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St. Frances chooses Pawliday art from TGS

St. Frances Animal Shelter has chosen several pieces of student art for their annual Pawliday Cards Fundraiser. Artwork by Zoey, Jack, Luke, Nolan, and Genevieve (6th grade) will be reproduced on Christmas cards. These cards will be for sale at local stores, including the Cat Cafe.

There will be an Awards Ceremony on Monday, November 1, at 3:30 pm at the Center, says Morgan Lowry, board member of St. Frances. Congratulations to our artists, and congratulations to our Art teacher, Mrs. Patrick. Thank you, St. Frances, for giving us a way to help!

October 6, 2021: Marsh Deane

On Wednesday, October 6, our school welcomed Marsh Deane, a former student of many of our teachers, who is now working locally. Marsh grew up in Pawleys Island and graduated from Lowcountry in 2008. He went on to attend Clemson University to study landscape architecture. However, Marsh switched majors a few times before transferring to Coastal Carolina University, where he got his degree. He realized he was on a winding path to discover what he was really passionate about: nature.

“I love nature,” Marsh told us, and so he has returned to his childhood roots. As a kid, Marsh had thrived in the great outdoors, spending a lot of time outdoors on Pawleys Island and the Black River. One of his biggest inspirations growing up was Steve Irwin, the Australian conservationist and star of Crocodile Hunter.  Marsh began to think about a career in nature photography and videography in our area.

So he started MLML Media, partly in response to people’s general attitude towards millennials. “Some people think we are selfish and uncaring,” he said.  “But I want to prove them wrong.”  Marsh is now a videographer/photographer, and shares his enthusiasm for nature by working with different groups on projects.  He has an annual event now, the Tour de Plantersville, which he organizes for the local non-profit Village People.  (This year’s Tour de Plantersville is Saturday, October 30—bring your bike!) Marsh talked to us about self worth, motivation, and other things he has learned throughout his life. “Be undeniable,” Marsh concluded. “Be undeniably you!”  After a challenging school experience last year, this was what the student body needed to hear.

By T. J.

River Day 2021

After more than a year of wearing masks and fighting COVID, TGS was finally able to celebrate River Day.  We all missed this annual tradition, but the social distancing and hygiene protocols we had to endure just made our hearts grow fonder.  When we were finally able to come together out on the Black River, it was the most fun we have had in almost two long years.  “River Day was the best way to kick off the year!” said Saylor. “It was a great way to get to know everyone.”

Even though the rain held off, the South Carolina heat was in full force out at Mrs. Crosby’s house.  Students immdiately donned their swimsuits and jumped into the river.  Some were paddling around in kayaks, others were behind the two motorboats trying out tubing and kneeboarding.  Tubing was a hit with Morgan: “I got to watch people fall off the tube!” he said. Dr. Gates splashed around, swamping kayaks.  Boys had an artistic jumping session off the dock.

Lots of kids enjoyed the paddle board (perhaps not as it was intended!).  The Crosbys’ two Labradors joined in the fun, fetching balls and going for rides in the kayaks.  Several students tried their hand at creating multi-layer water balloons—one student managed to make one with three layers.  Then they promptly threw them at people.

Dr. Simmons, Dr. Gates, and Nico cooked up burgers and hot dogs on the grill for everyone.  Parents had sent delicious sides, such as delicious baked beans and brownies, cookies, and cupcakes.  Luke especially like the chili: “It was fantastic,” he said. Everyone was hungry and tired, but after resting a little and eating together, many people went back out on the water.  All too soon, parents arrived to take their tired children home.

TGS give a huge thank you to the Crosby family, the Edwards family, and the Anderson family for all they did to make River Day 2021 a big success.  River Day is once again when we swim, paddle, and eat together, creating the bonds that hold us together as Kingfishers at school and beyond.  As the world is slowly creeping back, happily TGS is pushing faster than the rest!

By Ethan, Annika, and Saylor

September 22, 2021: Coach Sophie Ricker

Today TGS welcomed the second Open Forum speaker of the year. Sophie Ricker, our new sailing coach, came to introduce herself and the program. She spoke about sailing and the importance of following your passion.

Sophie was young when she first learned to sail (her grandfather made her learn but she wasn’t that into the sport). Once she was at college, though, she signed up for the sailing team at the school’s Activities Fair, again on the advice of her grandfather. At first she didn’t sail much because she was an alternate, but when a team mate got a concussion at Nationals, she began to compete.

It was during her competitive college sailing that Sophie had a “click” moment. She became extremely competitive and won three races. “I was always told to be a piranha, not a goldfish,” she said. “But I became too much of a piranha and became a shark!”

After her success, Sophie decided to take on the job of president of her sailing club. She immediately faced challenges: the team moved up to varsity level and people were quitting. Other people tried to tell her she wasn’t qualified to lead the club and she was starting to doubt herself. Then a friend stepped in. “Don’t worry about who is better qualified,” the friend said. “If you want to do something, just do it.” This is good advice for all of us.

Sophie is helping her parents by managing their donut shop Parlor Donuts at Pawleys Island. She promised to bring some donuts to sailing practice!. Thank you, Sophie! It’s great to have you become part of our school life and community,

By Annika

Personal Finance Looks at Cars

The Personal Finance class visited a second small business in downtown Georgetown on Wednesday, May 12. Karen Hansmeyer of P. I. Kustomz graciously agreed to show us around. P.I. Kustomz is a body shop on St. James Street with an ever-changing collection of cool cars on display. Karen runs the front office and her brother Paul works on the cars, transforming them from wrecks into seriously nice vehicles.

Jack and Jordan examine an unpromising specimen.

Karen showed us the showroom where an old Scout International has been restored to its former glory. She explained their business model: they see the potential in old or damaged cars, buy them for $200-$400, then flip them to sell for up to ten times the price.

“My brother can see what others can’t,” Karen told us. She introduced us to Paul. Paul invited us to come into the body shop–two large areas with a paint room off to the side. Everywhere we looked, there were Jeeps.

“People just love Jeeps,” said Paul. “All of these I’m working on now are already sold.” We saw a Scrambler, a custom-chopped Gladiator, a pink lowrider, several Wranglers, and even some military Jeeps. Paul has recently figured out how to put an electric engine into a Jeep to satisfy some of his customers. “I’m not worried about the future of my business,” he said. “I can always adapt.”

Ethan, Jack, Kelsi, and Jordan peer through the store front.

Paul explained that their father had had a mechanic’s shop in South Africa–that’s how he got his start working on cars. “I was out working with him every day after school, even as a little boy,” he said. At age 19, he was hired by a parts store. He reorganized the store top to bottom and took charge when the boss was away. “I did everything from making the coffee to taking orders to managing the money,” he said, noting that he has always had mind for business.

Karen and Paul’s dad taught them to be self-sufficient and to “think outside the box.” Karen told the story of wanting a watch when she was growing up. Her dad said, fine, but she had to pay for it. Rather than letting her work in a shop for wages, he forced her to come up with her own way of making money. She and Paul started a pet-dipping business (treating dogs for ticks) in their neighborhood, which taught her a valuable lesson and got her the watch.

Paul worked for many years in the Pawleys area for various car dealers refurbishing and repairing their stock. He quickly outgrew his workshop behind his house. “There were days when my wife would come home and not find a place to park,” he laughed. She told him he had to find a shop or a new house, so he eventually acquired the property on St. James Street four years ago.

Paul thrives on being self-employed. “Some people are content to draw a paycheck,” he told us. “But to really get ahead, you’ve got to start something yourself.” All of P. I. Kustomz’ business comes through word-of-mouth and they have more business than they can handle.

Paul and Karen both stressed the value of hard work and innovation when developing a new business. “You have to think differently from everyone else,” Paul said. “And you need to stick your neck out and take risks.” He had lots of advice on money management and how to be a successful entrepreneur, so this was a great field trip for Personal Finance. The class had a good time asking questions and looking at all the cool cars. Thank you, P. I. Kustomz for an entertaining and enlightening tour!

Success at the Crazy Legs Golf Tournament!

After months of preparation and a rain delay, the first annual Crazy Legs Golf Tournament took place on May 1 at Wedgefield Country Club. Volunteers set everything up the night before, then started turning up at 7:00 Saturday morning to run the event. It was a gorgeous day at Wedgefield Country Club and the golfers were all in an excellent mood, especially given the early hour.  They registered with Ms. Sandy, received their goody bags, then pulled out their wallets to purchase mulligans and chances on a 50/50 raffle.  Then they jumped in their carts.  After a welcome from Mitch Thompkins, owner of Wedgefield, the carts were off for a shotgun start around 8:30.

Throughout the course, golfers encountered several hole-in-one contest holes.  However, no one was successful and none of those prizes were won. After all of the golfers were finished, students helped serve pilau in the Wedgefield dining room and the winners of the silent auction and Crazy Legs Contest were announced.

This was the first year for this event and it was a huge success, thanks to everyone’s help.  We got almost $10,000 for our scholarship fund! The leaders of the Kingfisher Crew—Sandy, Mahi, and Sheila—did a great job and everyone pitched in to get sponsors for the tournament and stuff for the silent auction.  We want to thank all our sponsors, especially our platinum sponsor Graham Funeral Home and our silver sponsors Design House & Daniel Engineering.  What a great day!  See you next year!

by Annika

Halloween 2020

Is it possible to enjoy Halloween without candy? Kingfishers say yes! On Halloween morning, the halls were filled with costumed students, including an eight-foot inflatable dinosaur, various scary characters, Alice in Wonderland, Dopey, and many more. Luckily, temperatures outside dropped, so the kids managed to stay masked and costumed for the whole day, which made it all the more festive—even without candy. Once again, Halloween was sweet day at TGS!


Kingfishers were on hand the afternoon and evening of September 26 at the historic Kaminski House in downtown Georgetown to help set up the major fund-raising event for the South Carolina Environmental Law Project. The annual SCELP “Wild Side” dinner and silent auction took place on the front lawn, under the oaks overlooking the Sampit River.

Mrs. Patrick had volunteered to make centerpieces for all the tables and she also corralled a small but industrious group of TGS students (and Dr. Neubauer) to help with setting-up. Together they festooned the boughs of the trees with paper jelly-fish. They brought out tables and chairs to set up the dining area on the grass. They helped wherever they were needed, including during the dinner itself to bus tables and manage the trash.

We Kingfishers are proud to help out SCELP, whose mission is to provide legal assistance to all who want to protect our natural resources or are threatened by environmental degradation in our state. “These last ten months have been life-altering for us all,” says Amy Armstrong, executive director of SCELP. “We must act together to preserve and safeguard South Carolina’s Wild Side.” Kingfishers are proud to help out SCELP, whose mission is to provide legal assistance to all who want to protect our natural resources or are threatened by environmental degradation in our state. Thank you to TGS volunteers Nico, Isaac, Ethan, Sagel, Alivia, Annika and of course to Mrs. Patrick and Dr. Neubauer.

Personal Finance takes a trip

On Wednesday, May 5, the Personal Finance class took a field to trip to PoBoy’s Restaurant Discount to see what this small business was all about.  We were standing in front of an ugly blue machine made of cast iron near the front of the store.  It was a pot-bellied contraption with an opening at the top.  It was lined with abrasive rock, and we could see that it rotated and used steam from two valves.

“I have a prize for whoever can tell me what this is for,” said Rodney Long, who with Dwayne Christensen owns PoBoy’s Discount.  The kids debated for awhile, then T.J. came up with the correct answer. “Is it a potato peeler?”  he asked.  “Yes,” said Rodney.  “We got this bad boy from the Navy.”  He then gave T. J. the promised prize—a cafeteria serving spoon.

Finding out that there are industrial potato peelers is just one of many surprises that await the visitor to PoBoy’s.  Rodney and Dwayne deal in used restaurant equipment, a service that helps entrepreneurs get started in the restaurant business without laying out a lot of cash for freezers, stoves, and other machinery.  Rodney explained that restaurant equipment is built to last and does not depreciate in value that much, so buying used is often the best idea.  If the restaurant fails (and up to 50% of them do within five years), PoBoy’s will buy the equipment back to resell.  This allows the restaurant to recoup some of its losses.

Among the other weird and wonderful machines we saw were a bun-butterer, a hugely expensive steamer, and stand mixers that can handle a bazillion gallons of batter at one time.  There was even an abstract statue of Bob Marley with twisted metal for dreadlocks from the now-defunct Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach.

If you have a hard-to-buy-for friend or family member with a birthday coming up, check out PoBoy’s for a gift.  The strange selection of stock always has something no one would ever think of!  Thank you, Rodney, for the great tour!