Sophomore Bridget Anderson won first place and a $300 prize in the Sumter County Historical Society’s annual Myrtis Osteen Essay Contest. Senior Lane Herlong placed third, sophomore Ingrid Singleton fourth, and sophomore Liza Segars fifth. The competition, sponsored by Beauregard Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sumter County Historical Commission and Sumter County Historical Society, was open to all Sumter County high school students who were asked to submit a two- to three-page essay on the topic “The Value of History to Me.” The students were introduced and read their essays at the Sunday Student Recognition Program at Sumter County Museum’s Heritage Education Center. Mr. Tom O’Hare, a history teacher, sponsored the students for the contest.
The Randle Learning Center, the newest addition to the Wilson Hall campus, opened on March 1. The 3,800 square foot, two-story addition, attached to the preschool/kindergarten building, provides space for students of all ages. The main floor houses two classrooms and a common area for the expanding three-year-old preschool program, as well as a workroom for the preschool and kindergarten faculty. This space is also used for the younger students in the After School Care program. On the second floor is a multipurpose room that serves as a gathering space for teachers of all grade levels and their students during the day as well as a space for the After School Care program. Clubs and organizations may also reserve this room for meetings and functions.
During the three days of Stanford Achievement testing for the middle school, students spent the afternoon participating in the One Book One School program for which they read a short novel called A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The book includes the story of a child who has to walk over four hours for water for her family – water that is not clean, but is their only option.
A guest speaker, Scotty Parker, visited the campus on March 20 for an assembly related to the project. The twelve-year-old has a goal of raising $500,000 for Water Missions through Scotty’s Ride for Water, a bike ride from California to South Carolina. After his presentation students participated in a mini Walk for Water to experience the weight of carrying water long distances as well as water usage estimation activities.
Teachers participated in the program by reading aloud to the students and facilitating the activities. The purpose of the program was to give students a better understanding of their many blessings, as well as encourage a desire to conserve natural resources and to help those in need. The program was coordinated by Mrs. Stacey Reaves, middle school principal.
The team of eighth grade students Hannah Alsaadi and Emily Gray won first place in the middle school division of the S.C. Independent School Association State Debate Competition held in Florence. Emily also won the trophy for earning the highest number of points. Freshman Ainsley Morton won the high point trophy for the novice division. All six of Wilson Hall’s teams placed in the competition, winning eight of the 15 awards. Placing second in the middle school division were seventh grade students Mary Jones and Annie Lauzon. In the novice competition, sophomore Sean Alderson and freshman Ainsley Morton placed second and the team of freshmen Mary Catherine Matthews and Waverly McIver finished fourth. In the high school division the team of junior Joshua Easler and sophomore Luke Kinney placed third, and placing fourth was the team of juniors Chandler Curtis and Meredith Johnson. The topic of the debate was “A society has an obligation to ensure adequate health care for its citizens.” The debate teams are advised by Mrs. Stacey Reaves and Mrs. Dianne Sprott.
As part of the curriculum, the 73 members of the junior class attended the tenth annual junior class retreat at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, N.C., February 26 – 28. Coordinated by Mrs. Laura Barr and Mr. Glen Rector, the retreat provided rising seniors with a “beyond the classroom walls” experience with a focus on loyalty, leadership and legacy. The retreat included group activities, structured discussions, and opportunities for enjoying the facilities of the conference center located in the mountains of North Carolina. Activities included an obstacle course operated by the Mountain Trail Outdoor School, team-building exercises, and cooperation games. Dr. Milt Lowder, a licensed counseling psychologist in Greenville who graduated from Wilson Hall in 1990, delivered the keynote speech with the topic of “Defining Success.” There were also presentations given by Mr. Fred Moulton, Headmaster, as well as from some of the fourteen faculty members who attended the retreat. Every member of the Class of 2018 had the opportunity to enjoy the significant benefits of a time set apart for community building and individual character development in a way that will not only benefit each student individually, but will continue Wilson Hall’s strong tradition of effective preparation for college and beyond.