New Hospitality and Tourism Management Academy at St. John’s High School

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On Tuesday August 4th, partners from throughout the community gathered in support of the new Hospitality and Tourism Career Academy at St. John’s High School.

This event was attended by students, parents, business partners, educators, and community members.

School principal Mr. Andre Dukes welcomed the attendees, and introduced Mr. David Scott who will lead the new program.


St. John’s High School is 1 of 12 Charleston County School District Schools starting various Career Academies in the 15/16 academic year in cooperation with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

New CCSD Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait welcomed the new academy and praised all that made it possible.



St. John’s High School alumnus Michael Blake from The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island shared his inspirational story from classroom to the leadership team at a 5 Star property.


Following the program, there was time for networking and hors d’oeuvres – several business partners involved in the new program brought table top displays and giveaways for students and parents in attendance.


Special thanks to Kiawah and the Sanctuary Hotel for providing a terrific assortment of tasty fruits, cheeses, and other finger foods.

Click to review the Event Flyer 

Additional pictures from the event:

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CCSD Summer Interns Assist with EdTech GoogleFest at R. B. Stall HS

Six current CCSD summer interns and one former intern were invited by the CCSD EdTech department to assist with “GoogleFest”, a  two-day high-intensity event staged at R. B. Stall HS to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education through Google Apps for Education (and other Google tools).


Over 175 CCSD educators and  over 200 others from other districts throughout the  country participated in the amazing professional development opportunity.


Makayla Cummings from West Ashley HS,  and Jonashia Varns and Areial Horlback, both from Garrett Academy assisted with a “Silly Photo Booth” at the event.

Former CCSD summer intern Stephen Maddy from West Ashley HS led the student tech support team – Bryce Washington from St. Johns HS, Mostafa Mongy from West Ashley HS, and Derek Hastings from Wando HS were available to troubleshoot hardware issues and ensure all conference participants found their sessions.

Stephen Maddy also participated in the “Demo Slam”, a 3 minute speech on best practices for event attendees  – he spoke to 300+ educators on the student run IT HelpDesk at his school and how it helped him land an apprenticeship with the City of Charleston IT Department including dual credit classes at Trident Tech!

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In addition to the event support, summer intern Ebony Washington from West Ashley HS was assigned by her supervisor in the CCSD Communications department to write a story on the professional development event.


Here some photos of Ebony in action as she interviews CCSD EdTech director Lainie Berry , C. E. Williams MS Principal Kevin Smith, and others attending the professional development event.  Ebony’s story is coming soon!

The CTE Success Stories camera also captured a few CCSD educators participating in the event:

Thanks to Edward Dougherty with CCSD Ed Tech for the opportunity to include CCSD Summer Interns in this event!


CCSD Summer Interns Jonashia Varns from Garrett Academy and Bryce Washington from St. Johns HS.




14 CCSD Students Enjoy Hands-on Learning at MUSC’s Summer Nursing Career Camp

musc_logo_cwpThe Medical University of South Carolina hosted 14 CCSD students from June 24-26 for an interactive work-based learning experience.

The MUSC Nursing Career Camp allows health science CTE majors to interact with medical professionals and “learn by doing” in the university’s simulation lab.

Students from the following schools participated: West Ashley HS, Wando HS, R. B. Stall HS, Garrett Academy, and Academic Magnet HS.

Thanks to all the MUSC professionals that invested their time and talent in this program –  In no time, these students will be applying for health care related positions throughout Charleston, and beyond.

Read more about this annual nursing career camp in this week’s issue of The Catalyst, MUSC’s campus newspaper.

Thank you to MUSC for sharing these excellent pictures captured during the camp >

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3rd Annual Palmetto Cyber Security Camp a Success at Lowcountry Tech Academy

The 3rd Annual Palmetto Cyber Security Summer Camp was staged last week at Lowcounty Tech Academy.

Special thanks to Bill Littleton for serving as camp director, and to the lead sponsors of the camp, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Charleston (SPAWAR) and Trident Technical College!

Over 80 students participated in various tracks, including the  “Junior Cyber Warrior” track, new for this year for middle school aged students.

The Junior Cyber Warrior campers enjoyed sessions on Computer Deconstruction, Scratch Programming, Command & Control Systems, Building PowerPoint Slides, Internet Security, Trebuchet, LEGO Robotics, Cyber Espionage, Snap Circuits, and a “Clash of Clans” style cyber security challenge.

In the Cyber Espionage challenge, students were assigned to recover key intelligence from a USB drive containing stolen information after searching a potential spy (manakin). Once they found the suspicious item on the spy, they examined the data for valuable secrets using popular cryptography and forensics tools.

Check out these students’ hand-built trebuchets – they loved practicing and competing:

Other campers enjoyed sessions like Computer Deconstruction, Installing & Securing Linux, Networking, Installing & Securing Windows, Vulnerabilities & Threats, HTML Programming, Java Script Design, Raspberry Pi, and a Cyber Challenge led by SPAWAR volunteers.

Students interested in Engineering and Robotics were treated to a VEX Robotics program packed with hands-on project-based learning activities.

Students also got to experiment with a small drone as they tried to navigate through various obstacles. Check out this video!

The purpose of the camp was to bring together subject matter experts, local businesses, community organizations and most importantly students, our future cyber warriors, to learn about cybersecurity.  The organizer’s  ultimate goal was to provide each participant with specialized focused sessions and ample opportunities to experience hands-on activities in different aspects of cybersecurity.

This year’s camp theme was “Defend Your Domain” to embraces the notion of protecting cyber “domains”.  Students learned the importance of being ever vigilant in protecting themselves against cyber-criminals.

Here are some pictures from the end of camp awards ceremony – view even more pictures from the camp here!

CCSD Career and Technology Education would like to give a huge thanks to Jim ‘N Nicks catering, SPAWAR, Trident Technical College and all the other community partners that invested their time, talent, and support to make this year’s camp successful.

Thank you to Joseph Bullinger with SPAWAR for sharing the pictures for this story.

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CCSD Summer Interns Gaining Excellent Career Related Experiences

June 29, 2015 – Charleston, SC – This summer, students from throughout CCSD are working in district offices aligned with their career aspirations. This valuable career experience will help shape their future, and the high school credit opportunity & earned paychecks are not bad also. Each student is keeping a  journal while completing 120 hours of work experience. Each supervisor will provide at least one formal review during the experience.

Here are some pictures of students at their assigned worksites during the first week of their internships.

Jonashia Varns is assisting with summer camps at Lowcountry Tech Academy.

Jonashia Varns, a rising senior at Garrett Academy, is assisting with summer camps at Lowcountry Tech Academy.

Jasmine Yates, a rising senior at West Ashley HS, is assigned to the CCSD Human Resources department this summer. She got to cover the front desk at St. Andrews Professional Development Center last week.


Aloria Brown, a rising senior at Garrett Academy and Tekkeris Simmons, a rising senior at R. B. Stall HS were spotted working on database updates in the CCSD Office of Teacher Effectiveness.


Ebony Washington, a rising senior at West Ashley HS, pictured here (second from right) with her coworkers in the CCSD Communication Department at 75 Calhoun Street.


Tabia Castle from West Ashley HS, Estefani Paredes from R. B. Stall HS, and Richae Haynes from Baptist Hill MHS are pictured with their coworkers in the CCSD Dept of Federal Programs


L to R: Estefani Paredes, Tabia Castle, Department of Federal Programs Director Michele English-Watson, and Richae Haynes.


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CCSD Students Starting Summer Internships

Congratulations to 29 students from throughout Charleston County School District that have recently begun their summer internships.

These students are earning a paycheck and high school credit while working in a position aligned with their career interests.

Thanks to the following partners for hosting interns this summer:

Company Students Hired  School
JMO Woodworks 1 St. Johns HS
Team Craft Roofing 1 Garrett Academy
Half Moon Outfitters Warehouse 1 N. Charleston HS
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge 2 Wando HS (1) ; Academic Magnet (1)
CCSD SMAART Camp 5 Garrett Academy (4) ; R. B. Stall HS (1)
CCSD Human Resources 1 West Ashley HS
CCSD Accounting 1 Garrett Academy
CCSD Information Technology 2 West Ashley HS (1) ; Wando HS (1)
CCSD Personalized Learning 2 Garrett Academy (1) ; R. B. Stall HS (1)
CCSD Plant Operations / Facilities 3 R. B. Stall HS (1) ; West Ashley HS (1) ; Garrett Academy (1)
CCSD Communications 1 West Ashley HS
CCSD Federal Programs 3 R. B. Stall HS (1) ; West Ashley HS (1) ; Baptist Hill MHS (1)
Lowcountry Tech Academy 3 West Ashley HS (1) ; St.Johns (1) ; Garrett Academy (1)
CCSD Planning Dept. 1 R. B. Stall HS
CCSD Office of Teacher Effectiveness 2 Garrett Academy (1) ; R. B. Stall HS (1)
29 Total

Here are some pictures from our recent Summer Interns’ Orientation meeting.

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West Ashley HS’s Graduating Engineering Majors Present to WAHS Engineering Advisory Board; Robert Rentz Named Excellence in Engineering Award Winner

Engineering instructor Dr. Barbara Leonard shared these pictures from West Ashley High School senior’s Project Lead the Way Engineering Design & Development Class presentations to their Engineering Advisory Board, held May 27 2015.IMG_1173IMG_1166IMG_1169IMG_1170IMG_1172IMG_1175

West Ashley High School’s 2014-2015 Excellence in Engineering award winner was Robert Rentz.

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Special thanks to Cummins Charleston for supporting this special recognition for Robert Rentz.


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Students from Lincoln MHS and Academic Magnet HS Visit Bulls Island through Over the Horizon Program

April 8, 2015 – Awendaw, SC – Thirteen students from Lincoln Middle-High School in McClellenville and thirteen students from Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston, 26 in all, enjoyed an interactive visit to beautiful Bulls Island, part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

The experience was made possible through a program called “Over the Horizon” which started over 4 years ago through a Riley Institute at Furman – Diversity Leadership in Action project led by a small group of SC Diversity Leaders Initiative participants from the Lowcountry.

Brian Wells, a Charleston area engineer, Patricia Midgett with the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Chris Crolley with Coastal Expeditions charter service, Vera Manigault, renowned local sweetgrass basket artisan, and Michael Allen with the Gullah Geechee Culture Heritage Corridor remain involved in the project, along with many others that partnered for the initial trip to Bulls Island.

The goal of the “Over the Horizon” project is to share the value of diversity, both biodiversity and human diversity. “Just as a healthy ecosystem supports diversity of wildlife, a healthy community supports a diverse group of people”, said Raye Nilius with the National Wildlife Service, one of the original organizers of the first trip.

Building on the success of students from Wando and Burke High Schools participating twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, students from two new schools have now enjoyed their first trip. Lincoln and Academic Magnet students connected over breakfast in a classroom at Lincoln, and rode the bus together to the dock to catch the boat to Bulls Island. IMG_1539

On the boat ride to Bulls Island, naturalist and Coastal Expeditions guide Olivia Melanie began the program with an introduction to the concept of biodiversity.




Once the boat arrived, students set off on a tour of the island’s sights led by Ms. Melanie, including historical landmarks and natural wonders.



After viewing two dozen alligators swimming in a shallow pond, the students visited a monument commemorating the original English settlers of Charleston, or Charles Town as it was first named. These original Charlestonians stopped first on Bulls Island and interacted with Seewee Native Americans before sailing their boat, named Carolina up the Ashley River to start their colony on site now known as Charlestown Landing.

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No visit to Bulls Island is complete without a walk on Boneyard beach – the student collected shells and explored this pristine beach in two places before heading back to Dominick House, the island’s sole residence, for lunch.

But the last stop before lunch was a highlight – while walking on a trail, students discovered a group of new born alligator hashlings scampering back to their mother. The students wisely kept their distance from the mama-gator…



After lunch under one of the old oak trees by the Dominick House, the students enjoyed presentations from Vera Manigault and Michael Allen on the history of sweetgrass baskets and the amazing Gullah Geechee culture.


Special thanks to the terrific Natural Wildlife Service Volunteers that helped throughout the day – from driving the transport trailers to ensuring lunch was on the table when we returned from Boneyard Beach!

Thanks to everyone that helped expand the “Over the Horizon” program to include two new schools – the wonderful memories the students left with will be with them forever.

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