As important as the curriculum is, what is even more important is who is teaching the curriculum. The extraordinary level of achievement of our students may be attributed to the high level of expectations placed on students, as well as the support students receive from the faculty. With limited class sizes, teachers are able to take the time to really get to know and care about each student. The confidence the faculty has in our students encourages them to reach beyond their perceived limitations.
At Wilson Hall the process of education occurs in an atmosphere of genuine caring and support that comes from the mutual respect between our teacher and students. Our teachers encourage the best from their students, but they also give freely of themselves, even when they have to sacrifice their private time to do so. Our teachers stay after school each day to offer assistance to students or speak with parents, with many teachers having regularly scheduled tutoring or review sessions. Many of our faculty members serve as team coaches and club advisors, so it is not uncommon to see them on campus working long after school is dismissed.
Any curriculum is only as good as the person teaching it, and Wilson Hall has some of the best teachers in the region, as judged by the numerous commendations. In the S.C. Independent School Association’s annual teacher of the year competition, Wilson Hall has had more teachers receive recognition than any other school in the area.
Since the school is fully accredited through AdvancED, the non-profit, non-governmental organization that accredits primary and secondary schools throughout the United States and internationally, all of our teachers are either certified or teach a majority of their courses in the area of their college major.
Wilson Hall has had 11 teachers named State Teacher of the Year by the S.C. Independent School Association, and 39 teachers have been among the top three finalists for the award during the 33-year old recognition program.
Mrs. Frances James, the fifth grade history and science teacher, is one of three finalists in the state for the S.C. Independent School Association Elementary School Teacher of the Year. After being elected by her peers at the school, Mrs. James entered the state-level contest by submitting an essay, resume, and recommendations from peers and the administration. After reading through the many submissions for Teacher of the Year from across the state, a panel of educators made the selection of the top three finalists for each division. Mrs. James has 38 years of teaching experience, the last 12 at Wilson Hall. She is the 39th Wilson Hall teacher to receive this recognition in the 33-year program. There are 120 member schools in SCISA.
Mrs. Ashley Lareau, Art Department Chair, won the People’s Choice Award in the Sumter Artists' Guild Exhibition. She has four pieces on display at the Sumter County Gallery of Art as part of the Sumter Artists’ Guild Winners Show which had an opening reception on December 16. The exhibit will continue until February 18. She teaches Advanced Placement 3-D Design (Ceramics), 2-D Design, Ceramics I, II & III, and Photography, and she is an advisor for the National Art Honor Society and the Art Club.
The South Carolina Independent School Association awarded the Meritorious Service Award to ten faculty members in recognition of their 30 or more years of dedicated service to Wilson Hall. A new honor bestowed by SCISA, the recipients were announced and presented a certificate of merit at the Teachers’ Fall Conference.
The following faculty members were recognized (number of years employed by Wilson Hall in parentheses): Mrs. Mary Lou Lee (53), a second grade teacher; Mrs. Susan Driggers (48), business office; Mrs. Janet James (47), a third grade teacher; Mrs. Becky Haley (43), school secretary; Mr. Chuck McCord (40), a science teacher; Mr. Fred Moulton (37), Headmaster; Mr. Sean Hoskins (32), Director of Admissions & Public Relations; Mrs. Ashley Lareau (32), an art teacher; Mrs. Laura Brogdon (31), a fourth grade teacher; and Mrs. Mary Anne Erter (31), a math teacher. These ten faculty members have a combined 394 years of service to the school.
Mr. Eddie Talley, Assistant Headmaster, was named the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Assistant Headmaster of the Year at the Heads’ State Fall Conference in Orangeburg. Mr. Talley, who is also the Lower School Head, is in his 28th year at Wilson Hall. He also teaches economics and is the head varsity boys basketball coach. There are 132 member schools in SCISA.
Mrs. Susan Barfield, Academic Dean, is one of only 20 people selected internationally by the College Board to serve as an Advanced Placement Coordinator Consultant. AP coordinators assume primary responsibility for organizing and administering the AP programs at their schools. They also manage the ordering, receipt, distribution, administration, and return of AP Exam materials, making sure millions of students worldwide receive their AP scores.
Wilson Hall offers 23 AP classes, more than any school in the region, in the following academic disciplines: Arts, English, History & Social Sciences, Math & Computer Science, Sciences, and World Languages & Cultures. The classes are taught on the college-level by specially trained faculty.
For this program, high school students across the country and around the world take AP courses and exams to challenge themselves, explore their interests, and earn college credit and placement. Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and advanced placement for successful AP Exam scores.
Wilson Hall is fully accredited by AdvancED and the Southern Association of Independent Schools, and our teachers must have either certification by the state or teach in the area of their college major. Wilson Hall teachers have an average of 22 years of experience, with an average of 15 years at Wilson Hall.