m. to 2:03 p.m.

School mascot: Torch

Principal: Deonia A. Simmons, simmonsd@bjace.org, 843-987-8107. Simmons has worked as a middle and high school science teacher in North Carolina and Florida, and as a middle school assistant principal and principal in Florida. Simmons served as superintendent in Hampton District 2, supervising 250 employees and overseeing a $16 million annual budget. Simmons has a bachelor's degree in biology from Voorhees College in Denmark, as well as a master's degree in educational leadership and a doctorate in organization leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Administrators: Dandi Daniels, danielsd@bjace.org, 843-987-8107; Spencer Bobian, bobians@bjace.org, 843-987-8107

Head of guidance: Jan Ulmer, ulmerj@bjace.org, 843-987-8107

Teacher of the year: Marwin McKnight

has been the barber instructor at the Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence for 15 years. He is married and has two children. He has been the owner/operator of Cut Creations Barberstyling Shop since 1992 and has been a barber instructor since 1994. McKnight says that his greatest reward as an instructor is being able to give a young man or woman the same opportunity that was given to him to obtain a trade and prepare them for an early start to a successful and prosperous career.

School uniform: Students wear multiple outfits that are applicable to their industry/field of study.

PTA/PTO contact: Debra Daley, daleyd@bjace.org, 843-987-8107

School Improvement Council contact: Deonia A. Simmons, simmonsd@bjace.org, 843-987-8107

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The Academy has a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lab that will significantly enhance the student's learning experience.

2. Beaufort-Jasper ACE administration is excited about the opportunity to work with the superintendents of both Beaufort and Jasper counties.

3. Beaufort-Jasper ACE is excited about all of the innovative opportunities we will be able to offer our students this year.

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