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US History Visits Old Gunn

Dr. Simmons’ U.S. history class recently took a trip to Prince Frederick’s Episcopal Chapel, better known to Georgetown residents as “Old Gunn Church.” The ruins of this church represent the final structure to serve as the Episcopal church on the site, with the first church having built in 1721. Over the years the church was a house of worship for historic personages such as South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress Thomas Lynch, South Carolina governor Joseph Alston, and South Carolina governor R.F.W. Allston. A new church was built on the site in 1835, and a third structure began construction in 1859. However, construction was delayed when the Civil War began, and by 1864 the project was stopped altogether due to the war. It was finally finished in 1876, though it was only occasionally used by residents to hold services. Eventually the church fell into a state of disrepair and ruin, and after it burned the church was demolished in 1966, leaving just the bell tower and front wall.

Many people today know it as “Old Gunn Church” because supposedly the contractor for the project, a Mr. Gunn, fell to his death while working on the roof. Since that time the church has been recognized as one of the area’s most haunted landmarks, and the ghost of Mr. Gunn is said to be seen walking around the belfry late on moonlit nights; visitors to the site have reportedly heard ghostly choirs singing and seen ethereal figures moving around the graveyard.

While TGS students didn’t see any ghosts, they did enjoy taking a closer look at a part of the rich history of Georgetown County!

Law Essay Contest Winner

The Honorable Ben Culbertson, winner Isabella Neubauer, and Elise Crosby, local attorney and president of the Georgetown County Bar Association

Our own Isabella was the overall winner in the Georgetown County Bar Association’s Inaugural Essay Contest. The theme of the 2018 competition was the Separation of Powers. “Isabella turned what started off as a paper for US History into a convincingly researched testament to the wisdom of our government,” said Dr. Gates. “It’s reassuring that at least some of our youth are developing a clear-headed understanding of how our legal system and our government work.” Isabella received a scholarship of $500 to continue her studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Secret Santa

On Wednesday, December 12, the entire school gathered around the Christmas tree. Decked out in their most festive gear, students eyed the presents under the tree and tried to figure out which one belonged to each of them. Sitting around the tree, lights shining brightly and everyone’s favorite Christmas songs playing, everyone was excited to see what came next. It was finally time for the annual Secret Santa ceremony. Two weeks before, students had drawn names out of a hat to see who they would buy presents for this year. Now they were eager to give and receive their presents. One by one, they stood up and handed out their gifts. Candy, chocolates, and festive socks were distributed all around, along with a few stranger gifts. “I always love opening up my present from Secret Santa,” Ethan said. “I never know what it’s going to be.”

By Ryleigh

Christmas at Morningside

KODAK Digital Still CameraMs. Josie and Mme Gates took some of our musically-inclined students to Morningside to perform a short program of Christmas carols and a narrative of the Christmas story on December 10.  We were accompanied by Pat, Susan, and Pam on violin and viola.  This is our second year to participate in the program.  Afterwards, students greeted all the residents, who were happy to see us—especially the newest arrival: a tiny black puppy with a touch of white on his chest.  Our music had put him to sleep, but he woke up to get some cuddles afterwards.  Merry Christmas!

Robotics goes to state competition

Robotics States 2018The Angry Nerds, our middle school Robotics Team, were excited to attend the annual S.C. FIRST LEGO League competition at Ten Oaks Middle School on November 8.  This year’s theme was “Into Orbit,” and students were challenged to find an innovative solution to one of the problems of space travel.  Students attended a talk by retired astronaut Don Thomas, who told them that one of the biggest issues is the bad food.  At present, astronauts cannot have crumbly food because the crumbs could float around and get in the machinery or be aspirated.  The Angry Nerds though the astronauts would appreciate a greater variety of dining choices. So they decided to design a self-cleaning food tray that would vacuum up crumbs.

The team also competed against 140 other participants in Robot Runs, Core Value projects, and a parade. “We got killed in Core Values,” admitted sponsor Mrs. Crosby.  Although they didn’t win any prizes, the students had a great time.  “I enjoyed everything,” said Annika, “but especially the time in between, when we were playing chess and cards.”  Thank you, Mrs. Crosby, for all your hard work and Angry Nerds parents for your wonderful support this year.

Let the games begin!


Latin II and III students gathered on November 30 for their traditional funeral games.  Attendees (Dr. Gates’ Geometry class) enjoyed a sacrifice, javelin throw, discus throw, foot races, and finally a boat race.  The British tribe of the Regnenses prevailed over the Cantiaci, who were left stranded on the rocks.  The games concluded with a feast of fruit, cinnamon buns, crackers, and grape juice.

Giving Thanks in 2018


Kingfishers gathered on the last day of school before Thanksgiving break to share our traditional meal and express our gratitude for family, fun, food, and friends.  The whole meal went very smoothly this year during an extended lunch period.  Seniors set up during fourth period and Mrs. Patrick brought festive vases of pyrocantha and greens to grace the long tables downstairs in the hall.  This year, fifth grade got to eat first because seniors chose to be first for dessert.  Everything was delicious, as always!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Bonding through chess: SCISA Chess Meet

Chess Tournament 2018 Kate emerged as the star of our Chess Team at the SCISA State Chess Meet this year.  Mr. Bonds (team sponsor along with Dr. Gates) took Jack, Naomi, Rebecca and Kate to the Sumter Civic Center on November 13 to compete with 140 other kids.  At the Civic Center, each participant played seven rounds of speed chess against different opponents.

“It was a good day,” said Mr. Bonds.  “I was satisfied with the level of personal fulfillment that each student walked out with.”

“The Chess Meet was great and very well organized,” said Naomi.  “Everyone was really nice playing and I made a friend named Raj.”  Naomi beat Raj pretty easily in the first round and they both had a good laugh.  Naomi went on to say that the team had fun and learned a lot from playing against people they didn’t know.  Apparently, the team picked up an exciting five-move checkmate strategy which some of them were able to use successfully in later rounds.  Jack agreed, “It was very fun!”

Kate won five of her seven rounds while the other Kingfishers each won two.  The whole team learned a lot from the experience even though they did not place.  We have high hopes for this young team.  Good job, Chess Team!

All You Can Eat Oysters and More!

DSC_0734They arrived in a white panel truck from Livingston’s Bull’s Bay Seafood—36 cold bushels of McClellanville oysters neatly tied up in white bags.  It wasn’t long before the bivalves were steaming in giant pots over propane stoves.  The chefs (Dr. Gates, Dr. Crosby, Dr. Newhard, Mr. Kaminski and Nathan) then transferred them to giant trays to be delivered by students to the plywood tables under the big tent.  Happy oyster-eaters wearing bright orange gloves then grabbed their knives and started shucking.  The 2018 Oyster Roast was underway!

DSC_0700Besides oysters, people enjoyed delicious pilau and hot dogs with cold drinks.  They wandered past the many items on display at the Silent Auction and made bids for beach houses, art, jewelry, and much more.  There was a bake sale out on Front Street with cupcakes, brownies, and lemon pound cake on display.  Will Ness played his guitar all afternoon, creating a mellow atmosphere that was just right for the day.

Kingfishers were tired but happy when it was time to break down.  They stacked the tables and chairs, returned the borrowed items, packed up the Silent Auction, and hosed off oyster tables and pots. Shells were taken to the recycling center and the whole area policed for stray trash.  The white oyster truck went back to McClellanville until next year’s Oyster Roast.  Aw shucks!  Thanks to all the many sponsors, donors, parents, teachers and students who made this event a success.


Charleston Jaunts and Haunts

The College of Charleston and the historic Dock Street Theater were the destinations for a daylong field trip for grades 8-12 on October 24.  At the College of Charleston, Kingfishers met up with TGS alumna Avery Rose (2018), who shared her extensive knowledge of the campus and the ghosts that supposedly inhabit it.  After hearing Avery Rose’s tales of haunted dormitories and cursed paths, the group settled down at the Cistern to enjoy a peaceful lunch, then a walk to the Dock Street Theater.  At the theater, they saw the Charleston Stage production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.  Everyone agreed it was a thrilling performance, with some students and even teachers in tears at the play’s heartbreaking conclusion.

By Ryleigh