The spirit of Learning Outside the Classroom is to explore for oneself, and this allows one to make informed decisions based on experience. In mid-February, groups of students had the chance to attend presidential events for Jeb Bush,John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump. Students have had the chance to assess presidential candidates and how they present themselves. It is always neat to see adults buzz with the presence of students, and our children appreciate this positive feedback and get a lot of practice talking with strangers as they field questions. US Senator Tim Scott was on hand for the Rubio event, and it was neat for students to see him again because he visited USL last year. We hadguest speakers from the Republican, Democratic, Green, and Libertarian parties. Donald Trump was at a private plantation in Walterboro for the Sportsmen for Trump event. Trump only spoke for 15 minutes, but there was a large crowd of 2000+. The students saw and talked with Mt. Pleasant Mayor Linda Page. Another highlight was Post and Courier reporter Paul Bowers interviewing the students about their thoughts, and he quoted two of them in his recap article.
In early-February, 2016, the results for the Scholastic Art & Writing competition for the Southeast Region were revealed. This competition is for 7-12th graders, and this year our 7th-11th graders entered 120 works of fiction, nonfiction, personal memoir, and poetry and received an amazing 94 awards! 84% of our students were honored. 17 Gold Keys were won, and these pieces will move on to the national level. Typically the number of submissions in the region numbers in the tens of thousands and for the country is 250,000+. It is our practice and belief to have all of our eligible students take part in this competition. Our talented and driven group of learners have been inspired and guided to become better and more confident writers by their devoted teachers — success that has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards!
On February 4, 2016, we had a successful day at the SCISA State Literary Meet, and we are proud of our participants and are grateful to Sara Peck, our Middle and Upper School English teacher, for inspiring and chaperoning 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. We participated in 1-2 events a few years ago, and this was only our third year fielding a full-complement of students in the array of fields. It was a busy day with a large contingent of schools present. Congratulations to following top finishers:
Allison Horan, 11th grade, for winning 2nd Place in High School Girls essay writing. Gabby Villacres, 8th grade, for winning 3rd Place in Middle School Girls extemporaneous speaking. Allison Li, 8th grade, for winning 1st Place in Middle School Girls essay writing. Participants: Middle School Oral Interpretation: Julian Griffin & Cayleigh Nicholson — Middle School Extemporaneous Speaking: Daniel Kalus & Gabby Villacres — Middle School Essay: Rhett Baldwin & Allison Li — Upper School Extemporaneous Speaking: Kennon Saad & Anne Adragna — Upper School Essay: Miko Crowley & Allison Horan –Upper School Oral Interpretation: Ellie Manucy & Cole Jones
On January 19, 2016, we won First Place Team at the South Carolina Independent School Association Middle School Math Meet, and this included having two of the top three high scorers for the whole competition! Congratulations to all of the participating students and our Middle School Math teachers: Mrs. Brockman, Mrs. Lawrie, and Ms. Elmore. The following were our participating students: Thomas Boyle (Third overall individual), Ron Kalus, Sabrina Lawrence, Allison Li (First overall individual), Isabel Prioleau, Julian Hill, Daniel Kalus, Mary Lee, Cayleigh Nicholson, Alex Pawlik, Jack Woodward. This is our third year of participating in this competition, and we’ve now placed First, Second, and First. Coupled with our Second Place finish in last week’s High School Meet, we are on quite a roll in Mathematics! This is quite a testament to our Math program at University School, and kudos go to our Math teachers in all three divisions: Mrs. Brockman, Ms. Donoghue, Ms. Elmore, and Mrs. Lawrie. Our students also benefit from our individualized approach to the subject. In the Middle School, for example, students take classes at the level where they need to be. This includes 8th graders taking Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II. No other school in the state does this.
On January 12, 2016, we won Second Place Team at the South Carolina Independent School