2015 News Items

In mid-November 2015, we were honored with WCBD-Channel 2’s Cool School Award! They created two separate videos to highlight USL on their broadcast. The first gives an overview of USL.  You can see it here. The second focuses on our LOTC program. Congratulations!

On Friday, November 13, University School students, faculty, parents, alumni, and alumni parents took part in National Day of Caring service projects at thirteen sites across Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties through the Trident United Way in the Lowcountry. This is one of the biggest Days of Caring in America, and we contributed over 500 hours of service for the 2015 Day of Caring at Midland Park Primary, Pinehurst Elementary, Jane Edwards Elementary, FamilyCorps, Carter-May Assisted Living Home, International Primate Protection League, South Santee Senior and Community Center, Tri-County Family Ministries, Fresh Future Farm, Footlight Players, Matilda Dunston Elementary, Chicora Elementary, and Windwood Farm Home for Boys. Our relationship with some of these organizations extends back to the founding of University School, and it is neat to support and learn about these schools and non-profits in the greater-Charleston area. The Post and Courier had a nice article about the DoC (“Day of Caring turns out thousands to give back to community”), and it features pictures of some of our students at Fresh Future Farm along with an examination of our work there. Click here for a slideshow of our day!

In the November 8, 2015 edition, Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks builds upon the results of a survey question in our exit poll from Tuesday about full vs. part-time mayor for Mount Pleasant (“Mount Pleasant should listen to voters on strong-mayor government”). After highlighting the history and reliability of our students’ efforts over the years, Hicks focuses on the overwhelming support for a full-time mayor that was expressed in this survey question and expands upon it by looking at municipal government forms in other big cities in the region. The piece ends with a call to heed the exit poll results and move to a full-time mayor format in Mount Pleasant.  Beyond the lessons already learned from Tuesday about social skills, math, governance, statistics, etc., the students have now played a role in agenda setting.  This means their work has started/contributed to a public debate in Mount Pleasant.

On Election Day (Tuesday, November 3) students administered exit polls for theMount Pleasant municipal races and the for Charleston mayoral race to determine who will succeed long-time Mayor Joe Riley. Each student canvassed voters at two precincts (one in each municipality), and USL visited 26 total voting sites. We then compiled the information and predicted the outcomes using our exit poll results. We included our own questions concerning the submarine Clamagore, preference for part-time or full-time mayor of Mount Pleasant, the proposed International African American History Museum, and quality of life questions. Here is some media coverage of this year’s exit polling activity. The Post and Courier included a day-time update on our efforts on Election Day: “Lowcountry voters undeterred by wet weather, poll workers say.” The P&C also featured a story on our exit polling on Election Night: “Exit poll smiles on John Tecklenburg, Leon Stavrinakis.” The Moultrie News also spotlighted this experience for our students: “Students get it right with town council election predictions.” Click here for the results of our 2015 exit polling and predictions!

The Upper School Quiz Bowl team won their region today!  This means they will take part in the High School State Quiz Bowl on Tuesday, November 17.  We competed against Charleston Collegiate, First Baptist, and Northwood Academy, and our students won all three of their matches.  This was an amazing outcome considering it was our first time ever participating in a high school quiz bowl competition! Congratulations to team members Anne Adragna, Miko Crowley, Allison Horan, Cole Jones, Ellie Manucy, and Kennon Saad!

USL 7th grader Turner Hill traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on behalf of MUSC (“Children lobby for the Medical University of South Carolina on Capitol Hill”). * From the July 6, 2015 edition of The Post and Courier.

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, University School was one of the top performers, collectively and individually, at Christ Our King-Stella Maris School’s Mathletics Competition. Over 250 students competed, and schools participating included local independent & public schools and Catholic schools from across the entire state. Congratulations to our students and teachers!
* Level 2 Individual Event (Grades 3-4) – 2nd Place – Charlotte Adragna
* Level 3 Individual Event (Grades 5-6) – 1st Place – Garrison Wettengel
* Level 3 Team Event (Grades 5-6) – 2nd Place – Dylan Brockman, Mary Lee, Anna Misciagna, Isabel Prioleau, Zayaan Tirmizi
* Level 4 Individual Event (Grades 7-8) – 2nd Place – Jack Frain,
4th Place – Thomas Boyle
* Level 4 Team Event (Grades 7-8) – 1st Place – Thomas Boyle, William Eustis, Jack Frain, Julian Griffin, Allison Li

On April 14, 2015, we took part in the 150th anniversary commemoration of the raising of the US flag at the end of the Civil War at Fort Sumter. **Please enjoy this video of the day! **

Sara Peck, our MS/US Writing teacher, created a Novel Club last year (2013-2014). It meets on Fridays after school, and last year’s efforts culminated in three students submitting novels to the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Congratulations to Allison Li, 7th grade, for being honored with a regional Gold Key for her medieval fantasy novel entitled Unity! Her work is now being considered for national recognition. As for the Novel Club, there are now nine students who are writing novels for next year’s competition!

Seven of our 7th grade students qualified for State Recognition based on SATscores received during 2014-2015 academic year (Thomas Boyle, Daniel Kalus, Ron Kalus, Sabrina Lawrence, Allison Li, Cayleigh Nicholson, Gabby Villacres). They earned the award by scoring at or above the national average (better than 50% of the nation’s high school juniors and seniors) on at least one part of the SAT. This number is the same or more than any school, public or private, in South Carolina. This is the 2nd time in our school’s eight year’s of operation that we have had seven students receive State Recognition in one class. A USL 7th grade student has garnered State Recognition every year that the School has been in operation, and over 40% of our students have achieved State Recognition in our history. Congratulations!

On March 5, 2015, our Middle School Quiz Bowl team won 2nd place in the State Quiz Bowl today in Columbia!  The competition began last month with 30+ teams in nine regions, and the nine region winners met today in three groupings.  In the morning session we defeated Pinewood Prep and St. Anne Catholic (Sumter), and then we faced off against St. Joseph’s Catholic (Columbia) and St. Andrew’s School (Savannah).  We beat St. Andrew’s, and then St. Joseph’s did as well.  This set up the Championship match, and St. Joseph’s prevailed.  We are especially pleased because this was only our second year participating in the Quiz Bowl competition! All of the teams were spirited and talented, and we enjoyed the the entire day. Cardinal Newman did an exceptional job hosting all of the teams and making us feel welcome. We are proud of our team members: Miko Crowley, Jack Frain, Ron Kalus, Sanders Linker, Isabel Prioleau, Garrison Wettengel, and Daniel Kalus!  * Thanks also to the students and faculty at University School of the Lowcountry for the kind banner that they made for the team!

On February 19, 2015, our Middle School Quiz Bowl team won their region.  This means we will take part in the State Quiz Bowl on Thursday, March 5.  We competed against Orangeburg Prep School, W. Wyman King Academy, and Patrick Henry Academy.  We are especially pleased because this was only our second year participating in the Quiz Bowl competition, and it was our second region championship. Congratulations to team members Miko Crowley, Jack Frain, Ron Kalus, Sanders Linker, Isabel Prioleau, Garrison Wettengel, and Daniel Kalus!

On February 4, 2015, fourteen USL students competed in the SCISA State Literary Meet. We are very proud of our students and are grateful for the teachers who chaperoned them.  As with our LOTCs that place students in all sorts of situations to learn, competitions like this allow students to test and push themselves — and then learn from the experience.  It was a busy day with a large contingent of schools present (over 90 schools and 850+ students), and our students learned a lot and enjoyed the day with their teachers. Here are our participants: 3rd Grade Storytelling: Charlotte Halford; 4th Grade Poetry Recitation: Brian DeMichael & Vann Hagood; 5th Grade Poetry Recitation: Zoe Gregg & Benjamin Halford (Merritt Baldwin alternate); Middle School Oral Interpretation: Will Courtney (Dramatic) & Cayleigh Nicholson (Humorous); Middle School Extemporaneous Speaking: William Eustis & Kat Favre; Middle School Essay: Rivers Ulmer & Gabby Villacres; Upper School Extemporaneous Speaking: Anne Adragna; Upper School Essay: Sandy Otap; Upper School Oral Interpretation (Humorous): Allison Horan. Congratulations to Cayleigh Nicholson, 7th, for winning 2nd Place in Middle School Oral Interpretation!

In February 2015, we learned the results of the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the Southeast Region. This competition is for 7-12th graders, and this year our 7th-10th graders entered 75 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and received an amazing 33 awards!  73% of our students were honored, and over 85% of the 8th graders garnered an award for writing in 7th or 8th grade.  Typically the number of submissions in the region numbers in the tens of thousands and for the country is 250,000+. We have four students with pieces that will move on to the national competition. Congratulations to our students and our MS/US Writing teacher Sara Peck! Anne Adragna (10th) – Gold Key (Poetry): Can This Much be True, Wally Lamb (this piece moves to the national competition); Silver Key (Poetry): Learned Helplessness ; Honorable Mention (Poetry): Separation Anxiety – Rhett Baldwin (7th) – Honorable Mention (Humor): Chew Till You Blow – Lila Berle (10th) – Honorable Mention (Poetry): Sitting Between Bookshelves: A Pantoum; Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction): Someone Else’s Party; Honorable Mention (Personal Essay/Memoir): Ice: A Lyrical Essay; Silver Key (Flash Fiction): How to Productively Procrastinate; Silver Key (Poetry): Dear Mr. Jones; Silver Key (Personal Essay/Memoir): Touch – William Eustis (8th) – Silver Key (Short Story): Diana’s Flowers – Kat Favre (8th) – Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction): The Story of a Teenage Girl; Honorable Mention (Short Story): Angels; Honorable Mention (Poetry): The Towers of Smoke; Gold Key (Poetry): The Summer of 1902 (this piece moves to the national competition) – Jack Frain (8th) – Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction): Prove It; Honorable Mention (Poetry): Turn of Events; Honorable Mention (Humor):Ole’ Man Rick and Mama – Allison Horan (10th) – Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction): You Fancy Yourself a Writer – Daniel Kalus (7th) – Honorable Mention (Poetry): It’s a Human; Honorable Mention (Poetry): Solid Moments – Sabrina Lawrence (7th) – Honorable Mention (Flash Fiction): Escape – Allison Li (7th) – Silver Key (Poetry): The Maiden; Gold Key (Poetry): Letters on a Page(this piece moves to the national competition) – Sanders Linker (8th) – Silver Key (Flash Fiction): The Lockup – Cayleigh Nicholson (7th) -Silver Key (Poetry): Jack the Ripper; 3 Poems; Honorable Mention (Poetry): The Willows Have Lost Their King – Sandy Otap (9th) – Honorable Mention (Poetry): DEAR TAYLOR; Honorable Mention (Personal Essay / Memoir): Cinnamon – Alex Pawlik (7th) – Honorable Mention (Poetry): Faded Glory – Gabby Villacres (7th) – Gold Key (Poetry): Silence (this piece moves to the national competition); Gold Key (Poetry): Transcendence (this piece moves to the national competition) – Rivers Ulmer (8th) – Silver Key (Short Story): Falling Out

On January 20, 2015, we placed 4th out of 24 schools and 36 teams at the South Carolina Independent School Association High School Math Meet. As our current highest grade is 10th, we competed against juniors and seniors and did amazing — including a top 3 individual high scorer! Congratulations to all of the participating students and our USL Math teachers: Mrs. Brockman, Mrs. Lawrie, Ms. Donoghue, Mrs. Koches, and Mr. Zenauskas!

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