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 SCUBA Club, Debate Team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes are just a few of the 28 clubs and organizations Wilson Hall offers.
Sponsored by the varsity cheerleaders, the Super Sonic Dance-off was held during a pep rally. Each of the 13 groups of three or four, composed of at least one varsity cheerleader and one varsity boys and girls basketball player, performed 10-second routines in quick succession. The team of Daniel Burton, Peyton Linginfelter and Aubrey Payne was selected by the faculty judges as having the winning routine. Maggie Garrity, captain, and Annabelle Huffman, co-captain, coordinated the pep rally on behalf of the varsity cheerleading squad.
Sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad, students in grades 9-12 participated in the Balloon Pop Competition during a pep rally. Each grade had five participants who tied a balloon (each class had its own color) around their ankle with a string. The object was to pop the balloons of members of other classes, eliminating them from the competition until a representative/representatives from only one class remained. The event ended with three seniors winning.
Hosted by the Student Council, the 28th Winter Chill Semi-formal was held in Founders Hall on December 16 to celebrate the conclusion of mid-term exams and the beginning of Christmas break. Over 200 students in grades 9-12 danced to the music provided by PartyTime DJs, socialized, and enjoyed refreshments. Profits will be donated to Prisma Health Children's Hospital.
Mr. Mark Champagne of Sumter United Ministries accepts the donation of food students and faculty collected for the organization's food pantry. As a community service project, members of the Junior & Senior Beta Clubs and the Key Club collected over 500 items for SUM’s Food Pantry.
To promote school spirit for the Baron Classic Basketball Tournament, students and faculty representing grades 6-12 participated in the Musical Chairs Pep Rally. The varsity cheerleaders coordinated the event and performed a special Christmas-themed routine for the crowd. After the main event, players from each varsity team spoke to the crowd before the pep rally concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater and the fight song.
Sponsored by the Dance Marathon Committee, the Knockout Basketball Competition was held in the Nash Student Center to raise funds for Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. Winning for the high school was Luke Pedersen and for the middle school was Samuel Brown. Coupled with the Be the Change campaign, over $2,200 was raised. Mrs. Valerie Schoeppner is the Dance Marathon Advisor and the co-directors are Emma Bradley, Bailey McInerney & Caitlyn Schumacher.
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.
Sponsored by the varsity cheerleaders and organized by class presidents, students in grades 9-12 participated in the Pyramid Competition Pep Rally. Classes competed with one another to determine which could form a pyramid the quickest, with the senior boys and senior girls winning the championship.
Members of the Key Club did a litter pick-up as a community service project on October 29, collecting about 25 bags of trash along a two-mile stretch of Lewis Road. President Rebekha Patel and Vice President Davis Lee organized the project with their adviser, Mrs. Stacey Reaves. The Key Club is a student-led service club for high school students associated with Kiwanis International.
Approximately 900 people attended the annual Fall Festival held on Spencer Field on October 25. Sponsored by the PTO, the event included over 20 game booths, inflatable bouncy house and rock climb/slide, costume and pumpkin decorating contests, and concessions.
Annabelle Huffman was crowned the 51st Homecoming Queen during half-time of the varsity football game on Spencer Field on October 7. 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 Annabelle, the following members of the Class of ‘23 were elected to the court: Campbell Bauman, Emma Bradley, Sudie Grace Cromer, Peyton Linginfelter, Bailey McInerney and Sarah Sonntag. Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, crowned Annabelle and presented her with a bouquet of white roses with the assistance of Lizzie Catherine Pyles and Anne Beatson Skey, flower girls, and Brooks Grier, crown bearer.
The Student Council sponsored the 47th Homecoming Parade that traveled the four-mile route through the nearby neighborhood on the afternoon of October 18. Each class, grades 6-12, sponsored a class float with one of the following themes: camouflage, Christmas, construction, Hawaii, the movie Up, and World Wrestling Entertainment. The varsity and J.V. football players and cheerleaders rode in 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. The Student Council is advised by Mrs. Rachel Jones Brown, Ms. Heather Eldridge & Mr. Sean Hoskins.
A variety of activities took place to celebrate Homecoming. Spirit Week found students and faculty members dressing up to the following themes: holidays, country vs. country club, Y2K, group costume, and extreme blue and white.
Students arrived on campus the morning of October 7 to find the entire high school building decorated by the varsity cheerleading squad to the theme of “Baron Game Night.” With the game theme, the inside of the building had intricately painted banners and decorations that covered the floor, walls and ceiling. Students of all ages enjoyed the festive atmosphere throughout the day. Maggie Garrity is the captain and Annabelle Huffman co-captain of the squad which is advised by Mrs. Frances James and Mrs. Ashley Lareau.
Kindergarten and four-year-old preschool 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 dads with special hand-made gifts.
While learning about community helpers, students in the three-year-old preschool class hosted members of the Sumter Police Department and Sumter Fire and Rescue on campus. Students were taught about the duties of officers and how to stay safe, as well as how to dial 911, the importance of knowing their names and addresses, and what to do if an alarm sounds. Students also posed for pictures by police vehicles and had a fire truck scavenger hunt.
Students, faculty and parents gather around the flagpole at 7:15 AM for the annual See You at the Pole, a global day of student prayer. The event began in 1990 as a grassroots movement with ten students praying at their school, and over three decades later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. See You at the Pole is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. Wilson Hall’s event is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and First Priority Christian Club.
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 on September 23. Approximately 140 girls in preschool through sixth grade participated in the clinic, which was held after school, when they were taught a dance, chants and cheers by the varsity cheerleaders.
The Ships & Sailors pep rally, sponsored by the varsity cheerleading squad, was held in the Nash Student Center on September 23. Ten 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.
In honor of the active duty and retired military members of the Wilson Hall community, a Military Appreciation Night was held during the varsity football game on September 9. Approximately 19% of Wilson Hall's student body is associated with the military. Spencer Field was decorated with two dozen American flags and and dozens of red, white & blue balloons, and fans wore patriotic attire or special t-shirts made for the event. A chaplain from Shaw Air Force Base offered the invocation, a color guard from the base presented the U.S. flag, and a member of the Air Force sang the anthem. A student, on horseback while carrying the American flag, led the team onto the field.
The 21st Baron Games, a pep rally for students in grades 6-12, was held in the Nash Student Center on September 9. Organized by the Student Council, 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, which the 10th and 8th grades won. Following the events, a varsity football coach and cheerleader spoke to the crowd regarding the upcoming game, and the varsity cheerleaders led the crowd in singing the Alma Mater and the school fight song to conclude the program.
As a follow up to their Junior Class Retreat in the spring, the members of the Senior Class attended a day-long retreat at Camp Bob Cooper on the shores of Lake Marion in Summerton. The class had several sessions, led by faculty members, regarding re-evaluating the class and individual goals set in the spring and how these goals are being realized. Students enjoyed recreational time in and on the lake including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, volleyball, log rolling, and jumping on the “blob” before having lunch and heading back to campus.
Over 400 guests enjoyed the Baron Family Tailgate Party held at the Nash Student Center on August 26. Catered by Southern Pride BBQ and the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt truck, the event allowed Baron Fans of all ages to socialize before heading to Spencer Field for the first varsity football game of the year. To promote school spirit Baron Ambassadors distributed pom-poms and souvenir footballs, as well as wristbands for free admission to the game for new families. The event is sponsored by the Development Office.
To celebrate the start of the school year, the Student Council sponsored a back-to-school dance for high school students following the first varsity football game on August 26. Approximately 150 students danced and socialized during the inaugural event held in the new Founders Hall.
New students in grades 1-12, and their parents, were welcomed to campus August 10 for the annual New Student Orientation. After a welcome from Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, students were given tours of the campus by student ambassadors. They also attended workshops regarding curriculum, technology and class schedules followed by a lunch provided by the PTO. Following lunch, lower school students enjoyed a Popsicles on the Playground party, also sponsored by the PTO. Wilson Hall welcomes our 130 new students and their families.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (STEAM) Camp is just one of the 30 camps offered this summer in the Above & Beyond Summer Camp Program. For students of all ages, the week-long camps appeal to a wide variety of interests such as art, equestrian, football, Lego, robotics and volleyball.
The 53 members of the Class of 2022 received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony held the evening of May 26 at Patriot Hall. As part of the 53rd class to graduate from Wilson Hall, the members of this class are now among the 2,907 people who count themselves as one of our school’s alumni. As tradition, the seniors lined the corridor to applaud the faculty as they entered the auditorium. Class President Mary Jones offered the invocation, which was followed by speeches by Salutatorian Madi Smith and Valedictorian Rachel Bostic. The 51st John S. Wilson Award was presented to Mary Jones by Mrs. Helen Wilson Taylor '76. The Very Reverend Dr. John Barr, Acting Dean at the Cathedral Church of the Apostles, was the keynote speaker. Mr. William Croft ’90, Chairman of the Board, and Mr. Eddie Talley, Assistant Head of School, presented the diplomas, and Mr. Fred Moulton, Head of School, offered the confirmation of graduates. After singing the Alma Mater, the faculty recessed first to line the steps of Patriot Hall to applaud the new graduates as they exited. The Class of '22 gathered one final time to toss their caps in celebration.
To recognize academic achievement, the Senior Awards Program was held in the Nash Student Center on May 24. Class Secretary Anna Hays Shuler offered the invocation, Class Vice President Evan Bell led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Class President Mary Jones delivered the Senior Address. During the program, department chairs presented books on behalf of teachers with a personal inscription to the student who earned the highest average in his or her class. 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 was coordinated by Mrs. Ashley Lareau and Mrs. Sarah Smith. Following the program, the seniors attended a catered luncheon at the home of a student.
Field Day was held on Spencer Field to celebrate the end of the school year. Students in grades 1-5, wearing class t-shirts, participated in over a dozen activities, such as the sack race and the tug-of-war. To cool off, students ran through the sprinklers and enjoyed Kona Ice. Sponsored by the PTO, over three dozen parents volunteered to ensure the event ran smoothly.
The school celebrated the last day of classes of the seniors with the Last Day Luncheon on May 17. Held in the Nash Student Center, the program featured a keynote speech by Mr. Kurt Wilson, a physical education teacher and assistant football coach, who was selected by the class. Seniors and their parents enjoyed a lunch catered by Southern Pride Barbeque followed by plenty of photo opportunities. After lunch, the guests were invited to the chapel, which is currently under construction, to sign and leave special messages on one of the six pillars representing the founders of the school. 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. Karen McCreight and Mrs. Martha Jo Smith Johnson of the Development Office.
Students in PS3-5 enjoyed a variety of end-of-the year parties to celebrate the conclusion of the school year. While some classes ventured off-campus to pool parties or to visit the local roller skating rink or bowling alley, most celebrated on-campus on Spencer Field. Sliding down inflatable water slides, jumping in a bouncy house, running under the sprinklers, chasing each other with water balloons and squirt guns, and participating in a wide variety of games kept the students busy. Students, faculty and parent volunteers enjoyed picnics under the shade of the oak trees as well as visits from the Kona Ice trucks, allowing them to socialize outside of the confines of the classroom.
Members of the SCUBA Club, the newest addition to the roster of extracurricular activities offered to students, spent three days in Florida in order to earn their open water diving certification. Advised by Mrs. Liz McGinnis and Mrs. Erin Smith, the club members went diving in Devil’s Den Spring in Willison and Rainbow River in Dunnellon. In conjunction with the Wateree Dive Center in Columbia, a diving certification class was conducted under the instruction of Melvin Blackwell ‘74. The class involved three sessions in the Sumter YMCA pool, written exams, and five openwater training dives. The club is planning a trip to the Caribbean island of Bonaire during Spring Break 2023. The trip will be open to anyone, divers and non-divers, who enjoy snorkeling or openwater diving.
The 24th Class Challenge, a field day for high school students, was held on Spencer Field on April 29. Student Body President Hugh McLaurin, Study Body Vice President Annabelle Huffman, and Mrs. Cheryl Landstrom coordinated the event on behalf of the Student Council. 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, followed by students gathering to sing the Alma Mater. The Sophomore Class was the overall winner.
The Senior Class spent the school day on April 8 performing community service projects. Half of the students visited National Healthcare where they played games, worked on craft projects, painted fingernails, and spent time with the residents. The other half volunteered at Sumter United Ministries where they moved large items for a major cleanup, painted, and worked on small construction projects.
With decorations inspired by The Great Gatsby, the 49th Junior-Senior Prom was held in the Nash Student Center on April 8. After members of the Class of ‘22 were introduced for the traditional Grand March, students danced and socialized in the main gymnasium. To create a festive atmosphere, large panels of black, draped fabric were hung to create a “room within a room” with lights strung across the top to create a sparkling ceiling. A replica of an art-deco building was painted for the introduction of the seniors, and large, painted cutouts representing the era were placed throughout the room along with ferns. Large, white tables were decorated with white floral arrangements and candles. Before the Prom, students attended a Junior Class Dinner and a Senior Class Dinner hosted by parents, and all students attended the Prom Breakfast, again hosted by parents at a student's home.
Wilson Hall students raised $22,206 for the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital by hosting its sixth 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 $88,002 for the cause during the past six years. The Main Event was held on Spencer Field on February 12 and featured three separate activities: a carnival for lower school students, a neon-themed dance for middle school students, and a “five dolla prom” for high school students. In addition to the donations made through the Miracle Network’s website and the Be the Change Campaign, the Dance Marathon Committee raised money through the Knockout Basketball Competition, Movie Night on the Lawn, Nothing Bundt Cake sale, and Sweatpants for Exams campaign.