National Philanthropy Day Luncheon

Members of the TCCC staff and Board of Directors attended the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Nov. 15 at the Gaillard Center. The S.C. Lowcountry Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized outstanding achievements by local individuals, foundations, small businesses and corporate philanthropists who form a vital partnership with nonprofit organizations to ensure that the needs of its citizens are being met.

Post and Courier investigates S.C. public education system

Huge thanks to The Post and Courier for the “Minimally Adequate” series, an eight-month investigation by five journalists about South Carolina’s public education system. The newspaper also hosted an Inside Business Live event on education and invited TCCC CEO John C. Read to serve as a panelist.

“Lawmakers hold the power to enact change. But the crisis-driven Legislature can’t agree where to start as its attention wanders to myriad other issues. Less than a quarter of lawmakers actually have children in public schools, a Post and Courier poll determined. … Still, The Post and Courier surveyed the South Carolina Statehouse this year and found no clear consensus on the most pressing issues in education. Some lawmakers cited teacher pay; others, classroom spending. Still others wanted to focus on building maintenance, school consolidations and other concerns.”

TCCC is advocating for the systemic education reform referenced in this powerful, must-read series:

Part 1:…/minimally-adequate/page/1
Part 2:
Part 3: 
Part 4: 
Part 5:

Steeplechase of Charleston

Special thanks to The Randolph Company for choosing Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative to serve as the official charity partner for the 2018 Steeplechase of Charleston, held on Nov. 11 at The Racetrack at Stono Ferry!

If you missed the race, you can still help support TCCC by attending the upcoming Steeplechase of Charleston Charity Gala on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at Hibernian Hall (105 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401).

This black-tie optional event will feature silent & live auctions, a delicious dinner, live music and a chance to support TCCC’s work. 100% of all proceeds raised at the event will go directly to TCCC, and we hope you will join us!

Click here to buy tickets.


Regional school district leaders meet with TCCC as Lowcountry Education Consortium

From left: Berkeley County School District Chief Academic Officer Kevin O’Gorman, Charleston County School District Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait, Dorchester School District Two Superintendent Joe Pye, Berkeley County School District Superintendent Eddie Igram, Dorchester School District Four Superintendent Morris Ravenell and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative CEO John C. Read meet.


The four regional superintendents (from Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester School District Two and Dorchester School District Four) meet monthly with Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative as the Lowcountry Education Consortium (LCEC).

Combined, the districts serve approximately 100,000 students. Together, the LCEC is currently collaborating on two projects:

  • The LCEC recognized principal development as a common need among their districts. For the past year, they have been collaborating on the development of a training program at The Citadel to create a pipeline for aspiring principals. Three organizations from around the country that run evidence-based programs focused on training effective principals presented plans to the superintendents and their representatives. The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership was selected. The LCEC is now in the process of getting a final proposal from the center and making fundraising plans. More details will be released at a later date.
  • Members of the LCEC share the common goal of ensuring that students are “future ready,” as defined by both academic standards and the skills identified by the local business community in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Common Skills in High Demand report. The report outlines the core expectations for entry-level positions within various career clusters and determines both the specific academic skills and the performance level of those skills requested for “readiness” in those jobs. The LCEC is working on ways to embed these skills into the PreK-12th grade school curricula and begin redesigning other aspects of the system (e.g., teacher professional development, instructional coaching, classroom observation, after school and summer activities) to reflect these new expectations.

Group facilitator joins TCCC staff

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative has hired Thetyka Robinson as Director of Facilitation.

Thetyka RobinsonRobinson is responsible for the facilitation of TCCC’s networks, consortia and project teams and for training others to facilitate based on the Tri-County Regional Improvement Process (TRIP!).

In 2014, TCCC created and deployed TRIP! across its networks, consortia and project teams to guide collaborative work. Using funding provided by The Duke Endowment, one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast, TCCC is expanding the tools available within TRIP! and assisting direct-service providers in the region in becoming more results-based. Robinson will serve as the liaison with the organization leading that work and will assist in making the connection between organization outcomes and population metrics.

“Thetyka is an experienced group facilitator with a strong background of work among community groups. I’m looking forward to seeing her lead our facilitation work and believe she will be a great asset to the cradle to career team,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said.

Robinson brings nearly 20 years of experience working in the areas of group facilitation, communications, marketing, branding, campaign development, event planning, program management and donor engagement.

She is the CEO of strategic consulting firm Asiko and has consulted since 2012 on various projects, including co-facilitating a town hall event hosted by Sen. Marlon Kimpson, facilitating focus groups and board trainings for the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities, and leading College of Charleston and Claflin University students through sessions on respecting differences and brand discovery. Robinson previously worked for the South Carolina Federal Credit Union, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ashford University.

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

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 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 or email TCCC’s College Cash Campaign at

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