Education notebook | Horry middle schools move forward in Mock Trial competition

Four Horry County middle schools – Forestbrook, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Ocean Bay – are going to the S.C. Bar Middle School Mock Trial State Competition that happens Dec. 7 and 8 in Lexington.

Horry County School District has had good showings over the years at the event, which will be held this year at the Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center. Students have put in hours of practice for the competition. Forestbrook is a five-time regional winner and has won twice at the state level, while this will be Ocean Bay’s third appearance in state competition in six years.

The S.C. Bar’s Law Related Education Division hosts the event, which was started to help teachers improve law-related education instruction. Students will present the plaintiff and defendant sides of a fictitious case before a panel of local volunteer lawyers and judges, and will take the roles of defendant, witnesses, bailiffs and timekeepers. Their teams will be judged on their presentation, not the legal merits of the case.

For more information about the case or the Mock Trial program, visit

Aynor Middle wins grant for holiday show

Aynor Middle School is one of 100 schools in the nation to receive a grant for the production of “Yes, Virginia: The Musical.”

The school received $1,000 from Macy’s to help with the show’s cost as part of the store’s “Believe” campaign.

The musical is based on the true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon who wrote to a newspaper to ask about the existence of Santa Claus. Performances will be held Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and are available by calling the school at 843-358-6000.

The school will have a mailbox at the performances where children of all ages can drop their stamped letter to Santa. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The school’s chorus/drama department also will have a collection for the Salvation Army after the performances.

Take in a winter concert in Georgetown

The Beach Singers will present its 15th annual Winter Concert Sunday at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Georgetown.

The concert theme is “A Festival of Seasonal Song” and will include folk, classical, patriotic and holiday music celebrating the autumn and winter seasons.

The group is made up of auditioned singers who represent each of the Georgetown County School District’s middle and high schools. The singers participate in a three-week summer program and rehearse each Monday evening. Olivia Powell Huggins directs and is a lead teacher in the Project Beach Artistic program.

Jay Holmes, director of music ministries at First Baptist, is a guest conductor for the concert. Accompanists are Ruth Reames and Huggins, and the concert features creative introductions, arrangements and interludes on piano and organ with opportunities for the audience to sing along.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated and help fund the group’s field trip to a Broadway show in the spring.

Students in running for top essay prize

Forestbrook Middle School’s Loganne Bolinger won the Myrtle Beach VFW Essay Contest, while classmates Kasey Powalie and Destini White were named finalists.

Their three essays will be sent to the regional level, and top prize is a trip to Washington, D.C., and $5,000. The essays were written on the topic “What I Would Say to America’s Founding Fathers.”

Teacher Stephanie Necessary also was recognized as VFW Post 7735 Teacher of the Year.

Myrtle Beach Intermediate donates to Honor Flight

Myrtle Beach Intermediate School hosted World War II veteran William Murray on Monday as part of its Veterans Day celebration.

Murray was a career senior chief petty officer who served on a Navy submarine, and he was accompanied by Bert Cassels, who was a Navy captain and is a Vietnam veteran who helped start Honor Flight in this area.

Murray spoke to the students, who raised more than $500 for Honor Flight. They bought flags in memory or in honor of veterans, which they placed around the front entrance of the school.

Horry County Schools TV hits South Strand

Time Warner customers in southern Horry County may have noticed they have new programming on Channel 4. It’s HCS-TV, which broadcasts news from Horry County Schools and was previously unavailable on the South Strand.

Now viewers in southern Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield and Pawleys Island can see what’s happening in the school district. Viewers who have been receiving HCS-TV on Channel 12 will continue to do so.

Charter school to build new facility

Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success charter school plans to begin construction of its new school building on 9.1 acres recently purchased in the Market Common area. The school serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Construction is to begin in January and be completed by Aug. 1, in time for the 2013-14 school year. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. on the new school site, and the address will be released by Dec. 1. The public is invited to the ceremony, where school designs will be released.

The new building will allow for expansion, with two classrooms per grade and a maximum of 18 students per classroom. The project is expected to create around 10 to 15 education-related jobs, and the school now is taking applications for certified teachers.

Employment information can be found on the school website,, under the “getting involved” tab. For more information about employment, enrollment or the groundbreaking, contact Courtney Fancher at or 843-839-1725.