Eighth-graders David Texas Ardis, Thomas Creech and Sara Helen Simmons qualified for state-level recognition by the Duke University Talent Identification Program this past spring. To qualify for this honor students had to score at least a 540 on the math portion or a 540 on the reading and writing portion of the SAT. These students, who took the SAT as seventh graders, earned a score equal to or better than half of the college-bound seniors who took the tests.
The school welcomed 122 new students to the Wilson Hall family, opening with a total enrollment of 747 students in three-year-old preschool through twelfth grade. Wilson Hall is beginning the school year with a hybrid learning model to allow choice. Most students are choosing in-person instruction on campus, while some are participating in remote learning with real-time, live-streamed classes through platforms such as Google Classroom.
Wilson Hall is opening for on-campus instruction (parents may choose live remote learning) on the following dates:
Grades 1st-5th - August 25th
Grades 6th-12th - August 26th
Preschool & Kindergarten - August 31st.
For specific information, please click on the following link: School Reopening Plan
Because of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, 18 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 64 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 82%, 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 21 AP courses, more than any school in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties.
Senior Breland Jones 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. Also receiving this honor were Alex Blum, Mary Catherine Matthews, Nick Miller and Naomi Yoder, Class of ’20. Bristol Barnes and Sarah Cain, Class of ‘20, 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. Seniors Hannah Alsaadi, Emily Gray, Warren Jolicoeur, Gavyn Mathes and Graham VanPatten received the AP Scholar Award for earning a 3 or higher on at least three exams. Also receiving this honor were the following 2020 graduates: Sarah Jekel, Madison Landstrom, Ben Matthews, Waverly McIver, Noah Tavarez and Ryan Wernsman.
Wilson Hall is partnering with Lands' End for school uniforms for the 2020-21 school year. For more information regarding ordering the uniforms, please click on this link. The dress code and uniform requirements may be found under the resource documents on Parents Web by clicking on the Family Login tab at the top of the page.
The 53 members of the Class of 2020, the 50th graduating class, joined the 2,527 people who count themselves among the ranks of Wilson Hall’s alumni. Merit-based scholarships, valued at $4.9 million, were awarded to 96% of the graduates. The scholarships included nine full academic scholarships, 32 half academic scholarships, eight Palmetto Fellow Scholarships, and 36 Life Scholarships. The average SAT score for the top 25% of the class is 1384, with a high score of 1490, and the average score for the entire class, with all seniors taking the SAT, is 1203. Over 88% of the graduates took at least one Advanced Placement course, with the average student taking at least four, and were eligible to receive college credit.
Every member of the class gained acceptance to a four-year college or university, earning admission to 60 colleges and universities. The graduates will attend college at 22 different schools in seven states. In addition to attending South Carolina institutions such as Anderson University, Charleston Southern University, The Citadel, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Presbyterian College, University of South Carolina, Winthrop University and Wofford College, the graduates will attend the following schools: College of William and Mary, Davidson College, Pepperdine University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of South Florida, Utica College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and Wingate University.
Members of the Class of ’20 volunteered over 3,000 hours of community service during the school year. The recent graduates contributed to the school’s newspaper which was named the Best in State, and participated on the Chess Team, Competition Dance Team, Debate Team, Literary Meet Team, and Reading Fair Team which won multiple state championships during their high school careers. They also won the top awards in the state for art and music competitions, and they were members of the state champion softball team.
Senior Mary Catherine Matthews 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 110 member schools, and Mary Catherine is the only student who attends an AAA 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 headmaster. The nominee must have a minimum of 50 hours of documented community service after June of the student’s junior year (Mary Catherine has 440 hours) 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.
Junior Breland Jones was selected as a 2020 Carson Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship award that will be invested for her college education. Established by Dr. and Mrs. Ben Carson, The Carson Scholars Program awards students who have embraced high levels of academic excellence and community service.
Wilson Hall students were well-recognized in the annual Myrtis Osteen History Essay Contest and received prizes totaling $1,500. Senior Alex Blum won the highest award, a $1,000 scholarship, in the contest which was open to all Sumter County high school students who were asked to submit an essay with the theme “The Value of History to Me.” The following students placed in the competition: 3rd place – senior Waverly McIver, 4th place – sophomore Madi Smith, and 5th place – freshman Kirti Reddy. Mr. Tom O’Hare, a history teacher, coordinated the essays on behalf of the school. The students were introduced and read their essays during the Sunday Student Recognition Program at Sumter County Museum’s Heritage Education Center. With the purpose of encouraging history in the Sumter area, the competition is sponsored by Beauregard Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sumter County Historical Commission and Sumter County Historical Society.
In the interest of continued safety concerns for our students, the Wilson Hall family, and the community at large, the Wilson Hall Mission Series with speaker and author, Max Lucado, has been rescheduled for the fall of 2021. A date has not yet been confirmed but the format will remain the same. Mr. Lucado will be on campus to address grades 6-12 in an afternoon assembly and as in the past, the evening event will be open to the public and free of charge.
For 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. Max Lucado joins those like Dr. Ben Carson, the late Ravi Zacharias and most recently, Bob Goff, in the roster of speakers who have made an impact on the lives of Wilson Hall students and the greater community as well. Details of Mr. Lucado’s visit will be updated in the near future. Stay tuned and plan to join us for the Wilson Hall Mission Series, Fall 2021.
Mary Jones ‘22 received a gold medal and a Summa Cum Laude certificate for her performance on the National Latin Exam, and earning a silver medal and a Maxima Cum Laude certificate was Rachel Bostic ‘22. Receiving Magna Cum Laude certificates were Olivia Beasley ‘24, Cameron Coulter ‘23, Ansleigh Epps ‘22, Lucy McIver ‘22, Madi Smith ‘22 and Mary Parish Williams ‘24. Over 150,000 students worldwide enrolled in Latin classes took the National Latin Exam in March. Mr. Ben McIver is the Latin I, II & III and Advanced Placement Latin teacher.
Wilson Hall was voted Best Private School in the Best of Sumter 2020 contest sponsored by The Sumter Item. Voting for the annual readers' choice contest was held in February and garnered nearly 400,000 votes.
The team of seniors Sarah Cain, Darden Kelly and Ben Matthews received the award for Most Effective Presentation at the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition held at the University of South Carolina Sumter. They are students in the Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics class taught by Mr. Tom O’Hare.
The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepared and presented four minute statements before a panel of community representatives acting as a congressional committee. Over 300 students from public and private schools from throughout the state participated in the competition.
By participating in a simulated congressional hearing in which they testified before a panel of judges, students demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and had opportunities to take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
Wilson Hall students raised $15,100 for the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital by hosting its fourth annual mini-dance marathon (additional funds were donated after the event). 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. The main community service project the school sponsors, Wilson Hall has raised a total of $48,425 for the cause during the past four years. Held in the Nash Student Center from 5:00-10:00 PM on January 11, the event featured music, games, activities and food for students of all ages.
In addition to raising money through admission to the event, the committee raised money through the following activities: a Knock Out basketball assembly with upper school students and faculty, a Teddy Bear Parade assembly for lower school students, a movie night on Spencer Field, donations allowing upper school students to wear sweatpants during midterm exams, bake sales, and the solicitation of donations through the Miracle Network’s website.
The student-led event was organized by the following seniors who are members of the Executive Committee: Carly Allred & Elise Osteen – Executive Directors, Madison Landstrom & Madi Sliwonik – External Directors, Kyndal Waynick & Isabelle Weston – Internal Directors, and Campbell deHoll & Ben Matthews – Finance Directors. Ms. Liz Affronti serves as the faculty advisor for the committee and she was assisted by Mrs. Lisa Furse and Mr. Ben McIver.