Filling two chartered busses the 55 fifth grade students and their chaperons, led by the trip’s coordinator, Mr. Charles Smith, departed for the 35th annual Washington, D.C., area trip on October 15. The group spent two full days sightseeing in the city and the surrounding area, visiting such points of interest as the Capitol, White House, Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery and National Cathedral, as well as the Holocaust Museum, Embassy Row, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and National Archives. They also visited the Smithsonian’s Air and Space, Natural History, and American History Museums. An evening tour of the city included the illuminated Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt Memorials, as well as the Iwo Jima, Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials. They also toured Mt. Vernon and its educational center. The group spent a day at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and visited Jamestown Festival Park before returning home on October 20. As an assignment in conjunction with their U.S. History unit of their social studies class taught by Mrs. Frances James, the students will give a power point presentation about their trip to their parents.
Senior Maggie Segars was crowned the 45th Homecoming Queen during an assembly in the Nash Student Center on October 20th. The senior class nominated seven girls from the class to be on the Homecoming Court, and students in grades 9-12 voted for the queen. In addition to Maggie, the following seniors were elected to the court: Paige Anderson, Catherine Clark, Diamond Crawford, Katie Duffy, Emily DuRant and Lane Herlong.
A variety of activities took place to celebrate Homecoming. Spirit Week found students dressing up to the following themes: America, nerd, jersey, and group costume. Students arrived to campus the morning of October 21st to find the entire high school building decorated by the varsity cheerleading squad to the theme of “Barons Abroad.” A variety of countries, from Greece to Japan and Kenya to Australia, were represented with intricately painted banners and decorations. With the exterior of the building transformed into a passport and luggage, the office a ticket booth, and the foyer a train, students of all ages enjoyed the festive atmosphere throughout the day.
The Student Council sponsored the 43rd annual Homecoming Parade which traveled the four-mile route through the nearby neighborhood on the afternoon of the 21st. Each class in grades six through twelve sponsored a float decorated to themes ranging from Hawaiian to the jungle, and every middle and high school student rode in the parade. Mrs. Susan Driggers, book keeper, was the grand marshal for the parade.
Wade Kolb ’96 and Montgomery Williams ’03 were presented the 24th annual Wilson Hall Distinguished Alumni Awards during half time of the varsity football game on October 21. Presenting the awards on Spencer Field were Mrs. John S. Wilson, Mr. William Croft ’90, chairman of the board of trustees, and Mr. Fred Moulton, headmaster.
Montgomery is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Belmont University College of Pharmacy where she was named the Internal Preceptor of the Year. A board certified pharmacotherapy specialist, she has established an internal medicine practice site at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee. Montgomery serves as the faculty advisor for the Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, and her research has been published six times in professional journals. She graduated magna cum laude with a doctor of pharmacy from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, and she completed her residency at Mission Hospitals in Asheville. Montgomery is a member of the Junior League of Nashville, serves as a board member for the Presbyterian Student Ministry at Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities, and she is a Sunday School teacher at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Wade is an attorney with Wyche Law Firm in Greenville and specializes in commercial litigation for national and international corporations. He is also a member of the firm’s Environmental and Sustainability Team. Wade was named a Rising Star by South Carolina Super Lawyers and was selected as one of the “Best and Brightest 35 and Under” by Greenville Business Magazine. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in history and religious studies from the University of South Carolina Honors College, and he received a juris doctor from Duke University School of Law. Wade, who is a published author, also studied English and theology at Oxford University. He serves as the President of the Carolina Youth Symphony Board of Directors, is a member of the Greenville Downtown Rotary Board of Directors, and is a member of the choir at Christ Church Episcopal.
The community is invited to attend the program, free of admission, on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 PM in the Nash Student Center.
Taya Kyle is the wife of the late U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, American Wife, and the Executive Director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
Life with my husband taught me many things,” shares Taya Kyle. “Probably the biggest thing it taught me was how to turn a life of fear into a life of faith. I learned strength and humility through Chris. I do my best to share that strength with others.” Of course, Taya is referring to her late husband, “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, Navy SEAL, New York Times Best Selling author, and perhaps the deadliest man to ever peer through the scope of a military rifle.
Since his tragic death in February of 2013, Taya has focused on keeping the spirit of his service alive. As Taya puts it, “Chris left us with a lot to do. Everyone struggles. I believe if we are open to it, we can see how God prepares us ahead of time for the hardships we will face in our lives. He also takes care of us afterward and shows us how to help others.”
Even with all she’s been through, Taya is still incredibly grateful. She and Chris were blessed with two beautiful children and a network of family and friends who have seen them through their trials. Taya’s faith, along with the people she has come to know and has known all her life, have allowed her to see the best in humanity in the worst of times. “I’ve learned the value of perseverance. If sharing my story helps one person…one family…one couple struggling with their marriage,” she says, “then that helps with my healing as well. I believe in paying it forward—the Ripple Effect is a powerful thing. One small act of kindness can mean the world to someone. We’ve lived it. My family has benefitted from it and we try to do the same for others.”
Taya regularly speaks to audiences across the country about the challenges facing veterans, first responders and their families. She also talks about the value of knowing who you are, what you believe in and standing strong for it. A native of Oregon, Taya Kyle currently lives in Texas with her two children. She’s been a guest and commentator for NBC, Fox News, MSNBC, Good Morning America, and Anderson Cooper. Additionally, her moving speech at the National Rifle Association’s 2013 annual meeting attracted widespread attention and established her as an outspoken leader.
Taya contributed a foreword and an afterword to the book American Gun: a History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms, authored by Chris Kyle with William Doyle. She was also part of the film adaptation of American Sniper. This major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood and staring Bradley Cooper is the story of her late husband, Chris Kyle. Taya’s book, American Wife, was published in May 2015. This book chronicles Taya and Chris’s private journey through love, family, service, and sacrifice.
Junior Breland Land won Best of Show at the Sumter County Fair Art Show for the chair she made in sculpture class. Senior Anna Katherine Graves received a $100 art scholarship award for her work, and third-grader Ella Sill received a $25 art scholarship.
Winning first place in their respective categories were the following students: sophomore Angelica Agno – pottery, seventh-grader Chanson Bullard – open media, sixth-grader Madison Crawshaw – drawing, and sixth-grader Caitlyn Schumacher – painting. The following students received second place ribbons for their work: junior Kelly Brady – open media, fourth-grader Anna Kate Coker – open media, eighth-grader Emily Gray – 2D open media, fifth-grader Clark Kinney – open media, sixth-grader Cody Peyton – drawing, and senior Maggie Segars – pottery. Earning third place ribbons were the following students: sixth-grader Sarah Alexander – 2D open media, fourth-grader Ellie Hudson – open media, sixth-grader Rebekha Patel – drawing, senior Elizabeth Piasecki – drawing, and sixth-grader Sarah Sonntag – drawing. The art teachers are Mrs. Ashley Lareau, Ms. Mary Ann Reames and Mrs. Tara Schumacher.