Senior Ingrid Singleton has been named a Commended Scholar in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. These students placed among the top three percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT.
To celebrate the military presence in our community, Wilson Hall sponsored a Military Appreciation Night for the varsity football game on September 7. The school has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with Shaw Air Force Base, home to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command, 20th Fighter Wing and Ninth Air Force, as well as the Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command. Students from military families comprise 19% of the student body, including 36% of the new students enrolling this year.
Twenty American flags, a Prisoner of War flag, and four South Carolina flags, loaned to the school by the family of the late Mayor Bubba McElveen and the Sumter County Museum, were flown throughout Spencer Field. The varsity cheerleaders painted a red, white and blue run-through banner for the team that read “Here Come Our Heroes” and distributed red, white and blue balloons to the student fans, and for the night’s spirit theme students dressed in patriotic garb.
Captain Nicholas Lopresto, who serves as chaplain at Shaw AFB, offered the invocation before the game. Chief John F. Kennedy, who retired from the Air Force after 24 years of service, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and sophomore Bella Land sang “God Bless America.” Conducting the coin toss was Colonel Dustin Smith, retired Air Force as Central Command Chief of Staff at Shaw AFB. Mrs. Elizabeth Hyatt, school counselor, coordinated the event.
Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, 27 students received recognition from the College Board. About 22 percent of the 2.2 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to earn an AP Scholar Award. In May, 65 Wilson Hall students became eligible to receive college credit by earning a score of 3 or higher on at least one exam. Of the 69 members of the class of 2018, 35 graduates passed at least one AP Exam and earned a total of 223 college credit hours. Wilson Hall’s average passing rate is 71%, above the global average passing rate of 61%.
The AP is a global academic program in more than 100 countries. AP Exams, which students take after completing challenging college-level courses taught at their high school, are graded on a five-point scale (5 being the highest). Most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both for grades of 3 or higher. To qualify to teach an AP course, teachers must attend an intensive AP workshop held during the summer. Wilson Hall offers 18 AP courses.
The following 2018 graduates received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more exams: Steph Areford, Carly Cooper, Chandler Curtis, Meredith Johnson, Eadon Lee, Matthew Tavarez, Tod Yang and Zach Zobrist. Breland Land, Madison Reaves and Grace Towery, 2018 graduates, received the AP Scholar with Honor Award for earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more exams. The following seniors received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams: Sean Alderson, Shelby Guldan, Grey Holler, Luke Kinney, Callie McAdams and Ingrid Singleton. Also receiving this honor were 2018 graduates Hayley DuBose, Patrick Fidler, Kirsten Fisher, Jarett King, Bryce Lyles, Katie Overby, Amber Prewitt, Graeson Smith, Kate Smith and Justin Timmons.
The 2017 varsity volleyball team was recognized as an Academic All-American Team for the third consecutive year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The team was also selected as an Honor Roll team for the second straight year, recognizing it for earning one of the 25 highest team grade point averages in the United States. The AVCA recognizes programs in high school and college that excel in the classroom as well as on the court. The Barons earned a team GPA of 4.6 and completed 46 Advanced Placement and honors courses. On the court, the Region Champion team (21-15) received a top four seed in the state tournament and had five players selected to play in post-season all-star games. The team consisted of Abbie Beatson, Sarah Cain, Courtney Clark, Gracyn Coker, Chandler Curtis, Madison DesChamps, Cameron Duffy, Drake Ives, Sydney Jarecki, Liza Lowder, Becka Noyes, Betsy Noyes, Madison Reaves, Madi Sliwonik and Andi Grae Wingate. The team was coached by Mr. Rip Ripley who was assisted by Ms. Courtney Bath and Ms. Andrea Davis.
Wilson Hall hosted a shift for the Sumter Feeds My Starving Children and packed 57,024 meals to feed 156 children for an entire year. The two-hour session held at the Sumter Civic Center had 254 faculty members, alumni, students and their families participating. Organized by Mrs. Elizabeth Mayes Hyatt ’02, school counselor, the Class of 2018 led the fundraising effort to sponsor the shift. Feed My Starving Children is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children.