10 educators from across tri-county region chosen for math awards

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching awards.

Public schools in 48 states – including South Carolina – reported mathematics teacher shortages for the 2017-18 school year. In fact, mathematics teacher shortages have been prevalent in South Carolina since 2000.

The tri-county region’s economy now requires a highly educated and skilled labor force, particularly in the STEM disciplines, to remain competitive. Those same economic trends that have made mathematics skills increasingly valuable to students have made it increasingly difficult to attract and retain skilled mathematics teachers.

To honor and put a spotlight on mathematics teachers and administrators who are working tirelessly to train our future work force, TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team recognized excellence in the profession during an event on October 16 at Trident Technical College.

Mathematics professionals from the four regional school districts, who were nominated by their peers, were honored during this “Excellence in Mathematics Teaching” event, sponsored by The Boeing Company. Jennifer Wise, the 2017 S.C. Teacher of the Year who now serves in Lexington School District Two as the instructional services specialist and within the University of South Carolina as an elementary math methods instructor, delivered the keynote address.

“A large body of evidence confirms that teacher effectiveness is a key determinant of students’ academic progress, so we want to take this opportunity to honor those teachers who are having a strong, positive impact,” said Geoff Schuler, a retired Boeing Company executive and convener of TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team. “Teachers deserve society’s respect, and we must continue to find ways to motivate and inspire those in this noble profession.”

Mathematics prepares and develops a student’s mind to accept, analyze and execute complex ideas. It is built level by level, and mastering math fundamentals in the early grades is the gateway to future coursework.

In the tri-county region, 57 percent of third graders met math grade-level standards on the SC READY test in 2017-2018.

“Budget constraints and teacher shortages – particularly for those in STEM subjects – increase pressures on teacher time and severely limit opportunities for sustained professional development.  Students benefit, though, when teachers have the tools and resources they need to supplement math curricula,” said TCCC CEO John C. Read. “We must fund programs and provide time within the school week for continuous learning opportunities that allow educators to advance their skills.”

Winners of the 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching awards each received a trophy and $350.00 to use toward professional development opportunities of their own choosing.

“Education is the key to success, and teachers are at the center of it,” said Anita Zucker, CEO of The InterTech Group and chair of the TCCC Board of Directors. “I hope that each teacher who was nominated feels more respected, more passionate and more appreciated. I am proud of and inspired by each one of them.”

Nominees are listed below:

Lesley Brantley, Dorchester School District Two

Christi Brinson, Dorchester School District Two

Ashley Clemmons, Dorchester School District Two

Sarah Crowe, Charleston County School District

Cindy Fisk, Berkeley County School District

Meghan Lewis, Berkeley County School District

Cheri Modeen, Charleston County School District

Jenell Riley, Charleston County School District

Christine Ryan, Charleston County School District

Christine Trevillyan, Dorchester School District Two

Brittany Wasilowski, Charleston County School District

Meggie Wegmann, Dorchester School District Two

Winners are listed below:

Hanna Cato, Berkeley County School District

Allison Gable, Charleston County School District

Joe Guarino, Charleston County School District

Paula Huggins, Dorchester School District Four

Kristin Kofoid, Dorchester School District Two

Megan Profit, Dorchester School District Two

Gary Seaboldt, Dorchester School District Two

Laney Taylor, Dorchester School District Four

Meg Ward, Berkeley County School District

James Whitehair, Charleston County School District


To view bios and photos of the nominees, winners and speakers, click here.
To view a PDF version of this press release, click here.

TCCC travels to StriveTogether convening in Seattle

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative staff traveled to Seattle last week to participate in the StriveTogether national convening!

Continuing our work to help all students in the tri-county region, we joined more than 500 community leaders from across the country. This year’s theme was Go Far, Go Together: Uniting in Pursuit of Equity for Every Child.

Keynote speakers included activist and educator Brittany Packnett and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

We attended sessions and workshops devoted to building a culture of continuous improvement, eliminating disparities, engaging the community, improving outcomes and leveraging existing assets.

StriveTogether is a national, nonprofit network of 70 communities –including TCCC — using a rigorous approach to accelerate progress and sustain success in education.

Follow #GoFarGoTogetherC2C to see photos and details from the event, and follow us on Twitter at @C2CTriCounty or on Facebook.


TCCC’s approach featured in New York Times

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative uses a collective-impact approach and is a member of StriveTogether, a national, nonprofit network of 70 communities using a rigorous approach to accelerate progress and sustain success in education.

New York Times Opinion Columnist David Books featured our approach and spotlighted our partner Spartanburg Academic Movement in a piece titled “A Really Good Thing Happening in America.”

“Building working relationships across a community is an intrinsically good thing,” Brooks wrote. “You do enough intrinsically good things and lives will be improved in ways you can never plan or predict. This is where our national renewal will come from.”

FAFSA opens Oct. 1 for students going to college in 2019-2020

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened today for students who are planning to attend college in the 2019-2020 school year.College Cash Campaign

Filling out the FAFSA is the first step for students to access federal grants and loans as well as both state and institutional grants and scholarships. These funds can be used to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies. The funding students access by completing the FAFSA is a pivotal part in many students’ decision to attend college.

The deadline to submit the FAFSA is June 30, 2019; however, the FAFSA should be filled out as soon as possible on or after today at the official government site www.FAFSA.gov. Some funds are provided on a first come, first served basis, and many colleges and universities have their own deadlines prior to the federal deadline.

“The FAFSA is the only way to qualify for free federal cash for college that does not have to be paid back,” said Sarah Piwinski, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Director of Data Management and Analysis. “Unfortunately, many students in our region who hope to go to college miss out on their dreams because they don’t submit the FAFSA and are unable to pay for college.”

TCCC’s High School Graduation Network launched the College Cash Campaign to provide supports for tri-county high schools during the 2018-2019 school year. The goal of the campaign is to increase FAFSA completion and college enrollment rates in regional high schools. TCCC staff support will work alongside school guidance counselors, administrators and teachers to build a college-going culture, host financial aid literacy workshops and outreach events, and provide FAFSA completion and college application assistance.

“This project is working to ensure that all students who want to go to college take advantage of the financial resources available to them,” said Cathy Almquist, who serves as the co-convener of TCCC’s High School Graduation Network and vice president for academic affairs at Trident Technical College. “Completing the FAFSA is an important first step in discovering what financial assistance is available. There are many financial aid resources to help pay for college – and many of these are not based on need – but nearly all require completion of the FAFSA. The sooner students and their families complete this important step the sooner they can begin planning for their college experience.”

Students and parents with FAFSA-related questions should contact their school’s guidance department, call the federal student aid toll-free hotline at 1-800-433-3243, visit TCCC’s College Cash Campaign webpage at http://tricountycradletocareer.org/college-cash-campaign/ or email TCCC’s College Cash Campaign at CollegeCash@TriCountyCradleToCareer.org.

To view a PDF version of this press release, click here.


Community Engagement Committee re-launches

TCCC is seeking to engage the tri-county community in a more meaningful way and has re-launched the Community Engagement Committee. Using equity as the foundation of the work, the committee met on Sept. 27. Thank you to all those who attended and participated in the meeting!

To learn more and join the committee, contact LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon, TCCC’s Director of Networks and Community Engagement, at LaTisha@TriCountyCradleToCareer.org.

Register by Oct. 19 for the Conrad Challenge

The world needs more creative thinkers! Register with the Conrad Challenge by October 19 to be part of the one-of-a-kind competition changing the world.

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurial competition that brings together students from across the world to develop extraordinary and viable solutions to benefit our world. The 2018-2019 competition has officially launched inviting student teams (2-5 members, age 13-18) to register by Friday, October 19 at 11:59 p.m. ET and share their investor pitches by November 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Student teams must consist of a minimum of two members with a maximum of five, between the ages of 13-18 years old.

Don’t miss your chance to share your ideas with the world! Visit www.conradchallenge.org to learn more.

Editorial: South Carolina needs an education revolution

Thanks to The Post and Courier for this strong editorial about the need for an education revolution in South Carolina!

“There’s no getting around it. South Carolina suffers from a legacy of segregation and extreme poverty, thus its public schools consistently rank among the worst in the nation,” the editorial says. “Bold action is needed.”

Read the editorial: https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/sc-needs-an-education-revolution/article_90c2b0da-bdba-11e8-bf6b-73a71bd1d118.html

Third grade reading, math proficiency rates show modest increases across tri-county region

Year-end test results released this week by the S.C. Department of Education show year-over-year increases in third grade reading and math and eighth grade math proficiencies across the tri-county region. Eighth grade reading proficiency levels declined slightly from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018.

At the third-grade level, 50.8 percent of tri-county students met or exceeded grade-level reading standards on the 2017-2018 SC READY test, a 6.5 percent increase from third grade results the prior year. On the math assessment, 57.1 percent of third graders met or exceeded standards, a less than 1 percent year-over-year increase.

At the eighth-grade level, 43.7 percent of tri-county students met or exceeded grade-level reading standards, a 3.7 percent decline from the 2016-2017 school year. On the math assessment, 40.3 percent of eighth graders met or exceeded standards, a 1.8 percent year-over-year increase.

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative closely tracks third and eighth grade test results, in particular, because those years are important indicators of later success. Third grade results can predict a child’s likelihood to graduate from high school, and eighth grade results are directly tied to college and career readiness.

“While year-end assessments and year-over-year comparisons have limited value over the short term in determining progress, these third-grade proficiency scores are encouraging,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said. “If, over the longer term, a pattern of moderate gains in proficiency can be sustained, especially in the early grades, education attainment will almost certainly increase.”

When broken down by race, the SC READY test results continue to show substantial disparity gaps among tri-county students.

In third-grade reading, for instance, 68.2 percent of White students met or exceed expectations, while only 32.2 percent of Hispanic students and 27.6 percent of Black students did the same. Similarly, in eighth-grade math, 56.3 percent of White students met or exceeded expectations, while just 28.1 percent of Hispanic students and 16.6 percent of Black students did the same.

“The disparity in results that separate students on the basis of color appears to have worsened somewhat across the region, an indication that public education is not yet serving these children well,” Read said. “Student growth measures, however, are far more useful in determining progress than these year-end scores.”

The S.C. Department of Education released state, district and school-level data for end-of-year tests from the 2017-2018 school year. Tri-county data include results from Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester School District Two and Dorchester School District Four.

Test results were based on the SC READY assessments, which were given to all S.C. students in third through eighth grades. The tests are intended to measure overall student performance and college-and-career ready standards in core content areas.

Reading volunteers needed

Meeting Street Elementary @Brentwood is looking for volunteers to join their Read365 program.

Volunteers are needed from 2:10 to 3:10 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Volunteers will be paired with either one or two students for hour-long sessions each week.

Email Elizabeth Coulton at ecoulton@beemok.com to learn more!

WCBD: TCCC sends letter demanding better education to local leaders

Special thanks to Stetson Miller from WCBD News 2 for dropping by this week to interview our CEO, John Read, about our education letter.

More than 230 people have signed on so far!

Watch Stetson’s story at https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/tccc-sends-letter-demanding-better-education-to-local-leaders/1386392153 then sign the letter at http://tricountycradletocareer.org/sign-the-letter/.