Senior Speeches 2022

The proud tradition of Senior Speeches at TGS was upheld on Wednesday, May 11 by Jack, Ethan, and T. J., our 2022 graduates. This was our concluding Open Forum for the year.

Getting ready for senior speeches begins in College Prep class with Dr. Simmons.  Seniors choose a topic to speak about, then deliver a speech to the audience of students, parents, and faculty. Finally, they take questions from the audience. The seniors are evaluated by the faculty and the person with the highest score wins the Senior Speech Award at Graduation.

After Dr. Gates welcomed everyone, especially the parents, he explained why TGS has senior speeches as a graduation requirement. “There are many issues about which reasonable people differ,” he said. “ An educated person should be able to defend a position and also be able to discuss the issue with others in a civil manner.”

Jack was up first and he defended hunting as a great outdoor sport, saying that licensing and fees that hunters pay support conservation efforts, and that certain animal populations (for example, deer) need to be humanely culled. Invasive or undesirable species (feral pigs) can also be eliminated through hunting.

Ethan was second.  He promoted the use of digital archives as a relatively inexpensive way to preserve documents from the past. Digitizing documents makes them both more accessible (easier to use) and accessible to more people.  Old maps, for example, can be enhanced by the computer to look like the day they were drawn.

T. J. was our third senior and he asserted that EVs are not yet ready to replace gas-powered cars.  T. J. took the case of Tesla as an example. Although electricity does not pollute the air in the way gas does, electricity must still be produced by traditional means. Furthermore, the batteries for EVs are huge, heavy, degradable, and difficulty to replace.

The TGS audience supported our 2022 graduates with warm applause and thoughtful questions. Jack, Ethan, and T. J. did a great job and were very glad to have cleared this final hurdle.

Second Annual TGS Golf Tournament

On April 30, TGS held its Second Annual Golf Tournament at Wedgefield Country Club. The preparations had begun weeks in advance as the Kingfisher Crew sold tickets, looked for sponsors, and gathered items for the Silent Auction. On the big day, set-up began at 7:00am and golfers began signing in by 8:00.

Golf foursomes piled into their carts and headed out for the shotgun start on what promised to be a beautiful Saturday under the oaks. Soon they were on their way, and the volunteers turned their attention to setting up the Silent Auction. As golfers finished their rounds, they headed to the Clubhouse where they could browse all the items for auction and enjoy lunch.

Thank you to Sandy Martin, president of the Kingfisher Crew, and to all her able helpers. Thanks also to Wedgefield Country Club for hosting the event. A huge thank you goes out to all our sponsors–sponsorships were excellent this year and the event earned more than its goal. We can’t wait to do it again.

By Annika

Victorian Gothic: Prom 2022

Where do you find yourself when twilight falls on a Friday night in May?  If it’s Friday the 13th and you are in high school at TGS, you are at Prom!

TGS Juniors organized Prom 2022 at Kimbell Lodge at Hobcaw and the theme was Victorian Gothic. Black and red balloons festooned the dance floor, red lights twinkled above the doors, and posters and cutouts of characters from the Twilight series seemed to watch the festivities, vaguely approving. Vampires were very welcome and if you forgot your fangs, you could pick some up at the door!

After Ethan was crowned Prom King, the party settled into dancing, chatting, and munching on cake and fresh popcorn. Juniors Kelsi, Ella, and Isaac ran around taking care of the music and party supplies. Everyone hit the floor for the Cha-Cha Slide, the Wobble, and the Cupid Shuffle, with surprising coordination. “The dancing was really fun,” said Annika. “When it wasn’t a line dance everybody just did random moves, including running into people.” Jack showed his prowess at cowboy and Russian dancing.

Prom 2022 wound down around 11:00 but the party went on and the memories will live in our hearts forever. Thank you for a fabulous evening, Class of 2023! Thank you also to our parents who helped organize and to sponsors/chaperons Dr. Simmons and Señora Yorky!

Ahoy! Sailing Club on the Sampit all year

Every Monday, TGS students collect their life jackets and flock to the dock down at the South Carolina Maritime Museum for Sailing Club.  Dr. Gates is the coach and Sophie Richer helped us get started back in the fall.  The SCMM loans us the boats in return for community service hours. 

The boats we use are small two-person racing craft called 420s.  The SCMM stores them on Goat Island, so the first task is to go tow them over to the dock.  Mr. Jim Edwards brings his launch to do this job and rescue the sailboats if they get into trouble.

Every week, we practice getting the sails and lines ready, then we go out for a quick turn in the Sampit River.  One person is the driver and handles the tiller and mainsail.  The other person minds the jib and does whatever the “captain” says. Ethan Ab, Morgan, Jack S. and Baryck are the sailors in the Club.

 If the weather is bad, we meet inside the SCMM and Dr. Gates and Mr. Jim teach us how to tie different knots: bowline, square, proper cleat hitch.

We are very grateful to the SCMM for their support of our program.  The kids enjoy sailing and sometimes running into the docks.  They also like to see Dr. Gates sail the two-person boat alone.

By Ethan Ab.

State Drama Festival

TGS high school thespians headed down the road to the Sumter Opera House on November 30 to compete in the SCISA State Drama Festival, after winning at the regional level on November 18.

Kingfishers were first in the line-up. Dr. Gates and Senora Yorky helped make sure everything was ready. Then they sat back to enjoy The Sandbox one final time. The actors wowed them, even though they did not win.

“They hit is perfectly,” said Dr. Gates. “The audience gasped in all the right places!”

The Sandbox is an early Absurdist play by Edward Albee. There is minimal dialogue and the “fourth wall” of the theater is done away with. Big Ethan and Kelsi played Mommy and Daddy. Jordan was the Musician and Isaac was the Young Man. Sage stole the show as Grandma. “It’s a very challenging piece for actors,” said Dr. Gates, “but the kids really rose to the occasion.” Thank you to everyone who made our SCISA Drama Festival so much fun this year.

Thanksgiving Feast 2021

We are thankful that we could gather together again this year and share a meal together before the Thanksgiving break. The food was delicious, the fellowship was warm, and everyone was just happy to be back on track with one of our main TGS traditions.

Thank you to everyone who prepared food, set up tables, and cleaned up. A special thank-you goes to Mrs. Patrick and her students for the beautifully decorated tables.

TGS Wins at SCISA Regional Drama Festival

Putting the drama drought of 2020 behind us, TGS hosted the SCISA Regional Drama Festival on November 18.  We were very happy to welcome our competitors, Cathedral Academy of Charleston, to the Winyah Auditorium. The SCISA Drama Festival challenges drama troupes all over S. C. to present short plays (no more than 30 minutes) with minimal props and scenery.

After Dr. Gates welcomed the crowd and introduced our four distinguished judges, TGS Middle School presented Perfect Timing. Brennan (Nathan Hopkins) learns a lesson about falsely accusing others, a lesson in the form of an involuntary audition for a school play dreamed up by his best friend Chris (Baryck Jackson).

Next up was CA’s Middle School with The Toy That Saved Christmas, adapted from Veggie Tales.  Buzzsaw Louie (Liam Stormer) is a popular children’s toy who rejects his manufacturer’s consumeristic message.  Louie and the children of Dinkletown learn the true meaning of Christmas from Grandpa George (Ryan Scogin), the town mailman.

Then CA’s High School presented Christmas with Little Women.  Amy (Taylor Leggette), Beth (Ariel Porter), Meg (Matti Riddick), and Jo (Emmy Hagen) keep each other’s spirits up during a difficult Christmas.  They comfort their mother Mrs. March (Faith Burgess), who has just received news that their father is sick. When Aunt March (Vivian Wade) pays them a visit, the family’s loving generosity inspires the miserly old relative with the spirit of Christmas.

Finally, TGS’s High School put on The Sandbox, an early work by Edward Albee.  In an ambiguous space that is alternatively beach, sandbox, stage, and coffin, Mommy (Kelsi Forrester) and Daddy (Ethan Anderson) bring Grandma (Sage Fairclough) to meet the Young Man (Isaac Shumard) who turns out to be the Angel of Death.

Here are the results of the competition:

Best HS play: The Sandbox                        Runner-up: Christmas with Little Women

Best MS play: The Toy That Saved Christmas    Runner-up: Perfect Timing

Best HS actor: Ethan Anderson (Daddy)

Honorable Mention: Boone Cooper (Laurie)

Best HS actress: Matti Riddick (Meg)

Honorable Mention: Kelsi Forrester (Mommy), Jordan Brenner (Musician), Vivian Wade (Aunt March), Sage Fairclough (Grandma)

Best MS Actor: Liam Stormer (Buzzsaw Louie)             

Honorable Mention: Nathan Hopkins (Brennan)

Thanks to everyone who helped make Drama Festival 2021 a great success, with a special note of appreciation to our judges (Ms. Lewis, Ms. Anderson, Mr. Jayroe, and Ms. Ebert) who gave of their time and expertise to judge us and give us advice about how to be better.

History Shines On

If you like to spend a lot of time in the fresh air, you might consider a trip to see the North Island lighthouse.  On Friday, October 15, Dr. Simmons and his US History class did just that. At the South Island boat landing, we met the boat driver, and crossed the Intracoastal Waterway.  Almost immediately, we arrived on Cat Island, where the Education Center stands.  Our guide from DNR, Jim Lee, explained a little bit about the history of North Island. Everyone then got back on the boat and set off for our destination–the lighthouse.

The boat took us east on the South Santee River, slowing down periodically so Jim Lee could explain the history of some of the locations. The views of the marshland were spectacular.  Once we pulled up at North Island, Jim Lee treated us to a long and beautiful walk along the beach and through the woods. After about an hour, we arrived at the North Island lighthouse, a structure that was first built in the early 1800s and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years.  The lighthouse guards the entrance to Winyah Bay up up to this day, although it has been fully automated since 1986.

Tired and hungry, we sat and ate lunch before walking up the stairs of the lighthouse. When we reached the top, they were greeted by a stunning view (as well as wasps which were on the outside). “Wasps are friends,” everyone said as we walked through the swarm of wasps in order to have an unobstructed view of the bay. We could clearly see the different elevations of terrain on North Island.

After admiring the view and hearing about some more history of the island, everyone descended. On the way down the stairs, Kelsi and Isaac began singing, much to the dismay of Dr. Simmons. “No one warned me it was going to be this bad,” he said when the singing continued even after everyone was back on the ground.

The students obviously still had plenty of energy left so Jim Lee led us up Lafayette Hill, the highest point on the island. There, we saw the recently uncovered radio tower that had a palmetto tree growing through it. Then we headed back to the dock for the return trip to South Island boat landing.

We are so grateful to DNR and especially Jim Lee for the opportunity to enjoy a day on the Santee River Delta and learn about the fascinating history of our area.  Thanks to Dr. Simmons for arranging the trip as well.

By Annika

The Spooky Season

Zombies stalk the halls, behind every door is a monster more grotesque than the last. Even the teachers look creepy.  Is this the end of  the world, or is it just costume day at The Georgetown School?

Friday, October 29th marked the first  Halloween celebration TGS had in two years. With costume contests and trunk-or-treating, new  students were finally able to enjoy an old tradition. Kicking off the event were the middle and high  school costume contests. Larson (inflatable cell phone) won first prize for MS and Morgan (Teletubbie with functioning screen) won for the HS. Other notable costumes included Bristol as Dr. Simmons, Baryck as a T. rex, Isadora as Daphne, Sam as a duck, and many more.  “I really liked my chicken costume,” said Corrin. “Except for the fact  my chicken fluff got everywhere, it was great.”

After students showed off their keen sense of horror- and quirky-themed fashion, the school headed outside for trunk-or-treating. Participating teachers and students had decorated their vehicles and were distributing candy out of their trunks. Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality of the candy.  Jackson D. exclaimed, “I have a Bitcoin!” when he got a chocolate pirate doubloon from some of the high-schoolers.

Kingfishers always enjoy Halloween and we are glad it’s back!  Great job, Student Council!

By Ethan (senior)

Wooden Boat Show 2021

The Wooden Boat Show is back, and Kingfishers were there!  Almost every student had a role to play at the festival, which was held the weekend of October 16-17. We enjoyed it very much.

Ethan, Ethan, Isadora, and Bristol have served all the pilau out of three giant cauldrons.

High-schoolers volunteered to work at the WBS food tent, feeding pilau and hot-dogs to hungry visitors. They did a great job as always and made our school look good.

T. J. works on painting the oars.

Meanwhile, Mr. Patrick’s Physics class and Mrs. Crosby’s Robotics Team joined forces to enter the Corrugated Boat Challenge on Sunday afternoon.  They spent all week designing, building, and decorating the Kingfisher and the Egg of the Kingfisher with timely help from Dr. Neubauer, Mrs. Patrick, and Dr. Gates.  It was a great school effort!

Dr. Gates and Ethan carry the boat across Front Street to the river.

Our effort paid off: neither cardboard craft took on water during the race to the middle of the Sampit River!  Then the Egg won first place for Visionary Design! 

Nathan pilots the Egg back to the dock. The Egg got second place in the heat.

Many parents and families were there to witness the triumph. The WBS 2021 was a blast–let’s do it again next year!