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!

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

Bernard Baruch Park

“We’re going on a walk tomorrow, so bring extra water,” Mrs. Crosby announced to the student body on April 23. At lunch the following day (a Wonderful Wednesday), we set out for Bernard Baruch Park. The students walked the walk and talked the talk, spilling out along the sidewalks towards Church Street. Dr. Neubauer reminded the high-schoolers to keep their conversations PG. “There are small children,” she told us. Church Street is the same as Highway 17 and we had to cross it to get to the park. Our crossing (like a giant amoeba) would be called chaotic by anyone who witnessed the spectacle. Luckily, no one was run over and we eventually made it to the park.

The park was sunny and completely empty. The picnic tables were wiped down, the swings were swarmed, the basketball courts were immediately occupied. We ate, swung, and shot baskets until it was time to go back. Thank you, Mrs. Crosby and Dr. Neubauer, for arranging this outing!

By Emily