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Middle School Visits Yawkey Wildlife Center

IMG_3871Thursday, March 13, was cold and clear, perfect for a day trip to the nearby Yawkey Wildlife Center.  Dr. Neubauer, Mrs. Crosby and Mrs. Sweitzer drove the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to the end of South Island Road, where they met D.N.R. agent Jim Lee to take the boat over to Cat and South Island.  There was a lot of wind and the ride was pretty exciting.

The group then boarded a bus and had a look around Cat Island.  They spotted some turkey vultures and several alligators.  Grayson and Wilfredo were convinced that one alligator was chasing them as they were running down a trail.  “I heard it plop in the water when we went by, so we just started to run faster!” Wilfredo said.  The group stopped to view North Island and the lighthouse from across the creek.  Jim Lee told them that Mr. Yawkey’s preference was to keep visitors away from North Island in order to preserve its pristine nature.  The lighthouse, one of the oldest left on the East Coast, worked until someone came and stole the light.

IMG_3846Back at Mr. Yawkey’s game room, the students really enjoyed looking at the “dead animals,” including an elk and a beaver, and Mr. Yawkey’s memorabilia.  Grayson explained, “Mr. Yawkey owned the Red Sox and he had lots of stuff.  There was a World Series ticket that only cost $6.  It was pretty cool.”  The kids were very positive about this field trip.  Thanks to to Jim Lee and Dr. Michelle Neubauer for arranging it.

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Isabella Wins Again (Again)! SCISA State Champ

(article by Top Lee)

TGS eighth-grader Isabella Neubauer continued on after her last win to capture first place at the SCISA State Spelling Bee, held on on March 12 at Williamsburg Academy.  Isabella had many hard words including: ipecac, wiki-wiki, metamorphosis, lamentation, braggadocio.  Isabella was unsure about braggadocio, but she spelled it right because it was actually the font she used on her Science Fair project!  Congratulations to our Spellebrity, Isabella, and good luck in your future spelling endeavors in Washington!

Do you know what Isabella’s spelling words mean?  Try and figure out which one is which using the definitions below:

1  .annoying or exaggerated talk of someone who is trying to sound very proud or brave 2. quickly, fast  3.  dried rhizome of a South American shrub, or a drug prepared from this, used as an emetic and expectorant  4.  passionate expression of grief or sorrow; weeping  5. process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages.

Isabella Wins Again!

On March 4, Isabella Neubauer competed in the Myrtle Beach Sun News Regional Spelling Bee and came in first place!  This is her fourth straight year, an amazing achievment.  After nine rounds of spell-offs, Isabella finally won with the word nullibicity.  If you’re wondering what that is, it’s the act or state of being nowhere–IMG_3833 - Version 2and it wasn’t even on any of the word lists that Isabella studied!  Isabella ended up having to spell two words, nullibicity and paralympics, but the competition still lasted from 6:30 to 9:00.  When asked how she handled the stress, she said, “I was really not nervous until it was my turn.” Congratulations to Isabella Neubauer for first place, fourth time in a row, and good luck at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.  This competition takes place between May 25th and 31st and can be viewed on ESPN.

Check out the great article and photo in Wednesday’s Sun News!

First Annual Science Fair at TGS!

IMG_5480TGS students showed up for school in their best outfits carrying their folding boards to participate in our first Science Fair ever.  After Open Forum, all of the students participating in the Science Fair went out into the hall and set up their projects.  We had four distinguished judges: Dr. Donna Jones (medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta), Jennifer Plunket (stewardship coordinator, National Estuarine Reserve Research of Hobcaw), Melissa Heintz (education specialist, National Estuarine Reserve Research, Hobcaw), and Dr. Michael St. Louis (science officer for Global Health, the C.D.C.).  The judges started walking around and questioning the students about their projects.  “He totally destroyed me and my heart is crushed!” Adara told everyone after explaining her project to Dr. St. Louis.  (Little did she know she was going to win.)  All morning, students were anxious to know who had won and at lunch time Dr. Neubauer announced the winners of the fair:

  • Grand Prize Winner: Top Lee and his project about different kinds of motivation.
  • First Place for the High School: Lochlyn Hejl and her project about lie detection.
  • Second place for the High School: Chandler Lee and Zach McKinley and their project about Galileo’s time keeping mechanism.
  • First Place for the Middle School: Isabella Neubauer and her project about the heating of atmospheric gases.
  • Second Place for Middle School: Ryleigh Neubauer and her project on facial recognition software.
  • Honorable Mention: Adara Grant and her project on vegetable power.

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The judges decided that all projects had sufficient merit and should advance to the Charleston science fair.  We want to thank the judges for giving their time and attention to our projects and express our appreciation to Dr. Neubauer for organizing this event.

Eighth Grade Visits Atlanta

(This article was written by Savanna Morris and Isabella Neubauer.)

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On Wednesday, February 19, the 8th graders of The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences visited Atlanta, Georgia, to see the centuries-old Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. Mrs. Lane Crosby, the middle school English teacher at TGS, took her two English I students, Savanna Morris and Isabella Neubauer, on the field trip. Mrs. Crosby commented, “Shakespeare wrote his plays to be seen on the stage, not just read in a book. I think the students learned more in these three days than they could have learned in a classroom.”

     Bright and early on Thursday morning, they headed out into traffic to The Shakespeare Tavern, a small theater perfectly constructed for Shakespeare’s plays. After the play Romeo and Juliet, the students traveled through the Georgia Tech campus to Sublime Doughnuts, which has been presented with multiple awards and has even been in the magazine Southern Living. After the 8th graders were full of doughnuts, they journeyed to the High Museum. They saw exhibits such as Go West and African Masquerade and also viewed the High’s modern art collection. After, dinner at Chai Pani, an Indian restaurant in Decatur, they proceeded to the Fernbank Planetarium and Observatory.

    photo 3 On Friday, Isabella and Savanna spent most of their time at the huge Georgia Aquarium with creatures as big as whale sharks! Next, the 8th graders walked through Centennial Olympic Park to the CNN building. The tour began with a trip up the largest free standing escalator in the world. Then, they continued with the observation of the news room where news gathering and reporting was occurring. After another quick walk and many pictures back through Centennial Olympic Park, they went to The World of Coca-Cola! The World of Coca-Cola was full of colors, but mainly the pop of red everyone recognizes on a Coke. Isabella and Savanna tried many of their 60+ international favors!

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On Saturday they packed their bags and drove to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. The MLK Center was an impressive museum containing videos of his speeches and sermons, many picture displays, his birthplace, his church, and his tomb. The final stop was at a well-known place called The Varsity, the largest drive-in restaurant in the world. Then, the 8th graders from The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences returned to Georgetown after a long drive.

Thank you to Mrs. Crosby for organizing such an awesome field trip and a special thank you to her parents Mr. and Mrs. Kent for hosting our group.

Bienvenidos, Tomas and Matias!

TGS has had two very special visitors over the last couple of weeks.  Our Spanish teacher Senora Yorky is hosting her two nephews, Tomas and Matias.  Lucky for us, they decided to join the kids at school for a few hours a day.  Tomas and Mattias are from Chile.  Because they live in the Southern Hemisphere, they are currently on their summer vacation.  IMG_5434Not only have they joined in on Senora’s Spanish classes, they have also participated in Mrs. Crosby’s English classes, reading Romeo and Juliet with the eighth graders.  We appreciate this opportunity to speak Spanish with native speakers and to understand how other cultures view Shakespeare.

Oyster Roast 2014

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Bright sunshine and mild temperatures brought more than 150 people out to the S.C. Maritime Museum on Front Street Sunday afternoon, February 9, to enjoy the first annual TGS Oyster Roast.

Pots of steaming oysters were served up by Jeep Ford, Brad Payne and Joe Exum onto large trays which TGS students carried out to the hungry oyster lovers.  “These are absolutely delicious,” said parent Logan Hejl as he slurped down another single.  There was also a grill with barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs plus a student-sponsored bake sale.  Local guitarist and songwriter John Lammonds played his music, making the afternoon festive and relaxing, joined by TGS junior Sara Cyr, also on guitar.

Students and parents kept busy throughout the party, holding signs to attract people on Front Street, selling tickets, serving the food, and recycling shells and trash.  The Mighty Kingfisher, our TGS mascot, showed up around 3:00 in his new outfit to high-five the kids and dance on the sidewalk.

TGS would like to thank its Oyster Roast sponsors: Ace Hardware, Dawson Lumber, The Meat Locker, the River Room, the S. C. Maritime Museum and Tupacz Liquors.  Congratulations to our PTO on a job well done and to Laura Lee for getting us all organized.  Parents, teachers and students, you were there for The Georgetown School and our first annual Oyster Roast was a huge success!

TGS at the SCISA State Literary Meet

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On February 5, nine TGS students traveled to Faith Christian School of Summerville to compete in the SCISA State Literary Meet.  Thomas “Top” Lee, ninth-grader, won first place in essay writing event, an hour-long competition where he drew the topic “Is apologizing a form of weakness?”

“The topics last year were more factual,’ said Top, “I had to make a moral judgement this year.”

Other categories of competition at the Lit Meet include oral interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, storytelling, poetry and debate.  Adara tried her hand at oral interpretation, using an excerpt from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  “I was nervous, scared and excited, ” she said, “It was a lot of pressure.”  Grayson agreed, “I was excited and nervous too.”  Grayson interpreted Atticus Finch’s closing arguments from To Kill A Mockingbird.  Lochlyn performed a dialogue from Romeo and Juliet, “I was shaking the whole time but I felt good about my voice variation.  It was hard to do two voices,” she said.

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Sara and Isabella did not have trouble with their essays, writing on prayer with teachers and the effects of technology on community.  Chris felt confident and Sam “felt like a boss” after their extemps but Ryleigh admitted she felt nervous and was shaking the whole time.

Head of School Dr. Gary Gates chaperoned the trip with Mrs. Crosby.  “The Lit Meet is a great opportunity for students to work on and show off their rhetorical skills–their power to persuade both orally and in writing.  All year, our Open Forum speakers have been stressing the importance of these skills on the job market.  Next year, we will take the entire student body.”  Thank you, Mrs. Crosby, for organizing our participation in this event and thanks to our student journalist, Wilfredo Urias, for covering the event.

Floating Docks for the Winyah Bay Sailing Club

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A small but enthusiastic group of Kingfisher volunteers gathered at Hazzard Marine early on Saturday, February 1.  They came to help the Winyah Bay Sailing Club finish building a total of four floating docks which will hold its fleet of sailboats.  The floating docks will allow boats kept off trailers and to be stored out of the water.  TGS will be using these boats in the spring for its sailing team, so we wanted to help the club with its project.

First, our new friend Johnny Weaver took us out along the dock to see the floating dock that is already in place and to check out the boats, all 420s donated by a club in Charleston.  “My sailboat is a john boat but my grandchildren love to sail,” Johnny told us.  Then we came back to the parking lot and started getting floats, boards and power tools organized. Johnny Weaver and Chris Register were in charge of the volunteers, with expert help from Noel Desmarteau and Bob Turner, the man with the skil saw!  Soon sawdust was flying and people began pounding screws in the framework with their hammers.  It was very noisy and all the kids there really enjoyed the challenge of getting the screws in straight, so much that they later chose not to use the nail gun to finish the top–they stuck with their hammers!

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The TGS Sailing Team is looking forward to getting out on the water later this spring, thanks to the Winyah Bay Sailing Club.  The new floating docks will make that process so much easier.  Ashley Desmarteau wrote to us: “We were so impressed to start the day with two teachers and Isabella and Josh from The Georgetown School–thank you for coming on such a dreary day.”

Yawkey Wildlife Center Welcomes TGS High Schoolers

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Jim Lee of D. N. R. was our guide for a day of exploration on Cat and South Islands, home of the Yawkey Wildlife Center.  The high school students, along with Dr. Gates and Dr. Razzi, took the ferry across the Intracoastal Waterway to the landing, then loaded into the tour bus.

Lucky for us, wildlife sightings were abundant–deer, a very cold pelican, shore birds such as cranes and heron, juvenile bald eagles and vultures.  There was even one red cockaded woodpecker, a local endangered species that nests in old-growth, long leaf pine trees.  But the students’ favorite was an otter who crossed the road and dove into the creek on the other side.  “That otter runs really weird,” observed Nathan as all the students pointed their phones and captured “Derrick.”

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Jim Lee took us to a wooden chapel which had its own congregation until fairly recently.  He played a recording of their choir singing gospel hymns so we could understand how the chapel used to be and what is lost now.  The music was both familiar and haunting, giving us a sense of our own community’s rich history.

After lunch, we visited Mr. Yawkey’s game room, which contained his big game trophies and memorabilia from the years he was the owner of the Red Sox.  One giant elk dwarfed the room, its antlers as wide as the height of some of the students.

Everyone came back to school in excellent spirits after this fun day of investigating the natural, cultural and historic riches of Georgetown County.  Thank you, Jim Lee and D. N. R., for a wonderfully enriching experience.