Education notebook | Myrtle Beach school tops in national contest

Forty teachers from Burgess Elementary School descended on Target on S.C. 544 Monday afternoon to spend a $1,575 gift card they won in the company’s Facebook campaign.

The company donated money to schools according to the number of votes each received on its Facebook page. Burgess came in 11th in the country and No. 1 in the state, said Donna Hooks, principal.

Hooks said she wasn’t surprised that they did so well because her staff really publicized the contest to parents, as well as to their own families and friends. Each teacher has their own Facebook page on which they keep parents informed, she said, and there is also a Burgess Facebook page that has almost 1,000 “likes.”

Teachers bought a variety of items they needed for their classrooms. Kim Duke, special education teacher for fourth and fifth grade, bought binders and paper for her students’ hands-on activities, while physical education teacher Jo Ann Giampietro got speakers for her computer so she can play disks for her students, as well as tissues, which she said are really needed during cold season.

“This is like Christmas morning for us,” Duke said. “We’re definitely very appreciative.”

It’s carnival time at Carolina Forest Elementary

Carolina Forest Elementary School will hold its 17th annual Founders Day event Nov. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the school, 285 Carolina Forest Blvd., Myrtle Beach. The community is invited to the carnival – the school’s biggest fundraiser – which will have a few new features this year.

Principal Dennis Devorick said this is the first year the school has had a formal Parent-Teacher Organization, and the group has taken over the organization of the event. He said there will be three different levels of tickets sold for different events, and there will be a raffle at $5 a ticket for a 2012 Jeep Compass.

In addition to food vendors and prizes, the event will feature inflatables, jousting, a cake walk, a dunk tank, a petting zoo and other activities. One of the new events will be cow paddy bingo, held with a real cow and 100 squares marked on a field.

Devorick said the carnival will have a patriotic theme, coming on the heels of Election Day, and flags will be out for in honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11.

Raffle tickets for the car can be purchased early at the school’s front office.

Waccamaw High band grabs state honors

The Waccamaw High School Marching Band had its highest finish ever in the finals of the state’s 2A competition.

The 47-member band was driven by a train theme, “All Aboard.” It took first place in music and third place overall.

“We were continually competing against bands twice as large as ours,” said band director Chris Graham, “so, with our train theme, we ... took to calling ourselves ‘The Little Band That Could.’ ”

Horry fine arts teachers take top honors

Two fine arts teachers from Horry County Schools have earned statewide honors, according to a news release from the school district.

Kelley French, fine arts teacher and department chair at Socastee High School, was named the Secondary Fine Arts Teacher of the Year by the S.C. Art Education Association at the group’s Oct. 26 statewide conference. French has taught at Socastee High School for the past 13 years and has been a member of SCAEA for two decades. She was nominated for the award by her SCAEA peers and is the first HCS teacher to win it since 1981. SCAEA is a division of the National Art Education Association.

Ivy Hale, fine arts teacher at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology and Waccamaw Elementary School, received the President’s Award from the S.C. Dance Association for diligent efforts in promoting and supporting dance in South Carolina. Hale has 17 years of experience teaching dance for the district and previously taught at the collegiate level. She will be recognized at an awards luncheon for the S.C. Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance on Nov. 10.