Skip Navigation

News and Announcements

AP Government Class 2nd in State Competition

Annie Lauzon, Duncan James, Ashlyn Goode
& Kieran Cosden

The students in the Advanced Placement U.S. Government & Politics class taught by Mr. Tom O’Hare placed second overall in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition for South Carolina. The team qualifies for the national competition. The group of seniors Kieran Cosden, Ashlyn Goode, Mary Claire Graves, Duncan James and Annie Lauzon earned special recognition for Best Presentation of a Unit. 

Sponsored by the South Carolina Bar, the primary goal of the program is to promote civic competence and responsibility among students through an instructional program that enhances students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.

Max Lucado Visits Wilson Hall

World-renowned author Max Lucado visited the campus for the Mission Series on November 10 in the Nash Student Center. In addition to being a pastor and speaker, Lucado is a best-selling author who has written over 100 books that have sold over 130 million copies. 

He spoke to over 1,000 people during the two programs. During the school day he met with members of the Senior Class, encouraging them to “find your story” before posing for photos with the students. Each senior received a copy of Mr. Lucado’s recent book, You Were Made for This Moment. Mr. Lucado then spoke to all students in 6th-12th during an assembly, using the title of the book as the key topic. 

At the evening program Mr. Lucado used the title of one of his books, Anxious for Nothing, as the topic. The event was open to the community free of charge; the crowd was limited to 600. 

For over a decade, the Mission Series has brought speakers of faith who have delivered messages of hope and challenge to Wilson Hall students and who have drawn hundreds of visitors from around the state to our campus. Lucado joins Dr. Ben Carson, the late Ravi Zacharias, and most recently, Bob Goff, on the roster of speakers who have made an impact on the lives of Wilson Hall students and the greater community.  

In the fall of 2009, a family approached Wilson Hall with the idea of doing something for the community with a particular focus on young people. The family was interested in something that would impact the lives of our young people for the better and for their future. From that meeting was born the idea of bringing in a well-known, inspirational speaker who might offer to the local population a message of encouragement, a challenge to leadership, an invitation for the greater good. As a reflection of the desires of this community-minded family, the event was named the Wilson Hall Mission Series.

McLeod & Matthews, Mr. & Miss Wilson Hall

Alex McLeod & Lucy Matthews

Seniors Alex McLeod & Lucy Matthews 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 9-11 voted for their own class, and all students in 9-12 voted for Mr. and Miss Wilson Hall. 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: Mr. & Miss Junior – Sumter Cooper and Sarah Sonntag , Mr. & Miss Sophomore – Dillon Bartlett and Maury Shuler, and Mr. & Miss Freshman – Shawn Michael Matthews and Sara Hayes Ridgeway. 

Goode a National Merit Commended Student

Senior Ashlyn Goode was recognized in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program as a Commended Student. The program recognizes high school seniors who have excelled in academics and have the potential to succeed in rigorous college studies, and about 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Wilson Hall Named to Top 10 List

The website Niche lists Wilson Hall among the top 10 Best Private Schools in South Carolina for its 2022 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 #6 Best College Prep Private High School and #8 Best Private K-12 School in the state. 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.

Senior Superlatives

Mary Jones & Nolan Lamb, 
Most Likely to Succeed

The following students were selected by their classmates for the Senior Superlatives:
Most Likely to Succeed - Mary Jones & Nolan Lamb
Most Athletic - Lucy Matthews & Tate Sistare
Most Dependable - Anna Hays Shuler & Alex McLeod
Friendliest - Ellie Spencer & Hugh McLaurin 
Most Intelligent - Rachel Bostic & Kieran Cosden
Most School Spirit - Ansleigh Epps & Tyler Jones
Most Talented - Ashlyn Goode & William Cooper
Wittiest - Mary Claire Graves & Will Croft

Record Number of New Students Welcomed

Griffin Timmons, a new student in the  
3-year-old preschool class.

Wilson Hall welcomed 149 new Barons at the start of the school year, the largest group of new students to enroll at one time in over five decades. The school has a total enrollment of 804 students and 118 staff members.

29 Advanced Placement Scholars

29 AP Scholars
Madi Smith & Ashlyn Goode

Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, 29 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 90 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 80%, above the global average passing rate of 60%.

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

Hannah Alsaadi, Warren Jolicoeur, Breland Jones and Gavyn Mathes, Class of ‘21, 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. 

Ashlyn Goode and Madi Smith, Class of ‘22, and Enrick Dickey, Emily Gray and Justin Kang, Class of ‘21, 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 students received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams: (Class of ‘22) Rachel Bostic, Kieran Cosden, Mary Claire Graves, William Hardee, Mary Jones, Nolan Lamb and Annie Lauzon; (Class of ‘21) Sarah Alexander, Amp Boonaneksap, Gracyn Coker, William Coulter, Owings Holler, Logan Kennedy, Mary Luebbert, Georgia McCart, Colton Muszynski, Wade Payne, Kaitlyn Smith, Graham VanPatten and Heath Watson. 

Class of 2021 Graduates

The 57 members of the Class of 2021 received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony held the evening of May 28 in the Nash Student Center. As part of the 51st  class to graduate from Wilson Hall, the members of this class are now among the 2,584 people who count themselves as one of our school’s alumni. Class President Madi DesChamps offered the invocation, which was followed by speeches by Salutatorian Gavyn Mathes and Valedictorian Breland Jones. The 50th John S. Wilson Award was presented to Graham VanPatten by Mrs. Helen Wilson Taylor '76. Dr. Milt Lowder ‘90, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMPLOS and a sports psychologist for the Clemson University Athletic Department, was the keynote speaker. Mr. William Croft ’90, Chairman of the Board, presented the diplomas and Mr. Fred Moulton, Headmaster, offered the confirmation of graduates.

VanPatten Receives John S. Wilson Award

Graham VanPatten ‘21 was presented the 50th John S. Wilson Award at the graduation ceremony held in the Nash Student Center. 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 headmaster, 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.

Congratulations Class of 2021!

Shin Star Student, Harritt Star Teacher

Each year the student who achieves the highest score on the SAT and has attended Wilson Hall from 10th-12th grades receives the honor of being named the Star Student, and this year the honor went to Ga-In Shin. 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. Ga-In chose Mrs. Micki Harritt, a math and science teacher. The Star Student and Star Teacher each presented speeches at the Senior Awards Program.

Peyton Presented Smith Award for Service

EmmaLee Peyton & Mrs. Sarah Smith,
College Counselor

EmmaLee Peyton 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. Established to honor Mr. Smith, who served for 30 years as the school’s athletic director, the award is accompanied by a check for $250. EmmaLee completed 422 hours of volunteer service from June 2020 - April 2021.

Five Inducted to Veritas in Unitate Society

Georgia McCart, Jerica Bozio, Sarah Emily
Durham, Breland Jones & EmmaLee Peyton

The following members of the Class of ‘21 were inducted into the Veritas in Unitate Society during the Senior Awards Program: Jerica Bozio, Sarah Emily Durham, Breland Jones, Georgia McCart and EmmaLee Peyton. 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 for their headmaster. The Class of ‘21 volunteered a total of 2,195 hours.

Lee Receives Young Academic Award

Mary Claire Lee 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.

Junior Marshals

Nolan Lamb, Rachel Bostic, Annie Lauzon,
Kieran Cosden, Madi Smith & Mary Jones

The following six members of the Class of ‘21, who have attended Wilson Hall since the tenth grade and have the highest grade point averages in the class, were named as Junior Marshals and participated in the Senior Awards Program and Commencement Exercises: Rachel Bostic, Kieran Cosden, Mary Jones, Nolan Lamb, Annie Lauzon and Madi Smith.

College Shirt Day

Students of the Class of ‘21 wear a shirt representing the college they will be attending in the fall. Every senior gained acceptance to a four-year college or university, and members of the class were offered admission to 61 different schools. Each senior was offered a merit-based scholarship, with the class receiving over $5.8 million.

Wilson Hall Voted Best of Sumter

Wilson Hall was voted Best Private School, Best Elementary School, and Best School Administrator (Mr. Fred Moulton, Headmaster) by the readers of The Sumter Item for the Best of Sumter.

Senior Service Project

Members of the Senior Class spent the morning of April 23 picking up litter as a part of a citywide initiative to clean up Sumter roads.  Students were divided into three groups and covered Wesmark Boulevard, McCray's Mill Road, Jefferson Road, Airport Road, and North Wise Drive.  The service project was organized by Mrs. Elizabeth Hyatt & Mr. Glen Rector in collaboration with Mr. Glen Buttons from the City of Sumter.

History Team Wins State Competition

Ashlyn Goode, Bailey McInerney, Caitlyn Schumacher,
Kieran Cosden, Sumter Cooper & Vruj Patel

Wilson Hall won the S.C. Independent School Association State History Day competition with all six members of the History Day Team receiving trophies. The following students, members of the Advanced Placement U.S. History class taught by Mr. Tom O’Hare, swept the top three overall awards: Caitlyn Schumacher ‘23 -1st, Bailey McInerney ‘23 - 2nd, and Sumter Cooper ‘23 - 3rd. Caitlyn also won first place for oral presentation. Kieran Cosden ‘22 won first place for display, Vruj Patel ‘22 won the Passion for History Award, and Ashlyn Goode ‘22 received an honorable mention. 

The SCISA History Day, patterned after the National History Day Program, is designed to enhance reading comprehension as well as the verbal, analytical, reasoning and research skills of students. The theme for this year’s project was “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding,” and students addressed the topic’s significance and demonstrated an understanding of its proper historical context. The in-depth research, which included primary and secondary sources, was used for a process paper and annotated bibliography, exhibit, and oral presentation.

2,594 Food Items Collected

Second grade students Susanna Perkins & Jackie Lynch pose by just a few of the 2,594 food items that the lower school collected for Sumter United Ministries, a countywide nonprofit that provides relief to struggling families and helps them get back on their feet. Mrs. Karina Perkins and her committee organized the community service project on behalf of the PTO.

Gray State Writing Competition Finalist

Emily Gray '21 is one of 21 juniors and seniors from across the state who have been named finalists of the annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest. Now in its eighth year, the contest is presented by the South Carolina Honors College in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the South Carolina Academy of Authors, the South Carolina Writers Association, and the South Carolina State Library. For the contest, writers answered, within 750 words and in any genre, one question: “How can we make South Carolina better?”

History Essay Contest Winners

In the Myrtis G. Osteen “Value of Local History to Me” essay contest sponsored by the Sumter County Museum, Wilson Hall students won two of the top three spots. Mary Parish Williams '24 won second place and $200 and Alli Reagan Fidler ‘24 won third place and $100; both are students of Mr. Tom O’Hare. The contest is open to all high school students in Sumter County.

Dance Marathon Raises $17,000 for Children's Hospital

Wilson Hall students raised $17,371 for the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital by hosting its fifth annual Dance Marathon. In partnership with the University of South Carolina Dance Marathon which raises over half a million dollars every year through the Children’s Miracle Network, the money raised will go to support bettering the lives of children at the hospital. As the main community service project that the school sponsors, Wilson Hall raised a total of $65,796 for the cause during the past five years. 

Since an actual dance marathon could not be held this year due to COVID safety precautions, the Dance Marathon Committee sponsored a variety of projects and events to raise money. A Drive-In Movie Night, the Basketball Knockout Challenge, and the Nothing Bundt Cake bake sale were just a few of the activities that raised money in addition to the donations made through the MIracle Network’s website. 

A student-led organization, Emily Gray ‘21 served as the Head Director with the assistance of Mrs. Liz McCabe, faculty advisor. Also serving on the Dance Marathon Executive Committee are the following members of the Class of ‘21: External Directors - Owings Holler & Kaitlyn Smith, Finance Directors - Camryn Bateman & Gavyn Mathes, Internal Directors - Abbie Beatson & Madi DesChamps, and Social Media Directors - Gracyn Coker, Becca Cromer & Andi Grae Wingate.

Jones Wins Good Citizen Award

Senior Breland Jones 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. Breland received a perfect score from the judges.

AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Wilson Hall has earned the College Board's Advanced Placement Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles. This award acknowledges schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2019-20 school year. The honor recognizes the outstanding work the school is doing to engage more female students in computer science; Wilson Hall is one of 14 schools in South Carolina and the only school in Sumter County to receive this recognition. Schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have achieved either 50% or higher female exam taker representation in one of or both AP computer science courses, or a percentage of female computer science exam takers that meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population. In addition to the AP Computer Science Principles class, Wilson Hall offers AP JAVA Programming and 11 other technology classes to high school students.

Government Class Invited to National Competition

The students in the Advanced Placement U.S. Government & Politics class taught by Mr. Tom O’Hare will represent South Carolina in the national finals of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition. Sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, the competition will be held virtually in April. The class was invited to the national competition based on its performance in the state competition sponsored by the South Carolina Bar.

The primary goal of the program is to promote civic competence and responsibility among students through an instructional program that enhances students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.