Dr. Gates, along with several faculty members, was part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Spirit-Filled Ambassadors for Christ ministry in Andrews. TGS was invited to set up a booth as an opportunity to tell the attendees about our school. It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, July 27, in the friendly town of Andrews. We met some very nice folks and ate some delicious food. Mr. Jim Dumm, long-time director of Tara Hall, was also on hand with members of his board to publicize our new partner school, The Tara Academy. Thank you to Dr. Deshawn Rouse and Mrs. Debra Rouse for including us in this day of fun and celebration!
The Georgetown School will be partnering with Tara Hall to start a new school for 3rd and 4th graders out in the county. Located on Tara Hall’s beautiful 11-acre campus on Black Mingo Creek, the new school will serve families from Andrews, Hemingway, and Johnsonville, as well as Georgetown. This outreach is a new and expanding mission for Tara Hall, which has a 50-year history of helping educate young people from Georgetown and nearby counties. Third- and fourth-graders who are educated at The Tara Academy will be ready for fifth grade at TGS and Tara Hall is giving TGS access to its impressive facilities: a river dock, playing fields, a full gymnasium, and forest trails. We are very excited about this new opportunity!
The last day of school finally arrived and it was time to look back over a year of achievement and growth. Dr. Gates welcomed the crowd of students, families, and friends, then talked about several new scientific studies on why IQ scores have been declining since 2006. One theory is that having smart phones has decreased our attention spans, made it harder for us to learn material, and distracted us from being fully present in class, for example. Dr. Gates pointed out that students at our school have never lived in an era without smart phones and challenged us to learn to curb any bad effects they might be having on classroom learning.
Then our wonderful students were recognized for their amazing achievements in 2018-2019 in science, SCISA events, sports, the arts and more. At the end, teachers took turns presenting the six TGS awards to Grayson (Senior Speech), Ryleigh (Academics), Margaret (Service), Naomi (Athletic/Extra-curricular), Manny (Art), and Qulex (Kingfisher).
Filled with anticipation and excitement, a large crowd of family and friends, students and faculty gathered in the Winyah Auditorium on May 24 for the 6th Commencement Exercises of The Georgetown School of Arts & Sciences.
Father Richard C. Wilson of Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church gave the invocation, followed by a warm welcome to the crowd and Class of 2019 by Joyce Gates, president of the Board of Directors of the school.
Salutatorian Grayson, who has attended TGS since the sixth grade, thanked his teachers and friends for a great experience together in the classroom, on the field, and even on stage. “If you asked my ninth-grade self if I would play the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz in three years, I would have laughed,” Grayson said. “But now I’m grateful that I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Everyone here has a chance to do that.” He ended his address with a tribute to his mother, Barbara Sossamon, saying, “She is my number one fan—she is the best.”
Brynn, valedictorian, evoked her community service, her internship with St. Frances, and her time leading a group on the school trip as highlights of her time at TGS. “One thing I love about the learning community is the relationship between teacher and student,” she said. “When you are a student at TGS, you are in a place where you can have personal conversations and connections with your teachers, but they still are strict enough to make you to do your work and behave.” Brynn concluded by thanking her grandparents Paul and Patricia Parsley for always pushing her to do her best.
Sarah Exum of the TGS Class of 2015 and a 2019 graduate of the University of Indiana gave the graduation address, sharing wisdom that she received from her grandmother about the “three bones” that are necessary for success: a “wish bone” for dreaming big dreams, a “back bone” for standing up for what is right, and a “funny bone” for keeping life in perspective and not taking yourself too seriously.
Finally Dr. Gary Gates called the roll of graduates, who came forward to receive their diplomas and stand beside him. The crowd saw a mixture of emotion on their faces and tears in their eyes. Dr. Gates thanked each graduate for his or her special contribution to the culture of the school and congratulated them on their fine achievement.
The crowd rushed down to congratulate the newly graduated students and celebrate with a reception in the hall. The Class of 2019 is composed of Brynn (University of S. C.), Grayson (Coastal Carolina University), Cathryn (Flagler University), and (Xavier University).