Education notebook | Horry high schools shine in drama competition

The drama departments from Carolina Forest and St. James high schools have been making names for themselves at both the state and county levels.

The two teams traveled together last weekend to the S.C. Theatre Association’s High School Theatre Festival at Newberry College, where they each performed 45 minutes of a show and tied for seventh out of 22 participating schools. Carolina Forest performed “Harvey,” made famous by the James Stewart film, and St. James performed the world premiere of the comedy “Crushed.”

For Carolina Forest, Jenny Bettke was one of 20 students from about 500 named to the festival’s all-star cast, said teacher Matt Ward, who co-directs the group with teacher Pam Muise. He said college and theater officials were scouting at the event, and Josh Kleman received scholarship offers in technical theater from Clemson and Anderson universities.

The schools also were winners at the Horry County festival held last month. St. James teacher Angela Howard said her group’s production of “The Audition” received a superior rating and best ensemble award, and Claire Collins and Josie Thompson received all-star cast awards. Carolina Forest won the technical theatre award, as well as best male actor for Michael Spencer, and Chyan McDonald was named to the all-star cast.

The Carolina Forest group is currently in rehearsals for its dinner theater presentation of “Harvey,” which will be held Friday and next Saturday. Ward said they have 12 actors – some who take drama class and some who don’t – who all had to audition for their parts. He said about 10 students are handling the technical areas for the production, but everyone pitches in to find props, paint and set up scenery.

The dinner theater event is open to the public. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with the performance at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Tickets cost $12 and may be purchased by calling 236-7997.

Vote for Myrtle Beach Intermediate in Healthy School contest

Enterprising students from Myrtle Beach Intermediate School need community votes to win the 2012 Healthy School Makeover. The grand prize is $45,000, which the school would use for upgrades to its playground and the disability playground.

Principal Dana Penick said students have been using their leadership skills to plan topics and deadlines, write scripts and film a 12-minute video about their healthy school initiatives. The school is one of 190 that are competing for the top prize.

Casting a vote is easy for the MBI video, which was edited to three minutes for the contest, as the school has put the link on its website. Go to, click on “Our Schools” then pull up the page for MBI. On the right is the link that goes to the school’s video and the voting button.

Participants may vote once a day through Wednesday. Nov. 14.

Celebrate autumn at Forestbrook festival

Forestbrook Middle School, 4430 Gator Lane in Myrtle Beach, is celebrating the season with a Fall Mega Fest today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization and will feature inflatables, food, crafts, vendors and a DJ.

Academy takes honors at Tabor City art show

Students and a teacher from the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology were winners in the Tabor City Yam Festival Art Show held Oct. 27.

First-place winners were Sharlen Nguyan, drawing; Caitlin Sparks, mixed media; Steth Daily, computer art; and Caroline Silverman, textile media. Second-place winners were Megan Bogart, painting; Savannah Kennedy, computer art; Valarie Paterson, photography; and art teacher Rick Spivey, professional.

Third place went to Caroline Silverman, drawing; Devynn Williams, mixed media; and Rachael Boswell, computer art. Honorable mentions for drawing went to Anna Lark, Erin Ryan and Kylie Thomas.

Georgetown school collects food for others

The Georgetown Middle School Beta Club just completed a successful canned food drive. More than 1,000 cans were collected, and the 600 pounds of food will go to different homes around Georgetown that are in need of canned goods.

The club gives credit to the entire school for rising to the challenge and making the project a success.

Farmer tapped for national school nutrition group

Laura Farmer, food service director for Horry County Schools, has been appointed to serve a three-year term for the National School Nutrition Association Policy and Legislation Committee. This committee works to advance school nutrition programs throughout the United States through public policy and legislation.

Farmer was the first food service director in South Carolina to earn the school nutrition specialist credentialing from the School Nutrition Association in 2004. She holds a Level III certification and is a certified trainer, conducting numerous food service trainings throughout the state.

Congratulations to Horry Teachers of Year

Horry County Schools has named its Teachers of the Year, who were elected by peers at their school and will apply to be considered as one of 10 semifinalists. Semifinalists will be interviewed and then narrowed to five finalists. The Horry County Teacher of the Year will be named May 7.

School winners are: Mariah Reiss, Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology; Meredith Smith, Academy for Technology and Academics; Janice Camp, HCS Adult Education; Morgan Sellers, Scholars Academy; William Chappell, HCS Early College High School; Keri Phillips, Horry County Education Center; Robert Dean Johnson, Aynor High School; Megan Beattie, Carolina Forest High School; Yaminah Jordan, Conway High School; Amy Elliott, Green Sea Floyds High School; Emily Vail, Loris High School; Erica Markunas, Myrtle Beach High School; Jennifer Wells, North Myrtle Beach High School; Jennifer Ainsworth, Socastee High School; Robert Pisaniello, St. James High School; Lynda Johnston, Aynor Middle School; Robin Hardwick, Black Water Middle School; Cheryl Ray, Conway Middle School; Janet Moore, Forestbrook Middle School; Cherry Willoughby, Green Sea Floyds Middle School; Lindy Williams, Loris Middle School; Kevin Pierce, Ocean Bay Middle School; Chaundra Watson, Myrtle Beach Middle School; Melany Nussbaumer, North Myrtle Beach Middle School;

Lauren Macheski, St. James Middle School; Jennifer Janes, Whittemore Park Middle School; Ashley Johnson, Aynor Elementary School; Jill Dinkel, Burgess Elementary School; Taya Semple-Toscani, Carolina Forest Elementary School; LaShanda Graves, Conway Elementary School; Lori Suggs, Daisy Elementary School; Rhetta Greene, Forestbrook Elementary School; Kay Britt, Green Sea Floyds Elementary School; Wendy Wilson, Homewood Elementary School; Tammy Holt, Kingston Elementary School; Wendy Lane, Lakewood Elementary School; Dan Cavanna, Loris Elementary School; Charlotte Jones, Midland Elementary School; Sean Lysowski, Myrtle Beach Elementary School; Andrena Matthews, Myrtle Beach Intermediate School; Leslie Ventura, Myrtle Beach Primary School; Michelle Goudelock, North Myrtle Beach Elementary School; Kristin Atkinson, North Myrtle Beach Intermediate School; Kathleen Siler, North Myrtle Beach Primary School; Shannon Dubose, Ocean Bay Elementary School; Meg Torrens, Palmetto Bays Elementary School; Rachel Nobles, Pee Dee Elementary School; Amanda Williams, River Oaks Elementary School; Beth Hadden, Seaside Elementary School; Lindsay Morrow, Socastee Elementary School; Melody Stanley, South Conway Elementary School; Chris Davidson, St. James Elementary School; and Lisa Crist, Waccamaw Elementary School.