PRIVATE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS

classnotes@islandpacket.comAugust 11, 2013 

School name: Agape Christian Academy

Grades: Kindergarten through 12

Address: 42 Keans Neck Road, Lobeco, SC 29931

Phone number: 843-846-4835

Website: agapechristianacademysc.com

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

School mascot: Warriors

Principal: Charles E. Lightsey Jr.

Head of guidance: Cathy Copeland, 843-846-4835

School uniform: Royal blue polo with khaki pants; gray polo with navy pants

School name: Beaufort Academy

Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 12

Address: 240 Sams Point Road; Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone number: 843-524-3393

Website: www.beaufortacademy.org

Enrollment: 275

First day of school: Monday Aug. 19

Class times: 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

School mascot: Eagles

Principal: Julia Stewart Corner, 843-574-3393. Corner has been in the education field for 35 years. She earned her bachelor and masters degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated summa cum laude. She brings her knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and dedication to this school that has been serving Beaufort for almost 50 years.

Administrators: M.J. Simmons, director of admissions, 843-524-3393, extenstion 201; Betsy Rhatigan, coordinator of instruction (grades 8-12), 843-524-3393, extension 220; Nancy Compton, coordinator of instruction (grades 1-7), 843-524-3393, extension 221.

Athletics director: Mike Millwood, 843-524-3393, extension 240

Head of guidance: Amy Melville, 843-524-3393, extension 218; Mary Trask, director of college advising, 843-524-3393, extension 246

Teacher of the year: Erin Booth, who was with Beaufort Academy almost 20 years, retired this past spring. She taught second grade to many Beaufort Academy student.

School uniform: Khaki bottoms; solid-colored, collared polo shirts for tops; also, plaid skirts from Land's End.

PTA/PTO contact: Nancy Suber, rsuber@hargray.com

Athletics booster club contact: Dennis Smith, dsmith@beaufortacademy.org

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The school will add sailing to its lineup of sports. Sailing is now recognized by the S.C. Independent Schools Athletic Assocation.

2. The school's international exchange program will send two students abroad in the Rotary exchange program -- one to Sweden and another to Spain. Also, four international students will attend school at Beaufort Academy this year -- one from Belgium and three from mainland China.

3. The Achievement Center opens in September for art-infused and academic programs after school. Classes such as voice, dance, strings, piano, study skills and more will be offered each trimester. These classes will be open to the public starting in November.

School name: Beaufort Christian School

Grades: Kindergarten through 12

Address: 378 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort, SC 29906

Phone number: 843-525-0635

Website: www.beaufortchristianschool.org

Enrollment: 100

First day of school: Aug. 19

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

School mascot: Swordsmen

Principal: Douglas Wadsworth, bcschool@embarqmail.com

Doug Wadsworth has been at Beaufort Christian School for 25 years. He has served as the school administrator and principal for the past 21 years, both overseeing the education program and teaching in the classroom.

Teacher of the year: Jackie Wadsworth. Wadsworth has served at Beaufort Christian School for more than 20 years. She has taught in all levels of our school program. She has been a mentor to many new teachers and students. She was honored this last year by having the annual yearbook dedicated to her for her many years of faithful service.

School uniform: Khaki, navy and light blue

School name: The Branch Christian School

Grades: Fourth through senior year levels

Address: 829 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island SC 29928

Phone number: 843-422-2683

Website: www.thebranchchristianschool.com

Enrollment: Open

First Day of School: Monday, Sept. 4

Class times: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. (contingent upon pod courses, at present; transitioning to 8 a.m.-2 p.m., fixed)

School mascot: None

Principal: Headmaster and Headmistress Robert and Joyce Rewalt, 843-422-7624; email: hobranchhhi@yahoo.com

Administrators: Joyce Rewalt, admin, 843-422-7624; email: branchhhi@yahoo.com

School uniform: Khakis...considering jackets, ties, khakis/dress pants; skirts/blouses; late fall-mid spring

Media contact: Wendy Lauffer, branchhhi@yahoo.com, 843-422-2683

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

We employ a modified Harkness teaching and learning methodology, uniquely presenting a program of challenging and stimulating academics coupled with comprehensive and practical biblical studies. Critical thinking, research and writing are strongly emphasized. Our program is as energizing and fun as it is effective.

We are devoted to bringing together demonstrably talented, committed, and responsible young people of diverse cultural and economic stations, wherein to offer peerless traditional academic study incorporating personal development and maturity in Christ. We are committed to advancing the least expensive and most dynamic educational program in the area.

Given standards and expectations, sincere and diligent students will exceed both. We believe that passionate teaching and sound biblical guidance, in a scholarly initiative, produce humbly confident and markedly knowledgeable students. Our students are outside the box...thinking in.

School name: Bridges Preparatory School

Grades: Kindergarten through 6 for the first year, adding a grade each year until the schools serves students through grade 12

Address: Physical -- 1100 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC 29902; mailing -- P.O. Box 626 Port Royal, SC 29935

Phone number: 843-982-7737

Website: www.bridgespreparatoryschool.org

Enrollment: 360 students

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

School mascot: Will be determined by students at the beginning of school.

Administrators: Melesia Walden, Mwalden@bridgespreparatoryschool.org

Head of guidance: Kat Walsh, Kwash@bridgespreparatoryschool.org

School uniform: Any solid-color, collared shirt with blue, black or khaki pants, shorts, skirt or skorts.

PTA/PTO contact: Sharlene Smith, ssmith@bridgespreparatoryschool.org

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. The innovative blended learning environment that will be focused on real-life application of knowledge in a unique format.

2. The comfortable "soft-furniture" approach to the student learning environment, where students will learn to self-regulate how they learn best.

3. The curriculum components of the Paideia Method of teaching infused with STEM curriculum throughout all aspects of the day, along with the unique physical education movement of Gen-Move, USA and First Tee to provide a total education for the student.

School name: Cross Schools

Grades: Preschool through 8

Address: 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton, SC 29910

Phone number: 843.706.2000

Website: www.crossschoools.org

Enrollment: 400

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 12

Class times: 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m.; after-school program until 6 p.m.

School mascot: Stingray

Headmistress: Shawn Young has been at Cross Schools for nine years and has led the school through many changes and expansions. Under her leadership, tests scores have risen by 10 percent, and 96 percent of students are at or above grade level. The school continues to grow each year and expand its many programs.

Preschool director: Susan Hackett has been a child advocate for nearly 30 years and has been the director of the Preschool Division of Cross Schools since 2006. Before joining Cross, she and her husband owned their own school in Atlanta for 22 years.

Other administrators: Brittany Tarleton, director of development, B.tarleton@crossschools.org

School uniform: Lands' End uniforms vary by grade.

Athletics booster club contact: Katherine Rosenblum, k.rosenblum@crossschools.org, 843-706-2000

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

1. New extracurricular classes are planned for many grade levels -- for example, soccer programs for preschool students and SMART boards in all classes.

2. Cross Schools opened in 1999 with seven students. This year's 400 students marks the school's largest enrollment yet.

3. The school is undergoing accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The agency accredits more than 13,000 public and private educational institutions in the southern United States.

School name: E.C. Montessori & Grade School

Grades: 18 months - 8

Address: 15 Celadon Drive, Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone number: 843-525-1141

Website: www.ecmontessori.com

Enrollment: Up to 65

First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

Class times: Short Day: 8:30 - 11:45 a.m.; full day: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

School mascot: N/A

Principal: Laura Lopresto-McKeown, educational director, ecmontessori@embarqmail.com, 843-525-1141. Lopresto-Mckeown, a 15-year Montessori veteran teacher, has been on the faculty of several innovative schools in South Carolina. She completed her Primary Montessori training at the Montessori Teacher Training Institute in Clemson and worked on her Montessori Elementary teaching credential at the Center for Montessori Teacher Training New York, New York.

Head of guidance: N/A

Teacher of the year: N/A

School uniform: N/A

PTA/PTO contact:

Athletics booster club contact: N/A

Media contact: Laura Lopresto-McKeown, ecmontessori@embarqmail.com, 843-525-1141

Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

  • E.C. Montessori School is excited to announce the appointment of Laura Lopresto-McKeown as the new Educational Director. Ms. Lopresto-McKeown, a talented Montessori educator, is working to incorporate a whole food nutrition program, a garden-to-table curriculum, and a hands-on music and Spanish program that will add to the rich and well-balanced Montessori academic program offered for preschoolers and elementary students alike.

  • The school reported it offered more than $50,000 in scholarships to families in the Beaufort area for this school year.

  • The school received a large grant of educational equipment and supplies to enrich and refresh the school's environment and curriculum. The Montessori method relies heavily on preparing a beautiful environment that is rich with enticing learning materials for its students. Our grant will certainly help us fulfill the children's need for such things.

  • School name: Heritage Academy

    Grades: 5 through 12

    Address:11 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island SC 29928

    Phone number: 843-842-8600

    Website: www.heritagehhi.com/

    Enrollment:150

    First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

    Class times: 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., in various blocks.

    School mascot: Hammerhead Shark

    Head of school: Gloria Shoemaker earned her master's in secondary education from Indiana University and also holds certification in English education, gifted and talented education and ESL instruction. She spent 30 years in international education on four continents.

    Administrators: Tina Sprouse, director of admissions, 843-842-8600, Tina.Sprouse@juniorsports.com

    Head of guidance: Betsey Castellano, director of student services, Betsey.Castellano@juniorsports.com, 843-842-8600

    2013 Teacher of the Year: Mary Tuchscherer, the only female coach ever inducted into the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, graduated from Georgetown University, Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin with degrees in English and Spanish language and literature. During her 30-year career, she taught Spanish and English at the high school level and coached tennis. An avid sportswoman, aside from her broad tennis accomplishments, Tuchscherer has competed twice in the American Berkebiner, the largest 50-kilometer cross country ski race in North America. She is a USTA and ITA tennis official in her free time. Tuchscherer traveled, studied and lived as a foreign exchange student in the Philippines, Mexico and Spain and over the years and has hosted dozens of students from many countries on international programs in the United States.

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. The Heritage Academy will continue to personalize education, providing every student with a competitive advantage in academics, sports or arts training, and college placement.

    2. The Academy's schedule will afford our serious athletes and performing artists time to balance the demands of academics with those of tournament play /competition.

    3. The school's 10-to-1 ratio of pupils allows continual teacher attention in a top-quality learning environment where students will learn, share, develop and excel.

    School name: Hilton Head Christian Academy

    Grades: Kindergarten through 12

    Address: 55 Gardner Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

    Phone number: 843-681-2878

    Website: www.hhca.org

    Enrollment: 405

    First day of school: Open house is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 12; first day of classes is Aug. 14

    Class times: Lower School -- 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; middle/upper school -- 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    School mascot: Eagles

    Principals: Melanie Hilton, principal grades kindergarten through 8, 843-342-9500, mhilton@hhca.org. Hilton is beginning her third year as K-through-8 principal. She has worked as a second-grade teacher at Hilton Head Christian Academy for 13 years, and has 20 years experience in elementary education. Hilton has a bachelor's in marketing from Texas Tech University and an early-childhood degree from Columbus State University. She will complete her Master of Arts Integration from Lesley University in March.

    Larry Green, principal grades 9 through 12, 843-681-2878, lgreen@hhca.org. Green graduated from West Chester University with a bachelor's in elementary education. He also has a doctorate in educational administration from Cheyney University and a Master of Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Green came to the Christian Academy after working at Plumstead Christian School in Pennsylvania for 18 years. He is starting his 15th year at the academy.

    Administrators: Daniel Wesche, headmaster, 843-681-2878, dwesche@hhca.org

    Head of guidance: Marcy Crandall, 843-681-2878, mcrandall@hhca.org

    Teacher of the Year: John Abbott, upper school math teacher was not only the school's teacher of the year in 2012, but also the Sue West Educator of the Year at the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Ball last February. A retired Air Force major, Abbott also coaches volleyball, serves as student council advisor and teaches AP math.

    School uniform: Dress code and requirements are listed on the school's website, www.hhca.org.

    PTA/PTO contact: Lorrie Taylor, Parent Teacher Fellowship president, 843-837-6455, lltaylor@hargray.com

    Athletics booster club contact: Dana Millen, president, dana@itsallpink.com

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. The school will open a new building for the start of the 2013-2014 school year. It features a practice gymnasium, four new classrooms, a 1,400-square-foot art room and a new music room of comparable size. In addition, the drama, music and chapel programs will be enhanced with a new stage area.

    2. A robotics program has been expanded and and tgraphic design and computer coding courses added.

    3. The school has been blessed with an iMac computer lab and two laptop carts equipped with Macbook Airs and iPads for use within the classrooms. In addition, the Issachar Technology Lab, or iLab for short, continues to be a dynamic space for our students and embodies the school's commitment to technology.

    School name: Hilton Head Preparatory School

    Grades: Kindergarten through 12

    Address: 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head, SC 29928

    Phone number: 843-671-2286

    Website: www.hhprep.org

    Enrollment: 375

    First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 14

    Class times: 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays.

    School mascot: Dolphin

    Principal: Peter Cooper, pcooper@hhprep.org. Headmaster Peter Cooper received an undergraduate degree in international politics from Princeton University and a master's in educational administration from Harvard University. For more than 26 years, Cooper has served as the headmaster of American schools in Japan, Colombia and Brazil, and as the upper school head at independent schools in France and Texas. Cooper served as interim headmaster at Hilton Head Prep during the 2008-09 school year and returned as headmaster in 2012, following two years as interim head of the Awty International School in Houston.

    Administrators: Ron Simmons, head of middle and interim head of upper school, 843-671-2286, extension 552, rsimmons@hhprep.org; Jane Inglis, head of lower school, 843-671-2286, extension 532, jinglis@hhprep.org

    Head of guidance: Peg Hamilton, college counselor, 843-671-2286, extension 573, phamilton@hhprep.org

    Teacher of the year: Kate Clark teaches upper school mathematics at Hilton Head Preparatory School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Clark was named the Middle School Rotary Teacher of the Year in 1998 and Upper School Rotary Teacher of the Year in 2008 and again in 2013.

    School uniform: (Kindergarten through grad 5 only) red, navy or white tops, khaki bottoms

    PTA/PTO contact: Dennis Puckey, president of the Parents Association, dennispuckey@aol.com

    School Improvement Council contact: Liz Nash, director of facilities and operations, 843-671-2286, extension 522, lnash@hhprep.org

    Athletics booster club contact: Eric Wojcikiewicz, president, eric.wojcikiewicz@gmail.com

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. New to Prep last year, coach Kevin Wald has reinvigorated Hilton Head Prep's football program. He began the seasonwith 12 players, finished with 20 and had 28 sign up for summer camp. This year, more than 85 percent of the roster returns.

    2. The school is introducing a new math curriculum in the Lower Schoo. In addition to core classes in science, technology, engineering and math, students will also have math enrichment classes based on Singapore math problem-solving strategies.

    3. Taking greater advantage of its surroundings, Hilton Head Prep is implementing a marine biology program into the upper-school curriculum.

    School name: Holy Trinity Classical Christian School

    Grades: Preschool through 6

    Address: 302 Burroughs Ave., Beaufort, SC 29902

    Phone number: 843-522-0660

    Website: www.htccs.org

    Enrollment: 150 students

    First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 21; preschool starts Sept. 4

    Class times: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (grades 1 through 6); 9 a.m. to noon (preschool)

    School mascot: Rampant Lion

    Principal: The Rev. Chad Lawrence is the founding headmaster of Holy Trinity. He is a graduate of Grove City College (bacherlor's degree), California State University of Bakersfield (teaching credential) and Trinity School for Ministry (Master's of Divinity).

    Administrators: Mrs. Addy-Jo Hofmann, preschool director; Patra Culpepper, office manager

    Teacher of the year: First-grade teacher Lori Hinson earned a bachelor's in family and consumer studies from Radford University and a master's in early-childhood education from the College of Charleston. She brings more than 15 years of teaching experience to Holy Trinity.

    School uniform: Information available on school website

    PTA/PTO contact: Andrea Cooler, 843-522-0660

    School Improvement Council contact: The Rev. Chad Lawrence, 843-522-0660

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. About 60 new students will attend Holy Trinity, which is adding a grade level each year. This year, the school will have its first sixth-grade class.

    2. Several new teachers join the faculty.

    3. The school offers a classical, Christian education for the community of Beaufort and beyond.

    School name: John Paul II Catholic School

    Grades: 7 through 9, with a grade added each subsequent year until the school serves grades 7-12

    Address: 4211 North Okatie Highway, Ridgeland, SC 29936 (building under construction)

    Phone number: 843-645-3838

    Website: www.johnpaul2school.org

    Enrollment: 60

    First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 21

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

    School mascot: Golden Warriors

    Principal: Christine Paul, 843-645-3838, cmpaul56@gmail.com. Paul was hired in September 2012 and immediately began working with the fundraising and planning committees to make the opening of John Paul II Catholic School a reality. Paul holds a master's in administration from Ashland University and a master's in curriculum from Cleveland State University. She brings 16 years of experience as a Catholic secondary school administrator to the school. Most recently, Paul served as the principal at Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga,, from 2009-2012.

    School uniform: Information available on website

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. The new school is the first Catholic high school built in the state of South Carolina in more than 50 years. Our founding members, students, parents, and teachers, will have the exciting and important task of establishing John Paul II traditions for future generations.

    2. Students are also looking forward to receiving their tablets for high-tech learning both at school and home.

    3. The school's first athletic teams will be called the Golden Warriors.

    School name: Royal Live Oaks Academy of the Arts and Sciences Charter School

    Grades: K-9

    Address: 1398 Church Road, Hardeeville, SC 29927

    Phone number: 843-784-2630

    Website: http://www.rloacs.org/ School newspaper: https://sites.google.com/a/rloacs.org/rloanews/home

    Enrollment: 500

    First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

    Class times: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    School mascot: Royal Knight

    Principal: Dr. Karen Wicks, executive director of the academy. Wicks holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lee University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate from New York University. She has taught in middle school, high school and the college level. She has been a college administrator and the director for curriculum and instructional development at the College Board. She is the co-founder of Royal Live Oaks Academy of the Arts and Sciences Charter School and serves as its executive director

    Administrators:

    Joyce Gerald, assistant director of the academy

    Cassandra Jennings, assistant principal for instruction - grades 7-9

    LaQuandra Stevenson, assistant principal for instruction - grades K-6

    Head of guidance: Precious Barr, guidance counselor

    Teacher of the year: Gregg Dixon, fourth grade ELA and social studies teacher. He has been teaching for three years and is an excellent example of how to infuse discovery and project-based learning into the classroom environment. He has a degree in elementary education and will complete his masters this year. Dixon makes learning fun and challenging at the same time. His infusion of technology into the learning milieu has enhanced instructional delivery and provided critical thinking, problem solving and innovative writing opportunities for all students. He wrote and received a Palmetto Bright Ideas grant. The grant utilizes the Pixton writing software to facilitate the development of cartoons designed and written by the students in his classroom.

    School uniform: A kelly green or royal purple polo shirt with RLOA logo is required. An iron-on patch of the logo may be purchased in the office and affixed to shirts or jackets. No non-uniform jackets will be worn on campus at any time. Shirts must be tucked in at all times. No skirts may be worn. Beige (khaki) or black pants, shorts, capris, skorts, or jumpers, and P.E. shorts or sweatpants in green or purple are required for all students. Elastic waist pants are permitted for grades K-2 only; belted pants are required for grades 3 and higher (belts required for all pants with belt loops; no chains, pocket watches, or any other accessory attached to the belt; no scarves, fabric, or other non-belt material may be substituted for a belt). The pants, shorts, capris, skorts, jumpers, and P.E. shorts must be purchased by the parent at an authorized store or through the Uniform Closet at RLOA. Baggy or sagging pants are not allowed; sweatpants and P.E. shorts are worn only for athletic activities. Extremely tight or revealing clothing is not allowed. Students may only wear royal purple or kelly green undershirts underneath their uniforms (short-sleeve or long-sleeve). Undershirts should fit properly. Shoes must be flat, preferably sneakers; black or brown boots (short, medium, or tall). Sock colors are solid white, beige, black, purple, or hunter green only; no stripes. Tights are solid purple, hunter green, black, or beige only; no stripes. Pantyhose are nude, beige, black, or light shade of brown only.

    PTA/PTO contact: Shaun Morgan, sportmodel@embarqmail.com

    School Improvement Council contact: Shaun Morgan, sportmodel@embarqmail.com

    Athletics booster club contact: Steven Exley, steve.exley@rloacs.org

    Media contact: Joyce Dalton

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school: RLOACS will launch its school-wide STEM initiative Aug. 19. The initiative will begin when school opens. The CLUBS program will also initiate by the second week of school. Students will be able to participate in many clubs that will offer enrichment activities such as; computer graphics, roller skating, cartooning, robotics, computational science, sports, art, and music.

    School name: Sea Pines Montessori Academy

    Grades: 18 months - 8

    Address: 9 Fox Grape Road Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

    Phone number: 843-785-2534

    Website: www.spma.com

    Enrollment: 150

    First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

    Class times: Half-day Lower School 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Full-day Lower School 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Upper School 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Aftercare options 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    School Mascot: Gator

    Principal: Melinda Cotter, melindacotter@spma.com. Cotter begins her second year as the Head of School. She was previously from Northern Virginia and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia, a master's degree from George Mason University, and a Montessori credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies.

    Administrators:

    Donna Thomas, director of finance, donnathomas@spma.com

    Margo Fletcher, director of education, margofletcher@spma.com

    Chris Harris, administrative assistant, chrisharris@spma.com

    School uniform: Logo Shirts and khaki or navy bottoms in primary and up. Free dress fridays.

    PTA/PTO contact: Booster Club, led by Meredith Hinzman, meredithdimuzio@yahoo.com

    School Improvement Contact: Bob Gossett, Board of Trustees chairman. Direct all communication to school office.

    Athletics Contact: Athletics Director John Dogger, johndogger@spma.com. Coach Priscilla Kelly leads the school's volleyball team and rugby club, priscillakelly@spma.com

    Media contact: Carla Golden carlagolden@spma.com

    Three reasons to be excited for the new school year:

    1. We have expanded! SPMA just opened a new Pre-primary classroom (ages 18 months to 36 months).

    2. Our Middle School wing has received a makeover just in time for another great year of the core subjects in addition to Robotics and Physics.

    3. We have aligned our curriculum from Primary to eighth grade and are ending our summer with a staff Math and Language retreat!

    School name: St. Francis Catholic School

    Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 8

    Address: 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

    Phone number: 843-681-6501

    Website: www.sfcshhi.com

    Enrollment: 180

    First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 20

    Class times: 8:25 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    School mascot: Wolf

    Principal: Brian Pope, bpope@sfcshhi.com.

    Administrators: Beverly Toth, assistant principal, btoth@sfcshhi.com.

    Head of guidance: Kathleen Kane.

    Elementary Teacher of the Year: Karlya Gaherty, second-grade teacher

    Middle School Teacher of the Year: Teresa Fitzgibbons, English teacher

    School uniform: Uniform Work & Sport is the official uniform supplier.

    PTA/PTO contact: Susan Sherry

    School Improvement Council contact: John Jolley, School Advisory Board president

    Athletics booster club contact: Dom DeMaria, athletics director, ddmaria@sfcshhi.com

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. Each middle-school student and each teacher in the school will be issued an iPad for the year. They will be used to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, research, creativity, communication, increased productivity and mobile learning. The devices were made possible by a grant from the Oldham Family Foundation.

    2. With the success of the FSA Gala By the Sea, St. Francis Catholic School was able to upgrade its computer lab with 30 new computers. Each classroom received two to four computers.

    3. Athletics are expanding. Last year, the school hosted volleyball and basketball tip-off tournaments. Those events will return -- volleyball is Sept. 4-7 and basketball is Dec. 2-7.

    School name: St. Gregory the Great Catholic School

    Grades: Pre-kindergarten through 6

    Address: 323 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, SC 29909

    Phone number: 843-815-9988

    Enrollment: 190

    First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 20

    Class times: 7:50 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    School mascot: Rocky the Raven

    Principal: Christopher A. Trott succeeds founding principal Canice Adams this school year. Before coming to St. Gregory, Trott was assistant superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Savannah. Before that, he was principal of St. Peter's Catholic School in Beaufort. Currently, Trott also serves as the regional representative of the South Atlantic States and Caribbean to the Department of Elementary Schools Executive Committee for the National Catholic Educational Association. He has presented at a number of NCEA sponsored workshops, focusing in on the benefits and issues of social media in schools.

    Administrators: Elizabeth Kelley, assistant p[rincipal

    Head of guidance: Sandy Koepke

    Teacher of the year: N/A

    School uniform: Available at Stitch Designs ONLY. Physical-education uniforms must be worn in grades 3 through 6.

    PTA/PTO contact: Principal Christopher A. Trott, ct@sggcs.org

    Athletics booster club contact: Karen Floyd, athletics director, kf@sggcs.org

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. The school's theme this year is "Continuing the excellence at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School" and will mean the strong foundation of faith-filled academics that the our founding Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodious will continue to be implemented, the school says.

    2. New social media resources will be added to better communicate with parents and students.

    3. The University of Notre Dame Alliance for Catholic Education Collaboration will review and update current curriculum standards.

    School name: St. Peter's Catholic School

    Grades: Kindgergarten through 8

    Address: 70 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort, SC 29907

    Phone number: 843-522-2163

    Website: www.stpeters-church.org

    Enrollment: 160

    First day of school: Monday, Aug. 19

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

    School mascot: Cardinal

    Principal: Joseph Benning holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University. He brings to St. Peter's more than 25 years of experience working at all levels of Catholic education and most recently was principal of Sacred Heart Elementary School in Lombard, Ill., a position he held since 2005. Benning has been a teacher, a coach, a principal, a chief administrator and a diocesan superintendent.

    Teacher of the year: Claire Coffman

    School uniform: Contact school for details

    Athletics booster club contact: Dianne Wilson, 843-522-2163

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. The Learning Center of Beaufort will offer students on site at St. Peter's the opportunity to receive specialized instruction in reading and math.

    2. St. Peter's has upgraded the middle-school math and language arts curriculum.

    3. St. Peter's welcomes several new staff members, who allows the school to modify its regular and special curricular areas.

    School name: Thomas Heyward Academy

    Grades: Kindergarten through 12

    Address: 1727 Malphrus Road, Ridgeland, SC 29936

    Phone number: 843-726-3673

    Website: www.thomasheyward.org/

    Enrollment: 300

    First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 14

    Class times: 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

    School mascot: Rebel

    Principal: Marilyn Davis, thaleader@hargray.com. Davis succeeds John Rogers, who served the school for 37 years as headmaster. Davis brings nearly three decades of education experience to Thomas Heyward Academy. Most recently, she served as assistant head of school and head of lower school at Pinewood Preparatory School. Davis holds a master's degree in education from Charleston Southern University.

    Administrators: Lower School administrator Rachel Tiller, thaloweradmin@hargray.com; high school dean and college counselor Eddie Stanley, thadean@hargray.com

    Head of guidance: College counselor Eddie Stanley, thadean@hargray.com

    School uniform: Khaki, cardinal, gray and white

    PTA/PTO contact: Pam Vaigneur, pvaigneur@embargmail.com

    Athletics booster club contact: Kathy Humbert, kmprincess2002@yahoo.com

    Media contact: Carmen Pinckney, carmenhpinckney@gmail.com

    Three reasons to be excited about the start of school:

    1. Campus improvements include library renovations funded by alumni and the PTO; an outdoor classroom and common area, donated in memory of Tradd Woods; and football field upgrades, donated in memory of Tommy Thorne.

    2. New celebrations include a back-to-school event at 5 p.m. Aug. 13. It will include a pep rally, a chance to meet teachers and visit classrooms, a football scrimmage, and a jump castle.

    3. An expanded curriculum will include more electives and extra-curricular opportunities, such as character education and a music program.

    Increased Character Education with an Emphasis on Leadership

    Enhanced Music Program, Sponsored by Mrs. G's Music Foundation

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