Students from Horry and Georgetown counties are brushing off their dictionaries and memorizing Greek and Latin roots in preparation of the 27th annual The Sun News Regional Spelling Bee.
Fifty-four students will vie for a chance to represent the Grand Strand in the Scripps National Spelling Bee at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Myrtle Beach High School auditorium. The event is free and will be broadcast live at www.MyrtleBeachOnline.com and www.Youtube.com/MBSunNews. Last year’s winner and four-time champion Isabella Neubauer has aged out, but her younger sister Ryleigh will be competing for The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences.
The winner receives an all-expense paid trip funded by The Sun News and The Sun News Educational Foundation for themselves and a chaperone to attend the National Spelling Bee May 24-29. Other champion prizes include: Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a one-year subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Premium, numerous passes to local attractions and a trophy from The Sun News.
First runner-up receives a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, numerous passes to local attractions and a trophy from The Sun News.
All contestants will receive a trophy recognizing them as champions of their local school’s spelling bee, compliments of The Sun News and The Sun News Educational Foundation, and numerous prizes and passes to local attractions.
Carolina Forest Elementary gets funky
Standardized testing won’t get Carolina Forest Elementary students down, especially since they have a fun – and funky – music video to cheer them on.
Stephanie Augustino, media aide, rewrote lyrics to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” to encourage students to meet their Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test goals. She then recorded students dancing and singing along, complete with silly hats, stylish glasses and Principal Dennis Devorick rocking out on an extra-long trumpet.
“The students love when we do these videos,” Augustino said. “We want them to achieve their maximum potential and they do.”
Augustino produced another MAP testing video late last year based on Taylor Swift’s hit “Shake it Off,” which took about a month. This year, staff only had two weeks to write lyric, record the song and film students – though several days were lost due to cold weather delays and school cancellations, she said.
“I think I wrote these lyrics in about an hour,” Augustino said.
Julie Anderson, music teacher, taught the fifth-grade chorus students the song over two days during recess, and many chorus students are prevalent in the video, Augustino said. Filming took about a week and several teachers contributed choreography ideas.
“Mrs. Anderson and the chorus kids are wonderful,” Augustino said. “They gave up recess time on multiple days so I could film them.”
The students will see the finished video Monday during their daily morning news show – where they all vie for an anchor position – but “they know it's coming and they are super excited,” Augustino said.
The video wouldn’t have been possible without the help and permission of Carolina Forest’s administration; Devorick, Assistant Principal Simon Keays and Assistant Principal Rick Patterson are always willing to lend a hand toward student motivation, Augustino said.
“[They] are wonderful when it comes to doing fun and motivational things for the students,” she said.
To watch the video, go to www.MyrtleBeachOnline.com or www.youtube.com/watch?v=aobdrDpvhGA&feature=youtu.be.
Three new principals approved
The Horry County Board of Education approved three new principals for the 2015-16 school year Monday during their regular meeting.
Anna Carroll, previously the assistant principal at Aynor Elementary, will be the new principal of Waccamaw Elementary School upon the retirement of Barbara Ammons at the end of the academic year.
Carroll was Aynor’s assistant principal for four years and served as the school’s instructional coach for five years. She has six years of classroom experience, as both a six-grade and special education teacher, according to Teal Harding, district spokeswoman.
Lee James will be the new principal of Conway Middle School after former principal Margaret Sordian transferred to the district office.
He has been an assistant principal at Green Sea Floyds High School since 2011. James taught middle and high school math for eight years, at both Loris Middle School and Greenwood High School in Greenwood. Marjorie McIver, a retired HCS middle school administrator, is currently serving as the school’s interim principal, Harding said.
Kristin Dowling will be the new principal at Seaside Elementary School upon the retirement of Beth Selander at the end of the school year.
Dowling was an assistant principal at River Oaks Elementary School for one year and was previously an assistant principal and instructional coach at Lakewood Elementary School and an instructional coach at North Myrtle Beach Elementary, Harding said. Dowling has 10 years of classroom experience teaching fifth grade at Burgess Elementary School and Myrtle Beach Intermediate School.
All appointed principals will transition to their new positions on July 1.