DENMARK -- Bamberg School District Two officials took the opportunity during the board of trustees' meeting last month to thank voters for approving the $38 million school bond referendum on Nov. 8.
The district will borrow up to $38 million to combine its three existing schools into one Pre-K-12 school on the property where the high school is now located. The shell of the existing high school will be completely renovated and the middle and elementary schools will be replaced with a new pre-K-8 school that will be connected to the renovated high school. A new sports stadium and other athletic facilities will also be added, along with a new district office and a new maintenance building.
Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner and Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Bias expressed the district's appreciation for the public's support.
“The new school will prove to be a great asset to Denmark-Olar, and the board members are excited about it being voted in,” Bias said, adding the new construction should be completed in time for the 2018-19 academic year.
"Thanks for the opportunity to build a better school for our students,” he said.
Also during the meeting, Sojourner introduced School Resource Officer Alphonso Jones.
“I see him somewhere always circulating and I know he will call me if he sees anything that doesn’t smell right or look right,” the superintendent said, adding the district is grateful to the Denmark Police Department for providing Jones' services.
Denmark-Olar High Principal Mickey Pringle said, "He (Jones) does a great job, and that helps me do mine.”
In other business:
- Recognized as students of the month were Jada Ashley, Denmark-Olar High; Anthony Rivers, Denmark-Olar Middle; and Brayden Ward, Denmark-Olar Elementary.
- Sojourner introduced the teacher of the month, Ofelia Estaris, who works with young children through Special Services. “This is her second year teaching at D-O, and she is from the Phillipines," the superintendent said. Bias also thanked Estaris, noting, "You will reap rewards all through your life for the good things you have done for the children.”
- Sojourner recognized Trustee Tonie Holman, who was presented a pin and a certificate for attaining Level 4 in the S.C. School Boards Association Boardmanship Institute.
- Recognized as winners in the Thanksgiving Poster Contest at the high school level were Julie Avesta and Jessie Collins, first place; Candace Davis, second place; Nyvannia Sherman, third place; and Bellrica Williams, fourth place. Middle school winners were Corissa Jamison, first place; Zynea Williams, second place; and Ty'Angela Peace, third place. Each winner was given a gift card, and all participants received certificates of appreciation. Sponsors of the contest were Feed My Sheep Ministries, the Denmark-Olar High class of 1983 and First Baptist Church of Denmark.
- The board approved payment of attorney fees totaling $2,390.48 to Boykin/Davis LLC of Columbia.
- Trustees approved April 17, June 5 and June 6, 2017 as make-up days for the time students missed due to Hurricane Matthew and other inclement weather.
- High school student Jessie Collins was recognized for earning second place at the 2016 S.C. State Fair for his outstanding artistic abilities.
- The board approved a request from Henry Odom of the Denmark Recreation Department to use the elementary school gym for games and practices. Holman stipulated that the department must provide the district with a schedule so the gym can be opened and then locked after each use and that it must clean up the gym after each use.