Graduation 2018


Five wonderful graduates took center stage at The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences’ fifth commencement ceremony, held on May 25 at the Winyah Auditorium.  Friends, faculty, fellow students, founders and family from as far away as Kansas and Colorado were on hand to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Father Paul McNeil of Precious Blood of Christ gave the Invocation.  Joyce Gates, president of the TGS Board of Trustees, welcomed the crowd warmly and congratulated the school on five successful years of living out its principles: excellence, honor, inclusion, respect.

Salutatorian Christopher Attias thanked the faculty and exhorted the upcoming Kingfishers to shoulder the job of making the school an even better place.  “Step up,” he said.  “Take responsibility for yourselves and this school.”  At the TGS Awards Ceremony earlier that day, Attias received a scholarship award from the University of Alabama Honors College, worth $194,000 to cover his next five years’ schooling.

Valedictorian Isabella Neubauer shared memories of her time at TGS.  “School has never just been about sitting in the classroom for me,” she said, evoking school trips and being on the volleyball team.  She touched on the sense of unreality about leaving TGS: “I am barely 18 and I am about to move halfway across the country!” Neubauer will attend Washington University in St. Louis.

Chris Elliott, TGS’s very first valedictorian back in 2014, gave the commencement address.  He said that he was in awe of what the school had accomplished in five years.  “This isn’t some cookie-cutter college prep school,” he told the crowd.  “TGS takes students from all walks of life and turns them into scholars, with the desire to learn more, do more, discover more.”  Elliott has just graduated from the Honors College of the University of South Carolina.

The five graduates blinked back tears as Dr. Gary Gates, Head of School, called the Roll and spoke about each of them in turn.  As they received their diplomas and stood before the assembly, the emotion was palpable.  But when Father Paul gave the Benediction, all sadness and uncertainty turned to joy.  Friends and family rushed down the aisle of the Winyah Auditorium to congratulate them on this step in their journey.

The 2018 TGS graduates are: Christopher Attias (Univ. of Alabama Honors), Douglas DeVito (Univ. of S. C.), Avi Goldschmidt (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), Avery Rose Higgins (College of Charleston), and Isabella Neubauer (Washington University).  Besides finishing their coursework, TGS seniors must do 25 hours per year of community service, complete an internship, and give a senior speech.  

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TGS Wins Awards!

As the end of the school year draws near, the winners of scholarships are announced. In the last few weeks, TGS students have been fortunate enough to win several. On April 18, the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded Avery Rose the Good Citizens Award, which recognizes a student’s leadership, community involvement, and patriotism. They also awarded Isabella with a $2500 merit scholarship, one of six across the county. Only two weeks later, on April 26, the Georgetown Times and South Strand News recognized TGS students at their Prep Sports Awards banquet. Isabella and Chris were named Scholars of the Year, Margaret Team Leader of the Year, and Tyvon Player of the Year in boys’ basketball. Finally, on May 1, the Georgetown County Bar Association announced the winners of their Law Day essay contest. Isabella won overall, taking home the grand prize of $500 and a spot in the state competition. Congratulations to TGS students!

By Isabella

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Kingfishers shine at annual art show

On April 22, students, parents and teachers gathered from all around the Horry-Georgetown area to see student art work at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. The 19th Annual High School Juried Art Show lets students use their full creativity and see their works hung in professional setting. TGS students Avery Rose, Naomi, Brynn, and Zach displayed their amazing talent and showed off the hard work they had put in during their art classes with Mrs. Patrick.

Visitors viewed all the artwork from around the county for about 30 minutes, then they proceeded downstairs to start the awards ceremony. Judges Betsy Havens and James Calk took a moment to talk to the young artists and say how hard it was to choose the winners, since all the young artists were so good.

Although the Kingfishers did not win any awards this year, all four artists were very honored to be part of the show.  Mrs. Patrick and several teachers and parents were on hand to congratulate them and encourage excellence in the arts at TGS.

By Naomi and Cathryn

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You’re amazing, Horror High!

At 7:00 pm on April 17, guidance counselor Miss Medusa came on stage to open senior year at Horror High: The Musical.  Directed by Josie Thames and Kathy Morgan, Horror High features a motley class of teenage zombies, werewolves, monsters, vampires, goblins, mad scientists, witches, mummies, ghosts and vampires.  These strange students face the same joys and challenges as “normal” teenagers do: dating, sports, student elections, prom, clubs and more, all under the watchful eyes of Principal Reaper and Coach Minotaur.  Our Kingfisher thespians did a great job with a very ambitious project and brought about 120 appreciative spectators to the Winyah Auditorium.  Congratulations to the cast, their parents and our intrepid directors!

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The Rewards of Science

Students of The Georgetown School of Arts & Sciences received several awards at the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair, held on April 10 at the College of Charleston. TGS won 14 of the total awards given at the fair, including several of the top prizes. The fair featured projects from students attending Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Georgetown counties, including Academic Magnet and Lowcountry Leadership charter school.

TGS ninth grader Naomi took the second-place award for the entire fair. She also was awarded the prize for best project in Senior 1 Division (grades 9-10) and will be going to the Intel International Science Fair next month in Pittsburgh, PA. Seventh grader Ella won a Broadcom MASTERS nomination and is invited to apply to their national middle school competition. Ninth grader Johnathan placed third overall in the Senior 1 Division (grades 9-10). Ella received First Place overall in the Junior 2 Division (grades 7-8).

Sixth grader Camper was given the Best Conservation/Environmental Award for Junior 1 Division from the Charleston Soil and Water Conservation District.  She also earned a Best Project in Geoscience certificate from the Association of Women Geoscientists.

The following TGS students received 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place awards in their respective divisions/categories: Naomi, Johnathan, Logan, Camper, Annika, Nasiyah, Isaac, Ella Cheek. Great job, Dr. Neubauer and all you Kingfishers who worked so hard!

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The Shape of Fun: Our Trip to the N.C. Research Triangle

DSC_0646For almost a month before leaving on the 2017-18 trip, students tried to figure out its destination. The most common guesses, Nashville and Atlanta, were proven wrong on the morning of Tuesday, March 13. Kingfishers loaded their bags onto the bus, which began to drive in an unexpected direction: north. On the drive, we stopped for lunch at McDonalds before arriving at the hotel in Durham, North Carolina. Since we were too early to check in, we headed over to our afternoon tour of the nearby Duke Botanical Gardens. Dr. Gates split the school into five groups, each one led by one chaperone and one senior. He then challenged the groups to take a picture with the weirdest plant they could find. Most groups took pictures with The Big Easy, a stick sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and unloaded before grabbing a quick dinner at Wendy’s. “We’re going to a hockey game!” Logan squealed as we pulled into the parking lot of the Carolina Hurricanes’ home stadium. The school was on the edge of their seats in the third period when the Boston Bruins scored goal after goal. Eventually winning 6-4, the Bruins crushed the Hurricanes’ previous three-point lead. Exhausted from the long day, we returned to the hotel for the night.

The next day, students were up early. Kingfishers piled on the bus and traveled to Duke University Chapel. “I want to get married here,” Cathryn said, looking around the chapel in awe. After the end of our tour, we drove across campus to the Duke Lemur Center, the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar. The school split into two groups to tour the center, though students without uniforms stayed on the bus with Dr. Gates. Since it was a cold day (about 38 degrees at the time of our tour), most of the lemurs were inside. However, students were able to go behind the scenes to see the lemurs in their indoor habitat. “It’s doing yoga!” several students exclaimed when they saw a lemur sunning herself in her window. We were even able to see the nocturnal lemurs, which were up and active due to a reversed light cycle in their habitats. Following the tour, students bought T-shirts and stuffed animals in the gift shop. Before lunch, we sneaked in to the Duke basketball museum in the Cameron Center and tiptoed up the stairs to see the Coach K Court.

DSC_0725In utter defiance of the cold weather and piercing wind, Dr. Gates brought a picnic lunch, which students ate behind the North Carolina Museum of Art. Huddling together to keep warm, students quickly scarfed down their sandwiches and weighted their plates down to keep them from blowing away. “I was freezing!” Margaret exclaimed. “And I never get cold!” Eager to leave the freezing weather, students crossed the parking lot and began browsing the exhibits in the museum as soon as they finished eating. The groups had a scavenger hunt while they toured the museum: a challenging feat when Dr. Gates refused to spell the items for which they were searching. “Kana kun” (which Dr. Gates refused to spell), a sawfish mask, a porcupine quill, a piece of art at least 100 feet long, and a piece of art exactly 18 by 30 feet. “I found the porcupine quill!” Camper hissed to her group. “Come on, we can’t let Team Butterscotch see!”

After leaving the museum, the school arrived late to a baseball game between NC State and UNC Asheville. As NC State approached the ninth inning with a 6-1 lead, students began to worry the game would proceed much like the hockey game the previous night. “I thought they were going to pull some insane comeback,” Avi said. NC State, unlike the Hurricanes, held onto their lead. Kingfishers celebrated the victory as they hurried back to the warmth of the bus. For dinner, we ate arepas, a traditional Venezuelan dish. “I want to see you trying something new,” Dr. Gates said before we entered the restaurant.

DSC_0774On Thursday morning, the only clue to the day’s activities was an ominous warning from Dr. Neubauer: “Bundle up and remember your long socks! You never know how cold it’s going to get.” After the previous day’s events, everyone took this to heart. Kingfishers wore all the layers they had. The long socks warning made sense when the bus pulled up in front of an ice rink. “Yes! Ice skating!” came the excited cry from the back of the bus, while others expressed concern. “I’ve never been ice skating before,” said several students. Some made stacks of buckets to lean on for balance while Dr. Gates taught more experienced skaters to skate backwards. Kingfishers fell left and right, but everyone had a great time. Students had to try more new things at lunch, as we ate at a Korean restaurant.

We had such a good time there we were almost late for our next activity: a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. We went to the movie at the science museum but one everybody fell asleep. We saw an exhibit on mazes, then looked for the ‘most artsy’ picture while exploring the rest of the museum. Exhausted, we relaxed at the hotel for an hour and a half before leaving for dinner. “We’re going to try something new today,” Dr. Gates said when we boarded the bus. “We’re going to eat together.” Everyone left their phones in a basket before leaving the bus, much to the distress of some students. “I’ve gone to check my phone three times,” Isabella said. “and it’s only been five minutes!” The food – house-made burgers, soda, fries, and ice cream – certainly made up for it. The school crowded the back patio of the restaurant as everyone enjoyed the delicious meal.

DSC_0861The last morning of the trip, Friday, we visited UNC Chapel Hill’s campus. We drank water from the well in the quad, meant to give all visitors good luck. A few students browsed the campus store while others visited the attached Starbucks. Interested students toured the UNC Basketball Museum (no sneaking necessary) before piling back on the bus for the last time and heading home. The finality of it hit the seniors. “I can’t believe this is our last trip,” Chris said. “Me either,” Avery Rose echoed. On the drive, the excitement of the trip boiled over, causing a constant stream of noise from the back of the bus. When we arrived back at the school at about 6pm, the Durham trip had officially ended. We are already looking forward to next year’s trip!

by Isabella



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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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