DCSD honors students, discusses employee vacancies at meeting
By Stephan Drew, Editor
When the Darlington County School District (DCSD) met on February 13, 2023, several students were honored for their recent achievements and school district employee vacancies were discussed.
Kaitlin Nutt, a junior at Hartsville High School, earned a spot on the 2022 South Carolina High School League Class AAAA All-State Cross-Country Team. Mr. Larry Johnson, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Operations, recognized Kaitlin for her outstanding athletic accomplishment.
Honored for earning spots on the 2022 SCFCA All-State Football Teams were 7 players from Lamar High School and one player from Hartsville High School. J’Shawn Anderson, from Hartsville High, earned a spot on the Class AAAA All-State team and was also chosen for the 2022 Touchstone Energy North-South All-Star Football Team. From Lamar High, Montavis Dolford, Gabriel McAllister, Michael McFadden, Tyler McManus, Nazir Stevenson, Ja’Quan Toney and Kendall Walton all earned spots on the Class A All-State Team.
Ms. Carlita King, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, recognized three students for their achievements in the 2023 Junior Beta Club S.C. State Awards program. Lanae McRavin, of Brockington Elementary School, won First Place in the Elementary Jewelry Competition. Rily Moore, also from Brockington, won First Place in the Elementary Painting Competition. Also recognized was Shreeji Patel, from Hartsville Middle School, who earned a spot in this year’s Junior All-State Band.
Mark Face from Community Connections, a faith-based group of approximately 12-15 organizations, reported that the group is renovating Crazy Hope Community Center in Darlington and wants to include the school system in future projects. Face stated that the community center plans to sponsor a tutoring program and would like to include Darlington County high school students as tutors to the younger children. Face explained that this would not only help the younger students obtain beneficial skills which would be helpful in their future educational studies, it will also give the high school students a chance to give back to their community in a positive and fulfilling way.
Chuck Miller, Executive Director of Human Resources reported on 13 employment vacancies within the district. Miller stated that there are 5 vacancies in the middle schools and 8 in the high schools, with 7 of those 13 being in Special Education. Miller also said there are 90 International teachers across the county at present. Miller explained that the current entry-level salary is $43,000/year, making the Darlington County School District the highest-paying district in the Pee Dee area. Miller also announced that DCSD will hold a Hiring Event from 9am to 1pm on Saturday, March 4th at the Mayo High School Conference Center and Gymnasium.
School Board Chairperson Wanda Hassler announced the formation of the RFQ Committee, which will work with the architect and construction groups on the planning and development of the new elementary school to be built on land purchased by the school district last year.
In other business, Boardmember Leigh Anne Kelley moved to uphold the administration’s recommendation to make a formal complaint to the S.C. State Board of Education, requesting that appropriate action be taken against a professional employee of DCSD who breached his/her employment contract with the district. The motion passed.
DCSD Superintendent Dr. Tim Newman reported that, during the recent Municipal Dinner, a task force was formed, from the attendees of the dinner, to monitor safety issues and assist with developing plans to correct any security problems. Newman also announced that the district is working on a grant from MUSC, through the Byerly Foundation, for Art Therapy, which uses the arts as a mental health tool and helps prepare children for attending 4K and 5K. He praised Lamar-Spaulding Elementary School for hosting a Family Game Night, including families, faculty and students. “We need more of our families to be involved,” Newman said.
The next meeting of the Darlington County School District’s Board of Education will take place on March 13, 2023.