Skip Navigation

Events & Extracurricular Activities

Wilson Hall students often say that a big part of their educational experience takes place outside the classroom, and there is a good bit of truth in that statement. Our students learn to enjoy a healthy balance between work and play, and Wilson Hall provides the opportunity for students to enjoy themselves with their friends and faculty through an extraordinary array of student activities. It is easy to see why students who enjoy coming to school do so much better academically.

From pep rallies like the Musical Chairs Competition and The Baron Games to events such as the Homecoming Parade and Prom, students have a wide variety of activities to keep them busy. School-wide events such as the Fall Festival encourage the participation of not only students, but also the participation of parents. Art shows, theater productions and music programs for students of all ages not only entertain but help create well-rounded young people.

Through these activities, students learn not only to respect, motivate, and lead their fellow Barons, but they also discover their own abilities and test their own values.

Because of the small size of the student body, students are able to become active in various organizations. No matter how diverse a student’s interests and talents are, each person can usually find a group of students and faculty to share them. The  Debate Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Spring Musical are just a few of the 20 clubs and organizations Wilson Hall offers.

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Highlight Video

Graduation Video - Full Ceremony

The 59 members of the Class of ‘24 received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at Patriot Hall. Prior to the ceremony, the soon-to-be graduates lined the hallway to applaud the faculty as they made their way to the auditorium to be seated. Class Pres. Davis Lee offered the invocation, which was followed by speeches by Salutatorian Jeremiah Jones & Valedictorian Jennings Frerichs. The John S. Wilson Award was presented to Sullivan Jarecki.  Prof. Andy Hoefer ‘96, Assistant Dean of the Honors College and Assoc. Prof. of English at George Mason University, was the keynote speaker. Mr. William Croft ‘90, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented the diplomas and Mr. Brent Kaneft ’00, Head of School, offered his confirmation of the graduates before asking them to move their tassels, announcing that they are now graduates. The Class of ‘24 stood to sing the Alma Mater as a group for the last time before the faculty recessed from the auditorium to line the steps of Patriot Hall to applaud as the new graduates exited. After gathering in front of Patriot Hall, the members of the Class of ‘24 tossed their caps in unison to celebrate their transition from students to alumni.

Lower School Awards Program

The Lower School Awards Program was held in the Nash Student Center on May 29 to recognize achievement throughout the school year. Sims Owens ‘31 opened the program with the invocation, and George Johnson ‘33 introduced the Pledge of Allegiance which was led by Brooks Grier ‘35 and Millie Huckeba ‘35. Carson Burnette, Liza Gooch and Karisse Robinson, Class of ‘31, led the singing of the national anthem, and Saanvi Patel ‘31 welcomed the audience to the program. 

Certificates were presented for reading, citizenship, and academic honors, and special awards were presented by Mr. Eddie Talley, Head of Lower School Head. At the conclusion of the awards the students and guests sang the Alma Mater led by Grace Martuscelli, Adelaide McElveen and Emmy Trueblood, Class of ‘32. Walt Aronson ‘31 offered the closing remarks. Mrs. Day Caughman, School Counselor, coordinated the program and Mrs. Julia Sims-Owens, a music teacher, directed the musical portions.

Kindergarten Graduation

The Kindergarten Graduation Program was held in the Nash Student Center on May 24. After the Class of ‘36 processed into the gym, Mr. Eddie Talley, Head of Lower School, welcomed the crowd. Eleanor Arnn offered the invocation, followed by Charlotte Anne Wells leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Avery Bass singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Led by Mrs. Julia Sims-Owens, lower school music teacher, the class sang “Growing,” and “Shalom,” as well as “First Grade, First Grade,” a parody of “New York, New York.”

Mr. Talley presented the diplomas to the students and offered closing remarks before the graduates and guests sang the Alma Mater. After the recessional, the new graduates joined their guests and teachers in front of the Nash Student Center for refreshments and photo opportunities. Mrs. Caroline Zitzke, PTO Hospitality Chair, and her committee provided the decorations and refreshments. The program was coordinated by the kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Mindy Busch, Mrs. Amy Jones, and Mrs. Jean Dunn White ‘78. 

Senior Awards Program

To recognize the achievements of the Class of ‘24, the Senior Awards Program was held in the Founders Chapel. After the seniors processed into the chapel, Mr. Brent Kaneft ‘00, Head of School, welcomed the guests and Class Secretary Helen Fitzpatrick offered the invocation. Class Vice President Jennings Frerichs led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Class President Davis Lee delivered the Senior Address. Department Chairs presented 21 book awards, with personal inscriptions from teachers, to students who earned the highest grade in each course. Special named awards and the salutatorian and valedictorian medals were presented, honor graduates were recognized, and the Star Student & Star Teacher presented their speeches. The program concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater and the recessional. Following the program, the Senior Luncheon was held at the home of Katie Croft. The program was coordinated by Mrs. Sarah Smith, College Counselor.  Mr. Scott Warren, a music teacher, played the keyboard for the processional and recessional, and Mrs. Caroline Zitzke, PTO Hospitality Chair, provided the floral decorations.

Upper School Academic Awards Program

To recognize academic achievement throughout the school year, the Upper School Academic Awards Program was held in the Nash Student Center for students in 6th-11th grades. There were 74 Lamp of Knowledge presentations by department chairs to the students who earned the highest grade in each course, and 11 plaques presented for special named awards. New members of the National Honor Society were also inducted. 

To begin the program Mrs. Stacey Reaves, Head of Upper School, asked the audience to stand as the Class of ‘25 processed into the gym as the instrumental ensemble, directed by Mr. Scott Warren, provided the music. Milling Galloway ‘26, Student Body Vice President, offered the invocation, followed by Maxwell Smith ‘27, Student Body Secretary, leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jane McAdams ‘25, Student Body President, welcomed the crowd before the awards were presented. At the program’s conclusion, students stood to sing the Alma Mater before the Class of ‘25 recessed from the gym. The program was organized by Mrs. Susan Barfield, Director of Academics. 

Storybook Parade

For the second grade’s annual Storybook Parade, students dressed as a favorite character from a book and gave a brief introduction of the book and character to an audience of parents, faculty and students.

Senior Last Day Celebration

The school celebrated the last day of classes of the seniors with the 20th Last Day Luncheon on May 13. Held in the Nash Student Center, the program featured a keynote speech by Mrs. Kristall Hanson, a computer science teacher, who was selected by the class. The lower school’s Afternoon Chorus, directed by Mrs. Julia Sims-Owens, sang “The Blessing” by Brown, Carnes and Furtick, and Helen Fitzpatrick offered the blessing of the food. Seniors and their parents enjoyed a lunch catered by Southern Pride Barbeque followed by plenty of photo opportunities. On the tables were placemats, to which all faculty members contributed, that were adorned with photos, Bible verses, and inspirational quotations. During the lunch a senior retrospective slideshow, coordinated by Class President Davis Lee was shown. At the end of the school day, the senior officers offered parting words to the underclassmen over the loudspeaker before joining in the hall to sing the Alma Mater. The program is coordinated by Mrs. Laura Barr, Mrs. Martha Jo  Johnson  and Mrs. Caroline Zitzke of the Development Office. 

Preschool 4 Muffins with Mom

In celebration of Mother's Day, Preschool 4 students invited their mothers or special guests to campus for Muffins with Mom. Each of the Preschool 4 classrooms was decorated for the morning event, and students and guests enjoyed muffins, fruit and other breakfast items.  After singing songs for their guests, the students presented them with handmade crafts before posing for photographs. 

Class of ‘24 Wins Class Challenge

The 26th Class Challenge, a field day for high school students, was held on Spencer Field on April 26. Student Body President Slade Custer ‘24, who was the lead officer in coordinating the event, welcomed the students, faculty and parents to the Student Council-sponsored event. Wearing t-shirts unique to each class, students competed in eight events ranging from traditional activities such as the three-legged race and water balloon toss to the bouncy ball hop and wet sponge relay. The events culminated in the always competitive tug-of-war which was won by the Class of ‘24. Class President Davis Lee ‘24 offered closing remarks while the judges tallied the final scores, then Mr. Chuck McCord, the event’s emcee, announced the final results with the Class of ‘24 celebrating its victory. This was followed by students gathering in a large circle to sing the Alma Mater.  Mrs. Rachel Jones Brown ‘00 and Mr. Sean Hoskins are the Student Council advisors. 

Preschool 3 Pastries with Parents

In celebration of their parents, Preschool 3 students hosted Pastries with Parents when they had breakfast on the Bynum Rooftop Garden and the Nash Student Center. For the program, students recited the Pledge of Allegiance as well as sang special songs and the Alma Mater. Guests received several hand-made, personalized made especially for them. 

Kindergarten Muffins with Mom

To honor their mothers, kindergarten students hosted Muffins with Mom. Students recited poems and sang songs in the Founders Chapel, enjoyed refreshments and danced the Kindergarten polka with their guests in the classrooms, and presented their mothers with hand-made personalized gifts.

Senior Service Project

The members of the Class of ‘24 spent the morning of April 12 performing a variety of service projects in the Sumter community. Following breakfast on the Bynum Rooftop Garden, the students were divided into three groups before loading buses to travel to Crosswell Home for Children, Sumter United Ministries, and Sumter United Ministries Emergency Shelter.

For Crosswell, students organized clothing donations, sorted summer supplies, and worked on the grounds. At the emergency shelter, the group did some exterior painting and repaired a wooden ramp. For United Ministries, students sorted donated clothes, organized the food pantry, inventoried items for fire and domestic violence victims, painted parts of the exterior, and rebuilt a picnic table.
The project was coordinated by Mrs. Day Caughman, Class President Davis Lee, and Mr. Glen Rector.

Junior-Senior Prom

With the theme of A Night in Greece, the 51st Junior-Senior Prom was held April 12 in the Nash Student Center. After gathering on the lawn with friends and family, students entered the main gym for the Grand March when the seniors were introduced by a spotlight as they walked through an archway surrounded by a wide array of colorful flowers. This was followed by two hours of dancing and singing to music provided by DJ Howie D Entertainment. 

The framework for three walls were built to make a smaller space within the gym, and colorfully painted depictions of Greece and the Mediterranean Sea covered the walls that were adorned with white lights. Tables covered with white table cloths were decorated with Greek columns topped with colorful flower arrangements. A popular new feature was a 360 camera that created videos of small groups of students at a time.

The Class of ‘25 sponsored the Prom, with Annabelle Branham serving as the prom committee chair and Molly Jones as the co-chair. Mrs. Rachel Jones Brown ‘00 and Mrs. Allyson Lowder Sanders ‘96 were the advisors. 

Before the Prom, students and their guests attended either the Senior Prom Dinner, held at Ben Reynolds’s home, or Junior Prom Dinner, held at Parker McLeod’s home. Following the Prom, all students were invited to the Prom Breakfast at the Reynolds’s home.

Middle School Dance

Dancing and singing to the tunes of Ronny Lane, the professional D.J. with PartyTime Entertainment in Columbia, over 150 middle school students crowded the Nash Student Center cafeteria the last evening before Spring Break. Sponsored by the Middle School Student Council, advised by Ms. Heather Eldridge ‘93, class officers provided the refreshments and tropical decorations for the spring dance. 

Easter Celebrations

To commemorate Easter and the spring season, lower school classes held celebrations on campus or at the homes of students. Easter egg hunts, games and refreshments, organized by teachers and parent volunteers, were enjoyed by students the week leading up to Spring Break.

Middle School Dance Lessons

As a fun activity after completing standardized testing, middle school students received dance lessons in preparation for their upcoming spring dance. Mrs. Jennifer Reimer of Miss Libby’s School of Dance taught line dances, and Mr. Whit Blanton & Ms. Melissa May of the Sumter Shag Club and Mrs. Susan Osteen of the Sumter County Museum’s Junior Cotillion gave lessons as well.

Dr. Seuss Week

In conjunction with their study of the letter Ss, Preschool 3 students celebrated Dr. Seuss Week a week early. The National Education Association celebrates reading and encourages children to read during Read Across America Day on March 2, which coincides with the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel that is celebrated by Dr. Seuss Week. Students participated in different dress-up days, such as wearing silly socks or dressing as a Seuss character. They read several Seuss books, listened to Seuss songs, enjoyed Seuss inspired snacks, made pocket rockets, and played Pin the Tie on the Cat as activities. 

Kindergarten Celebrates 100 Days of Learning

To celebrate their 100th day of school, kindergarten students dressed as if they were 100 years old and paraded through the Preschool 4 classrooms to display their 100 Day projects. The day was filled with activities based around the number 100: 100 snacks, 100 exercises, cup towers built with 100 cups, and 100 licks of a lollipop.

1st Grade 101 Days of School

To celebrate their 101st day of school this year, first grade students enjoyed activities inspired by the book Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith and the film 101 Dalmatians by Walt Disney.

Student-Faculty Basketball Game

The Student-Faculty Basketball Game was held during a pep rally with the faculty winning 35-10. The women and men each played a seven-minute half. Members of the basketball teams were not eligible to participate, but they did serve as coaches and referees. Mary Margaret Griffin and Mary Parish Williams of the varsity cheerleading squad organized the event.

Baron-Horse-Chariot Pep Rally

Organized by the varsity cheerleading squad and class presidents, the Baron-Horse-Chariot Pep Rally involved three two-person teams for each class in grades 9-12. The teams raced to complete a command (Baron - student sits on knee of partner, Horse - students piggybacks on partner, or Chariot - student carries partner), with the last team to complete the demand eliminated. Once only two teams remained, they were blindfolded before the final task to determine the winners.

Winter Chill Semi Formal

Hosted by the Student Council, the 29th Winter Chill Semi Formal was held in the Nash Student Center on December 15. Over 180 students in grades 9-12 danced to the music provided by PartyTime DJs of Columbia, socialized, and enjoyed refreshments. Torches lined the walkway and lights were hung in the crepe myrtles, welcoming guests to the wreath adorned doors where they were greeted by Mrs. Rachel Brown, Student Council Advisor, and Mr. Brent Kaneft, Head of School. The foyer was decorated with garlands of fresh greenery, ribbons and lights, and a festive red and white balloon archway marked the entrance to the cafeteria where the dance was held. Refreshment tables with fresh-baked cookies, adorned with votive candles and a greenery centerpiece, and a Christmas tree completed the decorations. The Class of ‘24 officers, led by President Davis Lee, organized the decorations with the help of Mrs. Brown, and Student Body President Slade Custer and Vice President Jane McAdams assisted. Mr. Sean Hoskins, Student Council Advisor, organized the event and photographed the event. 

Super Sonic Dance-Off Pep Rally

The Super Sonic Dance-off Pep Rally featured 12 groups, composed of at least one varsity cheerleader and one varsity boys and girls basketball player, performing 10-second routines in quick succession. The varsity cheerleading squad sponsored the pep rally for the Baron Classic basketball tournament. 

Grandfriends Day

Wilson Hall’s 34th Grandfriends Day celebration for students in preschool through fifth grade was held on November 3, welcoming over 700 special guests to our campus. Parks Brown ‘31 opened the program, held in the Nash Student Center, with the invocation and Tripp Atkinson ‘33 led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Student Body President Slade Custer ‘24 spoke about the school’s vision, "Every student will be known, loved, challenged, and safe," and how he sees it practiced each day at school. He also showed appreciation for the grandparents in attendance while recounting personal memories with his grandfather. He was followed by a music program that opened with students singing “We Are Glad You Are Here” and closed with “We Are Thankful for the USA” with students carrying American flags. The music was directed by Mrs. Julia Sims-Owens, music teacher. Mr. Bill Price, a parent and grandparent of Wilson Hall alumni and a current grandparent of a Wilson Hall student, talked about the important role grandparents play at our school. Mr. Brent Kaneft ‘00, Head of School, closed the program by thanking the grandparents for their continued support of the school.

Following the program, students returned to their classrooms and welcomed their guests, showing them special writing and art projects and introducing them to their teachers. They then gave their guests a guided tour of the campus, visiting each of their co-curricular classes (art, computer science, library, music and physical education) and the Founders Chapel. The Baron Ambassadors, chaired by Jennings Frerichs ‘24 and advised by Mr. Sean Hoskins, were throughout the campus to greet guests and to assist with directions. Baron Ambassadors also transported some guests to and from their cars via golf carts. The PTO Hospitality Committee, chaired by Mrs. Caroline Zitzke, provided the refreshments.

The event was sponsored by the Development Office and coordinated by Mrs. Laura Barr, Director of Development, and Mrs. Martha Jo Smith Johnson ‘99, Development Associate, who were assisted by Mrs. Becky Haley and Mrs. Adelaide Spencer, Director of Administration.  

Pyramid Competition Pep Rally

Sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad and coordinated by class presidents, the Pyramid Competition Pep Rally featured a competition among teams representing the 9th-12th grades. Boys competed against boys and girls against girls to see which team could build a human pyramid the fastest. The juniors won the competition for the boys and the seniors for the girls, and the junior boys won the overall competition.

Karaoke Competition Pep Rally

The Karaoke Competition Pep Rally, featuring the senior football players, was sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad in the Nash Student Center. The players, who were divided into three teams, selected their own music and costumes and created their own choreography. 

Croft Crowned Homecoming Queen

Katie Croft was crowned the 52nd Homecoming Queen during half-time of the varsity football game on Spencer Field on October 13. The Senior Class nominated seven girls from the class to be on the Homecoming Court and students in grades 9-12 voted for the queen. In addition to Katie, the following members of the Class of ‘24 were elected to the court: Helen Fitzpatrick, Mary Margaret Griffin, Emmi Leard, Maggie Norris, Marybeth VanPatten and Mary Parish Williams. Mr. Brent Kaneft, Head of School, crowned Katie and presented her with a bouquet of white roses with the assistance of Jolene Jackson & Marin Yoder, flower girls, and Gunner Green, crown bearer. Mrs. Rachel Brown & Mr. Sean Hoskins organized the court on behalf of the Student Council. 

Homecoming Parade

The 48th Homecoming Parade traveled the 4-mile route through the nearby neighborhood Friday. Each class, grades 6-12, sponsored a class float with the juniors winning in the high school with a pirate theme and the 8th grade winning in middle school with a cookout theme. Other themes were disco, ESPN Gameday, movie theater, and construction. The varsity football team rode on a trailer, the cheerleaders rode in the back of trucks, and the girls on the Homecoming Court rode in convertibles. Every middle and high school student rode in the parade which was escorted by the Sumter Police Department. In addition to the 300 elementary school students cheering from campus, there were about 400 people along the parade route. Student Council officers coordinated their class floats; Ms. Eldridge and I are the advisors.

Homecoming Decorations

Students arrived on campus Homecoming morning to find the entire high school building decorated by the varsity cheerleading squad to the theme of Baron Snow Day. With the winter  theme, the inside of the building had intricately painted banners and decorations that covered the floor, walls and ceiling. White plastic covered the floors and snowflakes and silver streamers hung from the ceiling, and fabric simulating snow was on the bottom of the walls. The entryway had a scene of snowmen, with photographs of the players as the heads, ice skating in a snow covered park and the cheerleaders, also with photos, at a ski lodge. Banners had themes such as “Ski Patrol,” with the coaches riding snowmobiles, and “There’s Snowplace Like Wilson Hall” with administrators having a snowball fight. Other banners were “Polar Barons” with polar bears wearing jerseys, “It’s All Downhill for the Eagles” with an eagle skiing out of control, and “Skating to a Victory” with speed skaters. The court was featured in an ice castle with white lights, and the hall by the science labs was transformed into an ice cave. Mary Margaret Griffin is the captain and Mary Parish Williams co-captain of the squad which is advised by Mrs. Frances James & Mrs. Ashley Lareau.

Spirit Week

To celebrate Homecoming. Spirit Week found students and faculty members dressing up to the following themes: USA, country vs. country club, jerseys, group costume, and extreme blue & white. Students and faculty in Preschool 3 - 12th grade participated in showing their school spirit. 

Seniors Adopting Seniors

Members of the Senior Class participate in the Seniors Adopting Seniors program. For this program, seniors visit the residents of Covenant Place periodically throughout the year with the aim of promoting camaraderie and fellowship between the two groups. Organized by the Senior Class Officers, the program is led by Class President Davis Lee.  


The annual week-long mini-cheerleading clinic, sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad, culminated with a performance on Spencer Field during halftime of the varsity football game. Approximately 150 girls in preschool 4 through fifth grade participated in the clinic, which was held after school, when they were taught a dance, chants and cheers by the varsity cheerleaders. The sixth-grade girls on the new B-team cheerleading squad also performed.

Ships & Sailors Pep Rally

The Ships & Sailors pep rally, sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad, was held in the Nash Student Center. Eight students from each grade in 9th-12th competed in the event which involved a series of ten commands with different groupings of people, with people being eliminated each time until only two remained. 

Dad's Donut Morning

Kindergarten and Preschool 4 students welcomed special guests to campus for their annual Dad's Donut Morning. Students recited poems and sang songs, enjoyed donuts and fruit, and presented their fathers, grandfathers or father-figures with special hand-made gifts. Some fathers who could not join the festivities in person did so remotely.

High School Dance

The Student Council hosted an after-game dance for high school students on September 15. Held in the Nash Student Center, approximately 100 people attended the casual, “come as you are” event. 

Baron Family Tailgate Party

Over 500 guests enjoyed the Baron Family Tailgate Party held at the Nash Student Center on September 15. Catered by Southern Pride BBQ and SweetFrog frozen yogurt, the event allowed Baron Fans of all ages to socialize before heading to Spencer Field for the varsity football game. To promote school spirit Baron Ambassadors, led by chair Jennings Frerichs, distributed pom-poms and souvenir footballs, as well as wristbands for free admission to the game for new families. Mrs. Laura Barr and Mrs. Martha Jo Johnson of the Development Office organized the event.

The Baron Games

The 22nd Baron Games, a pep rally for students in grades 6-12, was held in the Nash Student Center on September 15. The pep rally featured four different competitions (Football Hike, Football Toss, Baron Caterpillar and The Baron Drag) in which teams representing the classes competed. Each class had its own t-shirt for the event. Following the events, a varsity football player and coach as well as a fan spoke to the crowd to generate spirit for the upcoming game, and the varsity cheerleaders led the singing the Alma Mater and the school fight song to conclude the program. Student Council President Slade Custer and Vice President Jane McAdams organized the event on behalf of the Student Council which is advised by Mrs. Rachel Brown, Ms. Heather Eldridge and Mr. Sean Hoskins.

Kindergarten Dog Show

To help transition into the new school year, kindergarten students read “Boomer Goes to School” by Constance W. McGeorge. They also presented special stuffed dogs of their own, each winning a unique blue ribbon for  specific characteristics (Happiest Dog, Fluffiest Dog, etc.) in the dog show. Students finished their special day by celebrating with graham cracker dog bones for a snack.

Spotlight Pep Rally

The varsity cheerleaders, led by Capt. Mary Margaret Griffin & Co-Capt. Mary Parish Williams, sponsored the Spotlight Pep Rally. The players, often doing some kind of strut or dance move, were introduced by spotlight in a darkened gym, followed by a dance routine by the cheerleaders who were wearing glow in the dark shoes, bracelets and necklaces. Ben Reynolds spoke as a member of the team, Helen Fitzpatrick as a fan, and Mr. Adam Jarecki as the football head coach. 

Kindergarten Teddy Bear Picnic

Kindergarten students brought their favorite stuffed animals, shared them with classmates, and put them outside on the benches where they soon disappeared. They hunted throughout the campus to find them, exploring all of their co-curricular classes and meeting those teachers. Students finally found their stuffed friends at the picnic tables in front of the Nash Student Center waiting on them with snacks!

Preschool Pete the Cat Adventure

Preschool 4 students went on an adventure searching the campus for Pete the Cat, the popular cartoon cat from the series of books by Dean & Litwin. Held during the first week of school, the search gave the students the opportunity to tour the campus, meet their co-curricular class teachers in their classrooms (art, computer science, library ,music and P.E.), and members of the administration. The students, who wore hats they made for the adventure, eventually found Pete waiting for them in a tree on their playground. 

Graduation Ceremony Highlights Video

Baron Media Day Video

State Titles

Wilson Hall has won 255 state team and individual titles in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, such as Battle of the Books, dance, debate and Quiz Bowl.