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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!

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