Rotary Club of Daniel Island invites TCCC to speak

Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Daniel Island for inviting TCCC CEO John Read to speak to members this morning!

Photos: CRBJ Power Breakfast on education

Special thanks to the panelists and all those who attended today’s Charleston Regional Business Journal Power Breakfast! The event focused on tri-county education and TCCC’s recently released Regional Education Report: Chapter 4.

TCCC CEO John C. Read did a short presentation on the report, and then panelists from the region fielded questions about what needs to happen to improve educational outcomes.

Get to know the speakers:

Cathy Almquist, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Trident Technical College

Cathy Almquist has been with Trident Technical College since 1990 when she joined the faculty as a chemistry instructor. She holds an associate in arts from Iowa Western Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the College of Charleston, a Master of Science in immunobiology from Iowa State University and a doctorate of management in community college policy and administration.

“We don’t want something that’s surface level. We need commitment, and we need that commitment from every sector of our society,” Almquist said. “It’s no longer OK to simply say, ‘We fund public education. It’s their job to crank out good, productive workers.’ The evidence shows us that’s not what’s happening. We’ve got to get a deeper commitment, and it’s got to come from everybody.”

Jessica Jackson, Senior Manager of Global Engagement, Boeing South Carolina

Jessica Jackson represents Boeing to ensure successful implementation of the company’s corporate citizenship mission by committing company resources for community investments in the areas of education, health and human services, arts and culture, civic and environment. She has a master’s degree from Georgetown University and previously served as a vice president at the S.C. Federal Credit Union.

“This is imperative for the business community. This is our future,” Jackson said. “Yes, generally speaking, we might not have trouble filling certain jobs right now, but that’s not going to be the case 10, 20, 50 years from now, so we’ve got to fix it now.”

Ted Legasey, Chair, Charleston Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors

Ted Legasey is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s degree in math. He also holds a master’s in operations research from the University of Pennsylvania. He spent nine years on active duty as an Air Force officer. He founded and served as the operational leader of SRA International Inc. before taking the company public in 2002.

“There is one very big lever that, if pulled properly, could make a material difference in what’s happening in our schools. Every business leader who came here will get this right away. It’s called talent,” Legasey said. “If we could have, as John said in his remarks, a superbly qualified principal with highly qualified teachers who are on the same page about high expectations for the children and for each other, we would make a material difference in the way children are educated. How that happens is a tough issue, but that’s what needs to happen.”

John C. Read, CEO, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

John C. Read returned to Charleston in 2014 to serve as CEO of TCCC after serving as CEO for SeriousFun Children’s Network, Paul Newman’s global network of camps and programs serving children with life threatening illnesses. Read previously served as CEO for Outward Bound USA from 2001 to 2010. Read holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Harvard University and honorary doctorate degrees from Centenary College and Shenandoah University.

“Systems failure is complex. This one counts among its victims not only the generations of children who are and have been poorly served, but talented educators and administrators exerting practically heroic efforts to make things better,” Read said. “It is no longer sufficient, if it ever was, to leave the job of changing the system only to those who are a part of it. Complex systems change rarely happens that way.”

Anita Zucker, CEO, The InterTech Group

Anita Zucker is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. She also received a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of North Florida. Zucker taught elementary school for more than 10 years, and today serves as CEO for The InterTech Group Inc. in North Charleston.

“We don’t have time to lose another generation of children. That’s the bottom line,” Zucker said. “We are losing our children. Do we not understand they’re our greatest asset? We need to save children. I think the only way we can do it is by standing up and taking a stand, using our voices. We’ve got to save our children’s lives.”


‘She is solid gold and a patriot of the highest order’

Dick Whitfield called our Board Chair Anita Zucker a hero in a recent Letter to the Editor in the Moultrie News. We couldn’t agree more!

Read his letter:

Power Breakfast planned for Thursday

The Charleston Regional Business Journal’s next Power Breakfast will focus on tri-county education and TCCC’s recently released Regional Education Report: Chapter 4.

The Power Breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, at the North Charleston Marriott at 4770 Goer Drive in North Charleston. Tickets are on sale now for $45 and can be purchased online.

John C. Read, CEO of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, will do a short presentation prior to a panel discussion with:

  • Cathy Almquist, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Trident Technical College
  • Ted Legasey, Chair, Charleston Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors
  • Jessica Jackson, Senior Manager of Global Engagement, Boeing South Carolina
  • Anita Zucker, CEO, The InterTech Group

We hope to see you there!

Special thanks to our HSGN Guiding Team!

Our High School Graduation Network’s Guiding Team, which is a subset of members from the Network who are designated to lead the Network’s work, met last week on the Boeing South Carolina campus.

The Guiding Team meets bi-monthly and includes key stakeholders, content experts, process facilitators and members of the TCCC backbone staff.

During the April 26th meeting, the Guiding Team discussed and made plans for the Network’s four Project Teams (FAFSA, College and Career Readiness, Students with Disabilities and Disconnected Youth).

To learn more and to join the network, contact Sarah Piwinski, TCCC’s Director of Data Management and Analysis,  at or 843.408.6598.

May 19: Free asthma camp for tri-county children

Impediments to education attainment in this region intersect with health issues all across the pre-natal to workforce continuum. For TCCC’s Networks, Consortia and Guiding Teams, health issues are an integral part of the work.

One of the most prominent physical health issues the impede proficiency and readiness in K-12 is asthma.

The American Lung Association in South Carolina is hosting a free asthma camp for children ages 6-13 and their parents.

At Camp Breathe Easy, South Carolina, participants will learn to manage asthma symptoms. Participants will take home peak flow meters and spacers, and there will be educational activities, giveaways and experts on-hand to answer questions. A parent or guardian is required to attend as well.

The camp will take place at Mary Ford Elementary at 3180 Thomasina McPherson Boulevard in North Charleston, on Saturday, May 19, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Download the application and return to the American Lung Association. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more at

Op/Ed: Student success depends on support from entire community

The TCCC Board of Directors, chaired by InterTech Group CEO Anita Zucker, voted unanimously last week to approve this Op/Ed submission to The Post and Courier.

“We believe every school in our region should have an excellent principal leading high-quality teachers who are setting high expectations for every child — no exceptions. We will work with superintendents to make this happen.

We will advocate to change laws and policies that are clearly impeding our progress and contributing to disparities based on race, including Act 388 and the Disturbing Schools Law.”

Click here to read the full Op/Ed.

Symposium on early childhood arts, STEM set for May 7

The Institute for Child Success is partnering with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts to host Creativity Connects Charleston: Early STEM Learning Through the Arts.

This free, one-day symposium will focus on early childhood arts integration and STEM. It will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 7 at The Gibbes Museum of Art, at 135 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Lunch will be provided.

The day will include interactive panel discussions, hands-on arts experiences and workshops exploring how integrating the arts into early childhood classrooms can enhance STEM learning for young children.

Click here to learn more and register.

Presenting to the Kiwanis Club of Charleston

Special thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Charleston for inviting our CEO, John Read, to speak during their April 19 lunch meeting!

Kiwanis is an international organization that is dedicated to improving the world one child, one community at a time.


Kindergarten Readiness Network vote coming up

TCCC’s Kindergarten Readiness Network, which is convened by Trident United Way, is expected take a key vote on May 23.

Last year, the network voted to proceed into a due-diligence period with Family Connects, an evidence-based program that’s intended to serve all families with newborns in the region.

 Through Family Connects, nurses visit newborns and their families at their homes in the first three months of life to connect them with community resources and health care providers.

Intensive planning for the program has taken place over the past nine months during the due-diligence period, and now the network will decide if the program should be fully implemented.

Network members are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at Palmetto Goodwill2150 Eagle Drive, Building 100 in North Charleston.