Beaufort News

Superintendent announces Strive to Excel changes

Strive to Excel, a nonprofit mentoring program that has come under recent scrutiny, will not have office space at Hilton Head Island High School after Dec. 31, Superintendent Valerie Truesdale told the Beaufort County school board Tuesday night.

In a written report to the board, Truesdale outlined the agreements reached between the district and Strive, which has operated with little financial or governmental oversight in recent years since its board all but disintegrated.

Until the end of the year, Strive to Excel staff must "specify, schedule and publish" designated office hours at the school, effective immediately, Truesdale said.

The arrangement that allows Tim Singleton, Strive's president and CEO, to purchase health care coverage from the school district will also end Dec. 31, Truesdale said.

Truesdale outlined other changes as well.

Beginning next month, Strive must submit an annual report of program effectiveness to the district, Truesdale said. Continuation of the program at Hilton Head high and middle schools will depend on the outcome of that report, she said.

Additionally, the district and Strive will also agree to create an annual statement that outlines the relationship between the two.

"The school district's decoupling its relationship is meant to clarify roles, strengthen outcomes and benefit students," Truesdale wrote in her report, which also included results of a district survey of students' satisfaction and perception of the program.

No time was set aside for questions from the school board about the report.

Truesdale said after the meeting that no decision has been made on where to house the program.


Before Truesdale's the report, Singleton asked the school board for its patience and forgiveness during the public comment period of the meeting. Singleton, who is also Hilton Head High's head football coach, delivered his remarks via video conference.

Singleton admitted shortcomings in interpersonal relationships and in filing necessary paperwork.

The South Carolina High School League twice fined Hilton Head High for allowing football players to participate in scrimmages and games before their eligibility had been cleared.

"In hindsight, I probably should have made this statement earlier, but I am a fighter. ...But it's time to stop trying to tough it out," Singleton said. "I ask for forgiveness from those who I've disappointed."

Singleton said he had been focused on Strive day-to-day operations itself rather than on replacing its board. That board was recently reformed with six new members. Long-time board member Tom Gardo remained on the board.

Singleton wasn't asked questions during Tuesday's meeting.

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at

Related content:

  1. Superintendent promises 'end' to financial arrangement with Strive, Sept. 19, 2011
  2. Salary for nonprofit head comes under scrutiny, Aug. 29, 2011
  3. Singleton says pay did not increase, Aug. 31, 2011
  4. School board, donors still trying to size up Strive, Sept. 2, 2011
  5. District promises scrutiny of Strive as nonprofit group reorganizes, Sept. 12, 2011
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