North Charleston HS Culinary Program Hosts West Ashley HS ProStart Competition Practice

The North Charleston High School’s culinary arts program recently hosted a practice event for the West Ashley High School ProStart team that will soon head to Dallas, Texas to compete in the ProStart 2016 National Competition.

Chef Jason Wheless and his state champion WAHS ProStart team ran through their entire process of food prep and plating. Chef Bill Twaler from Wando’s Culinary Arts program was also on hand to offer support and guidance.


North Charleston HS culinary students are excited to start their competition journey next year at the regional event. They all volunteered to help clean the kitchen after the event.”It was an awesome day for our students, and an experience they will not soon forget”, said Chef Cindi Welsh who leads the NCHS Culinary Arts program.

“We are very thankful – This practice will help our team immensely as we look to bring home a ProStart national championship!” said Chef Wheless.

Thanks to Doug OFlaherty with South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association for organizing the opportunity for WAHS to practice prior to their trip!



West Ashley HS Student’s Work-based Learning Experience Includes Day at the Racetrack

West Ashley High School senior Dillon Brown has truly enjoyed his work-based learning internship with Autometrics Motorsports, a well known Charleston auto shop that outfits cars for the racetrack. Autometrics also offers transportation services for cars, taking them to races far and wide, and serving as pit crew for their clients.


Dillon Brown (left) in the pits at the Porsche Club of America event in Atlanta during his spring break.

Dillon attended a Porsche Club of America competition in Atlanta over spring break and was a tire mechanic.

“Dillon has truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Autometrics this semester, and get to travel with their pit crew”, said Mrs. Sandra Pennekamp, the Work-based Learning Coordinator for West Ashley HS.

“We are very thankful to the team at Autometrics Motorsports for giving Dillon this terrific work-based learning experience!” added Mrs. Pennekamp.


Students Meet Local Professionals at Lincoln Middle High School Career Fair

Students in grades 6 through 12 from Lincoln Middle High School enjoyed spending time Tuesday, March 22 with local business professionals from a wide range of career pathways at the school’s annual Career Fair.

Thanks to everyone that made this terrific event possible for Lincoln Middle High School students!

darwin shorters PLTW award header

St. Johns High School Teacher Named National PLTW Computer Science Teacher of the Year

PLTW_LogoINDIANAPOLIS (March 21, 2016) – St. John’s High School Darwin Shorters received the highest honor given to PLTW Computer Science teachers – PLTW Computer Science Teacher of the Year – Sunday night at Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) PLTW Summit 2016.

Shorters was recognized in front of more than 1,800 attendees, including his fellow teachers from across the United States. PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram and Senior Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Dr. Anne Jones presented the award.

“We are grateful to our teachers for their commitment to inspiring students,” said Anne Jones, Chief Program Officer and Senior Vice President for Programs for PLTW. “The PLTW Teachers of the Year are leaders in their classrooms and are inspiring the next generation of innovators.”darwin shorters award

Shorters is a PLTW Computer Science Master Teacher and is described as a champion of PLTW who has put his school’s program on the map. He is known for his commitment to his students, his devotion to teaching, and his far-reaching leadership. His passion for and knowledge of computer science has had a sprawling impact – from engaging each student in his PLTW classroom, to empowering fellow teachers across his state through his role as a Master Teacher.

“He never uses the phrase, “I can’t,” and instead embraces challenges and goes above and beyond for his students – making the impossible, possible, and he “curates energy for PLTW that is unparalleled,” said St. John’s High School Principal Andre Dukes.

PLTW recognized four other instructors as PLTW program teachers of the year for their outstanding commitment to empowering students to thrive in our evolving world. PLTW Computer Science engages students in real-life activities like creating an online art portal or using automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data. These projects challenge students to think big and illustrate how intricately computer science is woven into our society. As students work together to brainstorm solutions, they test their limits, question what’s possible, and transform into builders of tech, rather than bystanders.

PLTW Summit 2016, held March 20-23 in Indianapolis, is the premier gathering of passionate and committed individuals who work together every day to empower students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an evolving world. More than 1,800 attendees — from students to those in the education, government and business sectors — are convening to share strategies for making classroom learning relevant, engaging and hands-on.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. Through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, K-12 students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.


deca header

West Ashley HS DECA Team Advances to Nationals in Nashville, TN

The West Ashley High School DECA Club competed at the DECA State Career Conference at the North Charleston Coliseum February 26th. Twelve members placed in the top ten and three members placed in the top three.

The West Ashley High School DECA Club is advised by Marketing teacher, Terry Stutts, and is run by a team of five student members. DECA is designed to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.

High school DECA members from all over South Carolina were invited to compete in the DECA State Career Conference with members from each team competing in various categories. DECA’s evaluation process involves students in both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component where an industry professional serves as a judge.During the interactive component, members are presented with a real-world problem and given 10 minutes to come up with a solution which they in turn present to the judge. The objective is to be one of the top three finishers in order to qualify for the next level of competition.

Senior Ashante Edwards placed first in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing category.

Senior Ashante Edwards placed first in the category Apparel and Accessories  Marketing and will advance to compete at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in April.

Senior Ashante Edwards placed first in the category Apparel and Accessories
Marketing and will advance to compete at the International Career Development
Conference (ICDC) in April.

The following WAHS students were placed in the top 3 in their respective categories, earning a trip to nationals also:

  • WAHS Senior Liam Wheless, Retail Merchandising
  • WAHS Freshman Lupe Chaves, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
  • WAHS Sophomore Rodney Graham, Principles of Business Management and Administration
DECA State Career Conference (3)

Liam Wheless placed third in the category Retail Merchandising. This is Wheless’ fourth year as a part of DECA and his first year serving as club president.

Freshman Lupe Chaves placed third in the category Principles of Hospitality and Tourism.

Freshman Lupe Chaves placed third in the category Principles of Hospitality and

DECA State Career Conference (4)

Rodney Graham placed third in the category Principles of Business Management and Administration, which will allow him the opportunity to advance to compete at ICDC in April.

These members qualified to compete in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, Tennessee April 23rd. The categories will be the same, but instead of just competing against other high schools in South Carolina, West Ashley High DECA members will compete against DECA members from across the nation.

DECA State Career Conference (6)

DECA members Alexis Holmes, Amanda Bennett, Victoria Singleton, and DaMya Brown dressed in their professional best and were ready to face the competition!

DECA State Career Conference (7)

Amanda Bennett, Kelly Cochran, and Haley Bauer competed in the DECA State Career Conference February 26th -28th at the North Charleston Coliseum.

DECA State Career Conference (5)

Brain Hawkins and Katlyn Clark placed in the Top 10 in their categories.

Story by Donnie Newton, WAHS Public Relations Coordinator

wando pltw champs

Students from 4 Schools’ Engineering Programs Attend PLTW Competition at Univ. of SC in Coumbia

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) students from 4 CCSD high schools attended a statewide PLTW Engineering Competition held March 7 at University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering & Computing in Columbia.

CCSD Schools participating included:

  • Wando High School
  • West Ashley High School
  • Garrett Academy of Technology
  • Academic Magnet High School

Students from Academic Magnet HS won 1st place for Digital Electronics and students from Wando HS took 1st place in Intro to Engineering Design!

AMHS first at PLTW Eng Comp



CCSD Students Excel at SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Challenge

Over 130 students from throughout Charleston competed in the 2016 SeaPerch Charleston Challenge.

Teams from local high and middle schools designed underwater robots and competed with them in various challenges. Students were also judged on their poster and presentation skills, and an overall composite score determined the winner of the event.


CCSD Schools included:

  • Academic Magnet HS
  • Buist Academy MS
  • C.E.Williams MS for the Creative and Scientific Arts
  • Haut Gap MS
  • Laing MS of Science and Technology
  • Military Magnet MS
  • Morningside MS
  • North Charleston HS
  • Summerville HS
  • Wando HS
  • West Ashley HS


Mr. Jonathan Zucker delivered the keynote message before the competition began.


West Ashley High School brought home the overall 1st place trophy for the high schools division.


Students from Laing Middle School were the overall winner in the middle school division.



This event was made possible thanks to countless volunteer hours.

Special thanks to the following list of leading sponsors of this year’s Charleston SeaPerch event!

  • Little Caesars
  • Charleston Scuba
  • STEM Centers SC
  • NOAA

CCSD K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist Rodney Moore led the planning efforts and day of event coordination for this event.

Please enjoy these additional pictures from the event.



MUSC Hosts Campus Visit and Career Fair for Lowcountry High School Students

Charleston, SC – March 4, 2016 – Hundreds of students from throughout the Charleston region were invited to visit the Medical University of South Carolina for an event called “Discover MUSC – from Classroom to Career”.


The students were treated to an opening informational session, a large career fair with interactive exhibits and professionals from well known and lesser known components of MUSC’s “city within a city.”



“My students loved the hands-on opportunities to see things like a real human brain and spinal cord, and my students also enjoyed learning about the diverse range of non-medical professions MUSC needs to serve our community,” said Lucia Watson, Health Science Instructor a Garrett Academy of Technology.

Participating CCSD schools included:

  • Wando HS
  • West Ashley HS
  • Lincoln MHS
  • Garrett Academy of Technology
  • Burke HS

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After the career fair held in the MUSC Wellness Center gym, the students were split into small groups with an MUSC student guide and treated to a campus tour followed by a lunch and learn session with leading physicians. One presentation was on modern dentistry and the amazing tools and software used at MUSC to create same day crowns and veneers. Another presentation was on the fast growing field of tele-medicine, providing healthcare remotely in real-time.

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To conclude the terrific day of experiential learning, students participated in a wrap-up session and had the chance to win prize packages full of MUSC swag.


The day was truly an ideal experience for students considering a profession in health care and the many other supporting career pathways at MUSC.

Thanks to the many generous professionals at MUSC for investing their time in local students, and thanks to the Metro Chamber of Commerce Regional Health Advisory Board for Career Academies for their important role in facilitating the event.



City of Charleston Employees Host CCSD Students for Day of Job Shadowing

10 students from Baptist Hill MHS in Hollywood and 10 students from Burke HS in downtown Charleston were invited to shadow professionals from various departments of the City of Charleston on Feb 29th. IMG_2824


The day began with a tour of Charleston’s historic city hall, including city council chamber and it’s priceless collection of art. Ms. Lindsey, the docent for the chamber, provided an interesting story for each of the portraits hanging in the room. She also highlighted the one original Edison Bulb still operational in the chamber and the desks that date back to the 1800’s.


Then, each student was connected with their host for the morning – participating city departments included:

Housing Dept.
Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families
Recreation Dept.
Mayor’s Office
Office of Tourism & Livability
Charleston Fire Dept.
Clerk of Council
Cultural Affairs Office
Charleston Police Dept.








After the job shadowing time was complete, everyone met back at the maritime center for lunch and round-table discussions on the day.


Sticky Fingers catered the lunch, and Mayor Tecklenburg provided remarks.


The day was terrific, including ideal weather, and the beautiful location – but most of all, it was the experience and relationships the students left with that will shape their future, and the future of our community.

Thanks to all that made this amazing job shadowing day possible, especially Mindy Sturm with the Mayor’s office for Children, Youth & Families and Bernard Scott and Michele Garris, guidance directors at Baptist Hill and Burke.




me and helpers at Chef Feast

Military Magnet Academy Culinary Arts Students Assist with Chef’s Feast Event

Chef Joseph Crompton’s culinary arts students from Military Magnet Academy recently celebrated working their 5th consecutive year at the Lowcounty Food Bank’s “Chef’s Feast” fundraising event!
 part of the crew
me and helpers at Chef Feast full
Pictured above are Ms. Niccole Steed, a parent that has helped Chef Crompton for years, and her daughter who graduated last year and likes to help out with big events also.
Nine MMA students worked the event for 7 hours each – that’s terrific work-based learning experience, and a wonderful resume builder for each student!IMG_0784tables