Literary Meet 2018

On Wednesday, March 7, TGS students arrived at school before 7AM to travel to the SCISA State Literary Meet. The high schoolers in Mrs. Josie’s car jammed out to some show tunes on the way down to Charleston Southern University, the Literary Meet’s new home.

Upon arrival, TGS split up into groups for the competition. In the essay division, Isabella, Grayson, Ethan, and Julia wrote about problems such as guns in schools and Shaun White’s Olympic flag mishap. Chris, Margaret, Isaac, and Manny spoke about controversial political issues like last season’s NFL protests in extemporaneous speaking. Delsin recited poetry, and Cathryn, Jesse, Kate, and Logan performed monologues in Oral Interpretation: Dramatic. When the competition took a break for lunch, everyone felt confident. “I think I did great!” Margaret said.

The awards ceremony did not turn out quite as TGS had hoped. “Seriously, Wilson Hall, again?” Chris asked, a sentiment that echoed through the entire group. Manny won third place for her speech on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, taking home the only TGS award of the day. After fighting the fierce winds to take a picture, the team headed back to the cars, ready to go home after a long day.

By Isabella

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Young fry of treachery!

DSC_0616Mrs. Crosby’s Language Arts class put on a spirited performance of Macbeth on March 12 in the Auditorium for all students, parents, and teachers who could get away at 3rd period. The 6th and 7th-graders had carefully selected scenes to tell the story and transition smoothly. We saw it all: the witches’ eerie prophecies, Lady Macbeth’s goading, Banquo’s ghost flapping around and Macbeth’s descent into madness and death. Props included a giant hunk of dry ice and branches of cedar. “I think they showed that they understood the play very well,” said Mrs. Crosby.  Good job, Language Arts!

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The Angry Nerds Take a Trophy

Robotics 2017The Angry Nerds, the TGS Robotics team, entered their second year of competition with high hopes. The team – Jack, Nico, Nick, Taylor, Annika, and Camper – met every Wednesday as well as many days after school as the competition drew closer. “It was a lot of fun getting to learn and code the robot,” said Taylor. The robotics competition does not just involve building a robot to complete a series of tasks. Teams are also scored on core values such as teamwork and respect. They also must create and present an innovative solution to a real-world problem. This year’s theme was the Water Cycle, so the team created a system of rain barrels that repurposed the collected water. (This presentation also won first place in the Waccamaw Conference poster contest run by Riverkeepers.)

998765146_t.jpgAfter scoring in the top 30% of teams in the regional competition in December, the Angry Nerds qualified for the First LEGO League East State championships, which took place on Feb. 10. “We were so stressed,” Camper laughed. While the Angry Nerds did not place in the state competition, they were awarded the trophy Against All Odds. That award recognizes a team who performed exceptionally well without the years of experience of other teams. “We accomplished a lot, despite being a second-year team, having two people out, and not having as many materials as other teams,” said team coach Mrs. Crosby. 1001159037_t.jpg

This week, the middle school Robotics team received a grant from the Elks Lodge to finance the building of next year’s robot. The 8th graders on the team will not be eligible to participate next year, but the Robotics team will still be going strong. We wish them luck with their new robot next year!

By Isabella


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Science Fair

DSC_0580As the end of the third quarter approaches, so does the science fair. Students scrambled to set up their boards and rehearse their presentations one final time before the bell rang on the morning of Tuesday, March 6. Judges Jennifer Plunkett, Frank Johnson, and Stephen Thompson traveled from across Horry and Georgetown counties to view the science fair presentations of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th grades.

Two long, nerve-wracking hours of deliberation later, Dr. Neubauer gathered the school in the Big Room to announce the results. This year, she revealed, the judges decided to award each grade separately. DSC_0583In the 5th grade, Corrin, J’Marion, Trevon, and Blake received an Honorable Mention, while Hayden won first prize. Logan and Camper tied for first in the 6th grade. Isaac won for the 7th grade, while both Ella and Taylor received Honorable Mentions. DSC_0577“It was fun to learn,” Taylor said, laughing, “and not stressful at all!” Finally, Naomi and Johnathon tied for first place in the 9th grade.

“The fair was smaller this year,” said Dr. Neubauer, “but we had a lot of high-quality projects.” Most of the TGS contestants are gearing up to compete in the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Charleston next month. “The kids are really looking forward to it,” Dr. Neubauer said. We wish them luck!

By Isabella


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All the world’s a stage

DSC_0381Ambition, madness, blood, humiliation, clashing egos—all loomed larger than life as two of Shakespeare’s works were brought to life during the fourth annual Georgetown Shakespeare Festival. The traveling troupe of the American Shakespeare Center played to a full house at its matinee performance of Macbeth on February 2 while a record crowd enjoyed the evening performance of The Taming of the Shrew on February 3. Both plays were performed at the historic Winyah Auditorium. The Georgetown Shakespeare Festival is organized each year by our school with the help of generous sponsors.

The American Shakespeare Center sets itself apart by staging Shakespeare’s plays the same way Shakespeare or any other Elizabethan director would have. Actors play several roles in a single play, with men often taking the parts of women and vice versa. Because the stage and seating area are both lit, players and spectators can see each other. Seats up on the stage allow actors to interact with audience members. Live music accompanies all productions.

Close to 300 area students watched enthralled as Macbeth (Calder Schilling) allowed himself to be tempted by his wife and his own ambition into killing King Duncan (Ronald Román-Meléndez), then into committing even greater crimes. The prophecies of the Weird Sisters (Hilary Aleca Caldwell, Kyle Powell, Annabelle Rollinson) and the Ghost of Banquo (Josh Clark) mesmerized the students. “The witches gave me chills,” said Sydni.  Many students gave Macbeth kudos on social media.DSC_0454

“The ASC’s talent is amazing,” said Shannon Lewis, former colleague of TGS faculty and now an English teacher at Myrtle Beach Middle School.  “What an incredible opportunity for our students to enjoy live theatre.  Macbeth is a standard in the high school curriculum so it was great for our students to see the play as it was meant to be seen.” Lewis was there with 105 MBMS students. She and several other MBMS teachers have brought well over 400 middle school English students to the Georgetown Shakespeare Festival since 2015.

Sandra Perry, teacher at Francis Wardlaw Academy, brought 14 students all the way from Edgefield to see Macbeth. “One of our young men lives almost an hour from the school so he had to rise at 4:30 am,” she said. “But he said he would do it again.” Perry hopes to generate enough interest in her students for an overnight stay in Georgetown next year.

“We are very privileged to be able to partner with the ASC,” said Dr. Gates. “Every year our kids look forward to their arrival. Live theatre of this caliber usually only happens in big cities but the ASC has been bringing the magic to Georgetown for four years now.”DSC_0457

On Friday evening, there was a special showing of Cole Porter’s and George Sidney’s musical “Kiss Me Kate” the Strand Cinema on Front Street. “Kiss Me Kate” (1953) is loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew and features funny songs and lots of tap-dancing. We were so glad to partner with the Strand for this warm-up to the ASC’s The Taming of the Shrew.

The audience at The Taming of the Shrew enjoyed a half hour pre-show of live and unplugged music performed by the actors on various instruments. Then the ASC players came back on stage for the main event–a riveting comedic performance of Shakespeare’s famous battle of the sexes. The chemistry and awakening affection between Kate (Annabelle Rollinson) and Petruchio (Ronald Román-Meléndez) was very authentic, despite their outward behavior towards each other. The audience was able come to terms with Kate’s submission to her new husband. ASC players received a standing ovation, then mingled with members of the audience to answer questions and take pictures out in the hall.

On Saturday during the day, the ASC also hosted two educational workshops for students at The Georgetown School and interested members of the public. In “Sound Effects in Macbeth,” Thomas Coppola and Ally Farzetto led an exploration of the various instruments used to create the sounds of storm and battle for that play, such as the thunder-sheet and drums. A percussion instrument called the water phone provided the haunting ethereal music for the Weird Sisters’ and Banquo’s apparition. The participants tried their hand at playing the instruments and reading scary passages to create dramatic effects.

DSC_0436“It takes one hour of practice to create ten seconds of fighting on stage,” the ASC’s Josh Clark told students at the beginning of the “Stage Combat” workshop. He and fellow actor Kyle Powell explained the three principles of fighting on stage: safety, believability, and storytelling. Participants enthusiastically paired up with each other, learning how to create realistic stage punches and slaps in slow motion. They learned that the “victims” are as important as the “attackers” because they are in charge of reacting at the right time and making the sound. “Always make eye contact before you throw your punch,” Powell instructed. “Pay attention to the cues.”

The Georgetown Shakespeare Festival ended on February 7 with a talk for students and the general public by Richard Willis, a practicing attorney in Columbia, professor of law at USC, and Shakespeare scholar. Willis spoke at Open Forum about Shakespeare’s power to stimulate our imaginations and our empathy for others. Willis was impressed at the number of plays TGS students had already seen. “You guys know more about Shakespeare than any other audience I’ve talked to lately,” he told the students. “Good job!”DSC_0379

Willis was also the featured speaker at a Continuing Legal Education seminar on “Shakespeare and the Law,” organized by local attorney and TGS mom Elizabeth Attias for about 25 participants, also on February 7.  “Shakespeare loved lawyers,” said Willis. “He put trials in 18 out of 37 of his plays. Why? Because trials are conflict and audiences love good conflict.” Willis’ presentation “The Trial of Hamlet for the Murder of Polonius” featured live acting by several TGS students.

“The American Shakespeare Center will definitely headline our Shakespeare Festival next year,” said Dr. Gates. “In 2019, the ASC will be touring with two Shakespeare plays—The Winter’s Tale and Comedy of Errors, plus the classical Greek tragedy Antigone.”

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Gladiatorial Games

On Friday, February 9, the Latin I class hosted their annual Gladiatorial Games. Students dressed up as various types of gladiators and faced off on the front lawn with bamboo sticks and Minecraft swords as weapons.


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Abstract Art

DSC_0317On Tuesday, January 23, the high school went on a field trip to the Myrtle Beach Art Museum. They left the school in the morning to see William H. Miller’s art exhibit, “What You See is What You Get.” The exhibit examines an artist’s struggle between two art media: digital art and acrylic painting. Mr. Miller creates abstract art to communicate complex themes and his emotions. He wants to stir a viewer’s mind. Everyone sees something different in his art, Mr. Miller said, “and everyone’s interpretation is valid.” Miller wants to remix his notions of imagery and meaning. The pictures are bold, colorful and dynamic abstractions. However, they are not complete until the viewer forms their own opinion. DSC_0312Avery Rose was intrigued by the art, asking him lots of questions during the tour. He expressed how no matter the medium, art is art.

Following the tour, students made their way to the museum’s upstairs studio. There, each student made their own abstract art. As there was not enough time to use acrylics, the museum provided watercolors. DSC_0319Since Mr. Miller revealed that he often uses words to begin a painting, students were encouraged to write something on their page and paint over it. While the students painted, Mr. Miller asked everyone to draw a shape or line on his phone – he will use them to create his next piece. When everyone had created their own artwork, students thanked the museum and Mr. Miller before piling back into the cars for the return trip. We thank Mr. Miller for sharing his art and wisdom with us, and hope we are able to return to see other wonderful exhibits at the art museum!

By Cathryn and Isabella

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