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Bartlett, Grudzinski & Singleton Receive College Board Recognition

Dillon Bartlett, Bella Grudzinski & Victoria Singleton

Dillon Bartlett, Bella Grudzinski and Victoria Singleton, Class of ‘24, earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These programs celebrate students' hard work in high school and showcase their strong academic performance. 

The academic honors for rural area, Black, Indigenous, and/or Latino students are an opportunity for students to share their strong academic achievements with colleges and scholarship programs that are seeking to recruit diverse talent. Colleges and organizations using College Board’s Student Search Service can connect directly with awardees during the recruitment process.

The criteria for eligible students include: GPA of 3.5 or higher, PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 assessment scores that are within the top 10% of assessment takers in each state for each award program, or earned a score of 3 or higher on 2 or more AP Exams in 9th and 10th grade, attend school in a rural area or small town, or identify as African American/Black, Hispanic American/Latino, or Indigenous/Native. Dillon and Victoria received the National Indigenous Award and Bella received the National Rural and Small Town Award.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Project

In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Wilson Hall raised $960 through the Kidz in Lids project which supports local children battling cancer. Students donated $1.00 to wear their favorite hat and faculty donated $5.00 to wear jeans to school on September 21. Kidz in Lids benefits Children's Cancer Partners of the Carolinas and its mission to assist local children on their cancer journey. Mrs. Allyson Sanders, school nurse, coordinated the project. 

Custer & Fitzpatrick Mr./Miss Wilson Hall

Slade Custer ‘24 and Helen Fitzpatrick ‘24 received the honor of Mr. and Miss Wilson Hall. Each fall the upper school faculty nominates students for Mr. and Miss Wilson Hall and the Mr. and Miss for grades 9-11. When nominating a student the faculty considers the following factors: above average academics, participation in athletics and/or extracurricular activities, outstanding citizenship, and excellent character.
        From the list of faculty nominated candidates, students in grades 9-12 voted for their own class. While voting, students considered the same criteria the faculty considers when choosing the most well rounded representatives of their class and of Wilson Hall.
        The following underclassmen received this honor: Junior - Andrew Segars and Molly Jones, Sophomore - Ford Wilder and Bowen Zitzke, and Freshman - Reese Wilson and Land Stevens. 

Baron Family Tailgate Party

School Welcomes 800 Students

Wilson Hall welcomed 800 students, 128 of them new, on the opening day of the 2023-2024 school year.  In its 56th year as a private college-preparatory school, Wilson Hall continues its mission of providing a rigorous and well-balanced education in a safe Judeo-Christian environment. 

AP Scholars

Jennings Frerichs, Mary Parish Williams & Jeremiah Jones

Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, 42 students received recognition from the College Board. About 20 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 101 Wilson Hall students became eligible to receive college credit by earning a score of 3 or higher on at least one exam. Wilson Hall's average passing rate is 88%, above the global average passing rate of 60%. There were 115 Wilson Hall students who took a total of 238 exams.

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 21 AP courses, more than any school in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties.

Jennings Frerichs, Jeremiah Jones and Mary Parish Williams, Class of ‘24, received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award, the highest offered, 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. Also receiving this honor were the following members of the Class of ‘23: Sumter Cooper, Maddie Crawshaw, Sam Fisher, Sophie Greene, Justin Grynkewich, Jada Hall, Annabelle Huffman, Bailey McInerney, Rebekha Patel, Cody Peyton, Caitlyn Schumacher and Sarah Sonntag. 

Jacob Bostic and Helen Fitzpatrick, Class of ‘24, and Josie Jackson and Jane McAdams, Class of ‘25, 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. Also receiving this honor were Cameron Coulter, Steve Scholz and Hampton Watson, Class of ‘23.  

The following students received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams: (Class of ‘25) Sarah-Jane Bates, Annabelle Branham, Andrew Segars and Sara Helen Simmons; (Class of ‘24) Olivia Beasley, Bella Grudzinski, Clark Kinney, Davis Lee and Rhayne Owens; and (Class of ‘23) Emma Bradley, Jerry Brown, Sudie Grace Cromer, Conner Galloway, Sean Galloway, Noah Kennedy, Zoe Miller, Vruj Patel, Shrey Sheth, Jordan Thornton and Caroline Warr. 

Wilson Hall Hosts Learning Conference

Wilson Hall served as a host site for the Science of Teaching & School Leadership Academy for four days in July. In addition to the 23 faculty members from our school, 21 teachers from Hammond School & Spartanburg Day School also attended. The academy is the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning’s flagship Mind, Brain & Education conference for professional learning and pedagogical development. The educators and school leaders who attended received valuable science of teaching and learning resources created by teachers for teachers. They learned from a select group of thought leaders and veteran educators, joined a network of teachers dedicated to research-informed practices, and studied tools that can help them elevate their students’ academic achievement and social and emotional development.

Congratulations Class of 2023!

The 66 members of the Class of 2023, the 54th graduating class, joined the 2,973 people who count themselves among the ranks of Wilson Hall’s alumni. Merit-based scholarships, valued at over $7.2 million, were awarded to 100% of the graduates. Every member of the class gained acceptance to a four-year college or university, and members of the class were offered admission to 87 schools in 24 states and four countries. The average SAT score for the top 25% of the class is 1399, with a high score of 1520, and the average score for the entire class, with all seniors taking the SAT, is 1199. Eligible to receive college credit, 96% of the graduates took at least one Advanced Placement course with the average student taking at least four; there are 12 AP Scholars among the graduates. Members of the Class of ‘23 participated on 10 state champion athletic teams and won nine individual state championships, 10 students signed to compete collegiately, and the state’s top female scholar-athlete is among their ranks. Graduates won 12 individual state competitions in art, dance, debate, history or music. Members of the Class of ’23 volunteered over 4,600 hours of community service during the school year, and a student won the state’s top award for service-learning.

Moulton Presented Honorary Diploma

In recognition of his 38 years of service to the school, Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, was presented with the first ever honorary Wilson Hall diploma. Mr. William Croft ‘90, Chairman of the Board, surprised Mr. Moulton with the presentation during the graduation ceremony.

Huffman Wins Wilson Award

Annabelle Huffman ‘23 was presented the 52nd John S. Wilson Award at the graduation ceremony held at Patriot Hall. This prestigious award, which is the highest honor a Wilson Hall student may receive, is presented to the graduating senior who possesses the ideal qualities of a Wilson Hall student. The recipient is selected based on his or her academic achievement, leadership abilities, character, and contributions to the school, community, and church. The selection of the recipient is made by the unanimous vote of the committee consisting of three faculty members, the head of school, a member of the executive board of the PTO, a member of the board of trustees, and a member of the Wilson family. Given in memory of her father, who was one of the founders of the school, Mrs. Helen Wilson Taylor '76 presented the award during the graduation ceremony.

Four Tapped for Veritas in Unitate Society

Peyton Linginfelter, Brianna Johnson, Caroline Warr & Sean Galloway

Sean Galloway, Brianna Johnson, Peyton Linginfelter and Caroline Warr, Class of ‘23, were inducted into the Veritas in Unitate Society during the Senior Awards Program. The society is a student award program developed to recognize academic service-based achievement of senior students throughout the S.C. Independent School Assoc. Each member school can nominate up to five students, who have a minimum of 50 hours of documented community service between June of the student’s junior year and October of the student’s senior year, for the society. Nominees, who must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, are required to write an essay outlining the importance of community service, provide three letters of recommendation from school or community leaders who have witnessed their service activities, and receive a recommendation from their head of school.

Kinney & McCord Receive Brabham Award

Clark Kinney ‘24 received the John M. Brabham III Award at the Upper School Academic Awards Program. The criteria for this award are as follows: A sincere love and compassion for his classmates; confidence in his intellectual proficiency and to be intellectually engaged with members of the faculty; enthusiasm among class members in order to bring positive support to the whole; an eager willingness to work in an around the school in order to improve or promote the WH experience; an appropriate sense of balance between having fun and being competitive; and living as an example of being a big brother at WH. The Brabham family established the award in memory of John who would have graduated with the Class of 2011. As the award recipient Clark had the honor of choosing a faculty member to receive the award, and he chose Mr. Chuck McCord, a science teacher.

Huffman Receives Moersen Award

Annabelle Huffman ‘23 received the Lisa Moersen Service to School Award which was created to recognize a senior who has actively served Wilson Hall for the duration of his or her school career. She was presented the award by Mrs. Moersen’s son, Mr. Neal Moersen ‘06.

Mrs. Moersen was a long-time parent, friend, and servant to our school. When she and her family arrived at Wilson Hall in 1994, Mrs. Moersen quickly began volunteering. She worked in the cafeteria, the concession stand at athletic events, and actively participated on the PTO Board. She was elected to the Athletic Association Board in 1995 and was a member for 25 consecutive years, serving as president for the last six years. Most notably, half of Mrs. Moersen’s tenure took place without a family member participating on an athletic team.

The Lisa Moersen Service to School Award is presented to a student who has shown a similar love for and commitment to Wilson Hall, a commitment born from care and consideration rather than obligation. 

Linginfelter Presented Watt Award

Peyton Linginfelter ‘23 received the Larry K. Watt Award presented by the S.C. Independent School Association to recognize the academic service-based achievements of seniors. It is one of the highest awards presented by the association, which has over 120 member schools, and Peyton is the only student who attends a 4A school in SCISA to receive the award. To be eligible for the award, the student must be nominated by the school and recommended by the head of school. The nominee must have a minimum of 50 hours of documented community service after June of the student’s junior year and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Once nominated, the student must submit a 500-word essay outlining the importance of community service as well as three letters of recommendation from school or community leaders who have personally witnessed their service initiatives.

Congratulations Class of 2023

Fred Moulton Day

Mr. Fred Moulton & Mayor David Merchant

To thank the school for the opportunity to serve for the past 38 years, a party for Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, was held on May 20. While the purpose of the party was to give Mr. Moulton the opportunity to thank everyone for their support, it was also a way for the school and its supporters to offer thanks to him for a job well done. Parents and faculty, both past and present, alumni, and friends of the school gathered in front of the Nash Student Center to socialize and enjoy beverages and food provided by Southern Pride Catering, What the Food Truck, and SweetFrog Yogurt. Everyone proceeded to the Founder’s Chapel where Mr. William Croft ‘90, Chairman of the Board, introduced Mr. Moulton who delivered the invocation before offering a heartfelt speech giving thanks, receiving a rousing standing ovation from the standing-room-only crowd of over 300 guests. As a surprise, Mayor David Merchant presented Mr. Moulton with a proclamation declaring May 20, 2023, as Fred Moulton Day in Sumter. The event was coordinated by Mrs. Laura Barr and Mrs. Martha Jo Smith Johnson ‘99 of the Development Office. 

Wilson Hall Voted Best Private School

Wilson Hall was voted Best Private School for the 16th time by the readers of The Sumter Item.

Valedictorian & Salutatorian

Sarah Sonntag & Caitlyn Schumacher

Sarah Sonntag ‘23 was presented the Valedictorian Medal for having the highest grade point average in the class, and Caitlyn Schumacher ‘23 was presented the Salutatorian Medal for having the second-highest grade point average. To receive this honor, a student must have attended Wilson Hall for the entire sophomore, junior and senior years. The students were presented their medals at the Senior Awards Program. 

Brown Presented Reynolds Award

Parks Brown ‘31 was presented the Lynn H. Reynolds Award during the Lower School Awards Program. The award is presented to the fourth grade student who meets life’s challenges with a positive attitude, possesses a never-ending zest for life, has an appreciation for music, and a love for nature. Dr. and Mrs. Phil Brandt established the award in memory of Lynn, who would have graduated with the Class of ’92.

Hall/Hanson Named Star Student/Teacher

Each year the student who achieves the highest score on the SAT, has a minimum GPA of 4.0, and has attended Wilson Hall since the 11th grade receives the honor of being named the Star Student, and this year the honor went to Jada Hall ‘23. In turn, the student has the great privilege of choosing the Star Teacher, who is one of the faculty members who has greatly influenced his or her education at Wilson Hall. Jada chose Mrs. Kristall Hanson, who taught her Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles. The Star Student and Star Teacher each presented speeches at the Senior Awards Program.

Baker Presented Young Award

Ashley-Reid Baker ‘23 received the William F. Young Academic Achievement Award at the Senior Awards Program. The award recognizes students who have exhibited the greatest improvement in his or her grade point average during the school year. In addition to recognizing achievement, this award was created to motivate students in their pursuit of learning. It is given by Dr. and Mrs. William F. Young in honor of their children, Lynn Young Anthony ’81, Rick Young ’83 and Sarah Young Gessner ’87, who graduated from Wilson Hall, and in honor of the faculty and administration who guide, nurture, educate and motivate students. 
The underclassmen who received the award at the Upper School Academic Awards Program  were Elizabeth Busch ‘24, Michael Lauzon ‘25, Sophie Miller ‘26, Jacob Cartrett ‘27, Divya Patel ‘28 and Siena LeDeatte ‘29. 

Simmons Wins Chappell Award

Sara Helen Simmons ‘25 was presented the John W. Chappell Award recognizing excellence in U.S. History at the Upper School Academic Awards Program. The Chappell Award recognizes the student who has a genuine love for U.S. History, maintains at least an A average in the course, and demonstrates high moral character and citizenship qualities. The award was established in memory of Mr. Chappell, who served on the board of trustees and had three daughters graduate from Wilson Hall: Laura Chappell Bauknight ’83, Cile Chappell Wildrick ’85 and Molly Chappell McPhail ’87.

Warr Presented Smith Award

Caroline Warr ‘23 is the recipient of the Charles T. Smith Award which is presented annually to a student who has given outstanding service to the school, community and/or church. The award is established to honor Mr. Smith who served for 30 years as the school’s athletic director.

Williams Receives Unsworth Award

Mary Parish Williams ‘24 received the Barbara Moses Unsworth Award at the Upper School Awards Program. Established in Barbara’s memory by her classmates (Class of 1973), the award is presented to the most well rounded member of the Junior Class who possesses the ideal qualities of leadership and scholastic excellence. A committee consisting of an administrator and two members of the faculty who teach juniors select the recipient from a list of faculty-nominated juniors.

Ayres Presented DuBose Award

Abel Ayres ‘27 was presented the James M. DuBose Award at the Upper School Academic Awards Program. This award is given to the eighth grade student who displays a strong love for Christ, constantly strives to do his or her best in academics and athletics, has a positive attitude, encourages others, and always demonstrates compassion for all. The award, established by the Class of 1998, is given to honor the memory of Jamie. A committee consisting of school administrators and faculty members selected Abel from a list of faculty-nominated eighth graders.

Mr. Moulton Receives State's Highest Civilian Honor

Mr. Fred Moulton & Rep. Murrell Smith

Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina. First awarded in 1971, it recognizes a person's lifetime achievements and contributions to the State of South Carolina. Mr. Moulton, who has worked in education in South Carolina for 44 years, is retiring in June after serving Wilson Hall for 38 years. In his 35th year leading our school, he is one of the longest-serving heads of school in the history of the South Carolina Independent School Association. 

Rep. Murrell Smith ‘86, Speaker of the House, visited campus to present the award to Mr. Moulton during a surprise program attended by students and faculty. As Mr. Moulton entered campus on the morning of April 3, he was greeted by nearly 900 cheering students and faculty holding congratulatory signs, placards and posters. Once he entered the Nash Student Center, lower school students returned to their classes while upper school students entered the gym for the special presentation by Rep. Smith.

The award comes in the form of a certificate that, in part, reads:
“In grateful recognition of your contributions and friendship to the State of South Carolina and her people. I do hereby confer unto you the Order of the Palmetto with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.”

Junior Honor Marshals

J. Bostic, A. Fidler, J. Frerichs, J. Jones, C. Kinney, D. Lee, R. Owens & M. Williams

The following members of the Class of ‘24, who have attended Wilson Hall since the tenth grade and have the highest grade point averages in the class, were named as Junior Honor Marshals: Jacob Bostic, Alli Reagan Fidler, Jennings Frerichs, Jeremiah Jones, Clark Kinney, Davis Lee, Rhayne Owens and Mary Parish Williams. They were announced by Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, and were presented blue sashes by Mrs. Susan Barfield, Academic Dean, during a ceremony held for students, faculty and parents. The marshals will participate in the Senior Awards Program and the Graduation Ceremony. 

Huffman Wins Good Citizen Award

Senior Annabelle Huffman is the Chapter Award Winner for the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Program in Sumter. She will represent Sumter in the state-level competition. The DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest, created in 1934, recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities. Each school in Sumter County was invited to nominate one senior for the competition. The nominees submitted a resume and academic transcript, wrote an essay on patriotism, and participated in an interview with members of the DAR. 

School Named to Top 10 List

The website Niche lists Wilson Hall among the top 10 Best Private Schools in South Carolina for its 2023 rankings. The school earned a grade of A+ for academics, an achievement earned by less than 10% of the schools in the nation. Wilson Hall was named #7 Best College Prep Private High School and #8 Best Private K-12 School in the state. Additionally, it was named #12 Best High School for STEM, public or private, in the state. Wilson Hall is the only school in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties, public or private, to earn these recognitions. The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and reviews from students and parents. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, the quality of colleges that students consider, student-teacher ratio, private school ratings, and more. Data is sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, Niche users, and schools directly.