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2017-2018 CCSD Board of Trustees Special Recognition

The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees publicly recognizes students and staff who have received a regional, state or national award. The Board also recognizes the efforts of community partners and other volunteer efforts that provide exemplary service to CCSD schools. 

June 2018

Liz Good

SC Law Related Teacher of the Year

Liz Good, a social studies middle school teacher at Buist Academy, was honored for being named the South Carolina Law-Related Education Teacher of the Year by the SC Bar Association.

Ms. Good consistently engages her students in Mock Trial, We the People, Civic Action Learning Projects, and other activities which prepare students for their role as educated citizens. She is dedicated to her students and the field of Social Studies,

To read more about her honor, visit this link on the District’s website.

Teacher of the Year

CCSD 2018 Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Haechrel, the District’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, was recognized by the Board. The second grade teacher at Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School presented a video to those in attendance and gave a short speech.

To learn more about Haechrel, and her being named the newest CCSD Teacher of the Year, please read the press release available at this link. You can also follow her on Twitter.

May 2018

Mark Cobb / Ron McGwirt

Academic Magnet

Baptist Hill Track and Field

James Island Charter Track

Military Magnet Track

Wando Lacrosse

Wando Swimming

Wando Track

Wando Girls Track

April 2018


Burke High School JROTC presented the colors and sang the National Anthem at the start of the meeting.

SC Geography

South Carolina State Geography Champ

Moultrie Middle School’s
Sam Henshaw was recognized for winning the 2018 State National Geography Bee earlier this month. He is the first CCSD student in the 30-year history of the event to capture the title. Henshaw will participate in the national tournament next month in Washington, D.C.

Malachi Jones

2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Medal Portfolio

Malachi Jones, senior at Charleston County School of the Arts, was for earning a Gold Medal Portfolio from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers as part of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards; he is one of 16 high school seniors in the nation to earn this top honor this year. He will go to Carnegie Hall in New York City in June where he will be presented with his award, and have his work displayed at a conference.

Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind Champions

Odyssey of the Minds teams from R.B. Stall and West Ashley Middle Advanced Studies Magnet were recognized for taking first place titles at the South Carolina State Odyssey of the Mind competition last month. Both teams are on their way to the World Finals in Iowa next month.

Project Lead The Way Engineering Champions

Two teams from Wando High School were honored for their first place finishes at the Introduction to Engineering Design at the University of South Carolina's (USC) annual Project Lead The Way statewide engineering competition in Columbia, SC. Scholars at Wando also received honorable mention in the 2018 Toshiba/NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) ExploraVision competition)


SeaPerch Regional Champions

Teams from Buist Academy and Charleston Charter School for Math and Science were recognized for winning the overall titles at the 2018 Charleston SeaPerch Regional Challenge. Both teams are going to the International SeaPerch Challenge in June. SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build a Remotely Operated Vehicle comprised from a low-cost kit in an in-school or out-of-school setting.


STEM Education Excellence Award

Laing Middle School
was honored for two awards the school received from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) recently; the Program Excellence Award for 2018, and the Teacher Excellence Award for 2018 (Dr. Mel Goodwin). Members from Laing’s staff were honored during a ceremony at ITEEA’s 80th Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA earlier this month.


School Leadership Executive Institute (SLEI) Award Recipient

Recently, Elementary Learning Community Director, Michelle Simmons participated in the School Leadership Executive Institute (SLEI) sponsored by the State Department. This is a year-long program designed to give veteran principals the insights, knowledge, and competencies to lead South Carolina Schools to success. Each cohort concludes with one principal being awarded the Inez Tenenbaum Leadership Award for their contributions to the learning community. This award is voted on by the (24) principals across the state who participated in SLEI.

March 2018

Camp Road

Camp Road Middle School’s 6th grade team that won the Level I title at the 32nd Academic Quest Competition at Trident Technical College on March 3, 2018 was honored by the Board of Trustees. They were the only CCSD school to win an overall team title this year.

Students participated in four levels of competition: Level IV (11th and 12th graders), Level III (9th and 10th graders), Level II (7th and 8th graders), and Level I (6th graders). Students earned points in team competitions in math, science, and social studies, and in individual competitions in composition, public speaking and visual arts. Schools whose students earned the most total points won overall awards at each level.

Spelling Bee

Ranitha Kumarasinghe, a sixth grader from Orange Grove Charter School, was recognized for his victory at the 2018 Post and Courier SpellBound! Spelling Bee title on March 8, 2018. Ranitha locked up the championship by spelling the word “topeng” correctly. Fifty students from around the county competed in this year’s event. The victory was especially sweet for Ranitha, since he came so close to winning the 2018 Charleston County School District (CCSD) Spelling Bee (he was the runner-up).

Ranitha will now represent Orange Grove Charter and CCSD in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., in May of this year.


Four CCSD schools. Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, James Island Charter High School, Thomas C. Cario Middle School, and Wando High School, were honored by the Board of Trustees for earning Distinguished School or Distinguished School Gateway status from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) for this school year.

PTLW is a non-profit organization that serves millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 10,500 schools across the United States. The organization’s recognition program honors schools that are committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. Schools that are recognized for this honor empower their students to thrive in an evolving world and have achieved excellent results from their programs.

Cario Middle School and Charleston Charter received Distinguished School Gateway status for the PLTW opportunities offered at the middle school level. James Island Charter received Distinguished School status for their PLTW Engineering classes, and Wando was recognized as a Distinguished School for their PLTW Engineering and Biomedical Science classes.

February 2018


Ajani Brooks
Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement

Baptist Hill senior Ajani Brooks was honored for receiving the 2018 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement from the U.S. Department of the Army. The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross is awarded annually to a senior JROTC Cadets by the Department of the Army for scholastic excellence in military and academic subjects, along with civic service. Brooks is one of 35 of 314,000 JRTOC cadets worldwide to receive this honor in 2018, and one of only two in South Carolina.


SCSBA Recognition

Rev. Chris Collins was recognized for 10 years of service on the Charleston County School District Board of Trustees. On behalf of the officers and staff of the South Carolina School Boards Association, Collins received a congratulatory letter, a certificate in his honor, and a service pin as a token of appreciation.

Moment in History

A video was shared highlighting Charleston native, the Private First Class (PFC) Ralph H. Johnson. Posthumously, Johnson received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Using his body to shield fellow Marines from a grenade, Johnson absorbed the blast and gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country in March 1968. CCSD honored him with a round of applause for his selfless and courageous acts. There will be a commissioning ceremony for the newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the U.S.S. Ralph Johnson, on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

January 2018

Arts Educator

2017 Art Educator of the Year

Wando High School’s Mary Catherine Peeples was honored for receiving the South Carolina Art Education Association’s 2017 Art Educator of the Year Award and the Mary Whyte Award. The Mary White Award is designed to highlight a visual art teacher in our state who has demonstrated a superior commitment to their students and to their craft; the award also comes with a $5,000 prize. Peeples wrote CCSD’s Visual Arts Curriculum and provided multiple professional learning opportunities in cooperation with local arts organizations to other visual arts teachers in the District.

Daniel Jenkins Academy

Whole Child Award

Daniel Jenkins Academy was recognized for receiving the Whole Child Award, which is presented by South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. This honor (Whole Child Award) recognizes schools that create a culture that exemplifies one or more of the five tenets of the Whole Child Initiative: Healthy, Safe, Supported, Challenged, and Engaged. Daniel Jenkins Academy was selected for a Whole Child Award under the “Supported” tenet by making sure each student has access to personalized learning is supported by qualified and caring adults.

SC School Nurse of the Year

2018 South Carolina School Nurse of the Year

Mary Ford Elementary School’s Charlene Barbot was honored for earning the 2018 South Carolina School Nurse of the Year Award (which is presented by the South Carolina State Department of Education and the Department of Health and Environmental Control). With 25 years of pediatric nursing experience, Barbot has managed several projects. Under her leadership, Mary Ford Elementary won the 2016-2017 Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness School Health Initiative Award.

2018 South Carolina Nurse Administrator of the Year

Ellen Nitz, CCSD’s Nurse Liaison for District 1 and 2, is the 2018 South Carolina School Nurse Administrator of the Year. Nitz has worked with Roper St. Francis staff to put an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in every school and with MUSC and the American Heart Association as the lead CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor.

October 2018

Jump Rope Recognitions

American Heart Association

American Heart Association Recognition

Rachel Stanley and Keith Cummins of AHA presented several schools and CCSD students with awards for their participation and success in this past year's Jump Rope for Heart campaign. The list of honors are as follows:

Charleston County School District ranked #2 in South Carolina for participation in fundraising.

Jennie Moore Elementary:

#1 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school in South Carolina

#1 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school in the Mid-Atlantic Region

#8 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school nationally

Riley Johnson was the #5 individual student fundraiser in South Carolina

St. Andrews School of Math and Science:

#4 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school in South Carolina

Drayton Hall Elementary

#7 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school in South Carolina

Buist Academy for Advanced Studies

#18 Jump Rope for Heart fundraising school in South Carolina

Montessori Community School of Charleston:

Brielle Johnson was the #1 individual student fundraiser in South Carolina

U.S. Environment Protection Agency Recognition

Harbor View Elementary School (HVES) is the 10,000th EPA Energy Star school in the country, and is now one of 58 CCSD schools to achieve this honor. The Energy Star recognizes schools that are better 75% than peer buildings in energy use. Caterina Hatcher, the Energy Star Public Sector National Manager presented HVES Principal Lara Latto with the award.

September 2018

1. Three Board of Trustees members, Cindy Bohn Coats, Priscilla Jeffery, and Kevin Hollinshead, were honored for their participation and completion of the South Carolina Board Association Boardmanship Institute.

2. CCSD’s Chief Strategy and Communications Officer Erica Taylor was recognized for being selected to participate in the SC Education Policy Fellowship Program (SC-EPFP).

Seventeen (17) professional and civic leaders from across the state are part of this year’s program, which is a 10-month intensive professional development program for established and emerging leaders in education and related fields to help equip them in working toward sound education policy and practice in South Carolina. SC-EPFP Fellows participate in a variety of activities that promote leadership, develop professional networks, demystify education policy, and foster a greater understanding of the roles of government and the community.

Fellows will meet monthly throughout the academic year for full-day dialogues, exercises and group projects, in addition to an overnight in-state Fall Leadership Forum and a four-day Washington Policy Seminar hosted by the Institute for Educational Leadership in the spring.


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