COPE -- The news was good across Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4 this month, with students and employees honored for their national and local awards and achievements.
Four students from the Cope Area Career Center received permission from the board to attend the Skills USA National Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, this summer where they’ll represent the district and the state of South Carolina.
Ashlin Blewer, Shyann Green and Chris Warner earned first place statewide in crime scene investigation and Kiyerra Williams took first place in hair braiding.
The cost will be about $250 per student and $2,085 to the school. Students are working to raise money for the trip through student organizations, fundraisers and donations from individual sponsors.
The trip will run from June 24-29.
The board also approved a trip for one student from the Cope Area Career Center to the Health Occupations Students of America’s National Leadership Conference and Competition.
Brandon Kinsey placed in the health care issues exam and will represent the district and the state in national competition. The cost of the event will be $3,000 and it will be paid for with student organization funds, Perkin Funds and money from the student.
Three employees from the district were named as the National Life Groups' LifeChanger Award winners for 2018-2019, and one employee was nominated for the honor.
Edisto Elementary School topped the list in excellence with Eric King, who was listed in the top 10 employees in the nation as a top-notch teacher. King is a Behavioral Specialist ISS. He received $3,000, with half going to the school and half to himself.
Also from Edisto Elementary was Jacqueline Sanders, a fourth-grade English language arts and science instructor who was listed in the top 15 teachers. Dr. Ophelia Darby, band director at Edisto High School was also listed as one of the top 15.
Speech Therapist Sandie Ott from Edisto Elementary was also nominated for the award.
“LifeChangers are teachers, administrators – anyone who makes a change in a child’s life,” said Vivian McWhorter-Hubbard, a representative of the company.
Anyone can nominate someone for the award, including students, she said.
Junior Scholars -- seventh graders who took and passed the SAT college entrance exam -- were Donald Debose from Carver-Edisto Middle School and Emily Heape and Bailee Garrick from Branchville High School.
Four students from Edisto Elementary School won awards in the State Science Fair.
Bricen Smith earned recognition for Outstanding Achievement Best Projects in the fifth grade. He also took first place in chemistry and third place in the Westinghouse Innovation Award.
Timothy Jameson won an Outstanding Achievement Best Projects in fifth grade. He also earned second place in the Rosewood Market Environmental Award and the Fair Directors Award.
Charlie Cox earned an Outstanding Achievement Best Projects and Caroline Kemp won a Metric Award.
Charlie Fanning earned third place in the Global Education Day Art Contest.
Edisto Elementary Junior Beta Club competition participants were J’Laysia Williams in fifth-grade social studies, Conner Dyches in fifth-grade science, Jordon Blyther in fifth-grade math and Khamari Cleckly in fifth-grade language arts.
On the fourth-grade level, competitors were Georgia Lynn Johnson in social studies, Jamareious James in science and Jaelyn Gunter in math. Brantley Thompson competed in language arts and performing arts solo, duo and trio elementary.
Members of the Edisto Elementary Quiz Bowl were Leander Batchler, Camden Zeigler, Kaelyn Proveus and Raelyn Felkel.
Superintendent Dr. Lana Williams recognized April’s District Citizens of the Month with the character trait, determination.
It was a four-way tie with two students and two employees winning, Williams said. Logan Justus from Branchville High School and Terrance Smith from Edisto High School won for the students. Wendy Hay from Edisto Primary School and Ophelia Darby from Edisto High won for the employees.
In other business, progress has been made on construction in the district, said Larry Wolfe, assistant superintendent of operations and planning.
Initial plans for the Edisto High School filming platform have been approved by the Office of School Facilities. Instruction drawings should be completed and approved by the end of April, he said.
The Branchville-Lockett field house should also hopefully be completed by the end of April.
Plans to remodel the Hunter-Kinard-Tyler gym and press box have also been approved by the OSF, which is not going to require the district to modify the bleachers, Wolfe said. The planned modifications would not bring them up to code, so OSF is saying they can be left as they are.
The Carver-Edisto gym floor has been installed. It still has to be sanded and painted, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, Wolfe said. Within the next few weeks, they will be replacing the old lights in the gym with new LED lights.
Edisto Sports Inc. is working with the county to use some of its penny sales tax to make improvements to the baseball and football fields at Carver-Edisto Middle School. This will involve moving the shrubbery out nearer to the highway and enlarging the fields, Wolfe said.