Boyd named acting Darlington County school superintendent

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Thursday morning the Darlington County Board of Education, in a called meeting, accepted the resignation of superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram, who has been named superintendent for the Berkeley County School District.

Though Ingram’s resignation is effective Aug. 20, he plans to begin his transition immediately and will take leave for his remaining time with the Darlington County School District.

The board also announced that Dr. Willie “Bill” Boyd Sr., the district’s associate superintendent, will serve as acting superintendent, effective immediately, until board members identify an interim superintendent for the district.

“The Board of Education is pleased Dr. Boyd has agreed to step into the leadership role during this crucial time of transition,” said Jamie Morphis, chairman of the Darlington County Board of Education. “His experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we move forward.”

Boyd has worked in the Darlington County School District for nearly 50 years, including 25 years in district administration. He previously served the district as a teacher, assistant principal, principal at multiple schools, transportation director, assistant to the superintendent, assistant superintendent for administration, and his current role as associate superintendent.

“I appreciate the confidence of the board to allow me to step in during this time. We have a very capable staff in place, and we will rely on that experience as we prepare for a new school year,” said Boyd. “We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Ingram. He brought many great ideas to the district, and we will build on those successes. Our focus will continue to be on every child, every day. We want the community to know we give 110 percent each day we are here.”

Boyd serves on the Florence-Darlington Technical College Board of Directors, as well as the McLeod Health Board of Trustees and the First Church of God Board of Trustees. He is a U.S. Army veteran. He is married to Patricia White Boyd, and they have four children.

Former Darlington school chief Knight to lead search for new superintendent

BY JIM FAILE Hartsville Messenger

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Former Darlington County School District Superintendent Rainey Knight will lead the search for a new superintendent for Darlington County schools.

The Darlington County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to put Knight in charge of the search.

Knight said after the vote that she will begin in the coming weeks putting together recruitment materials and application packets for potential candidates.

She said she would have more details about how she plans to proceed with a search in the next few weeks.

She said she would screen candidates and make recommendations to the board.

Knight said she probably will focus her search on the Southeast.

Superintendent Eddie Ingram resigned last week after accepting the position of superintendent with the Berkeley County School District. His resignation from Darlington County becomes effective Sunday, and he begins his new duties with Berkeley County on Monday. He is taking leave for his remaining time with the Darlington County School District.

Ingram has been superintendent in Darlington County since mid-2013.

Knight served as superintendent in Darlington County from October 1999 until her retirement in June 2013.

The board on Thursday named veteran educator Willie “Bill” Boyd Sr., the district’s associate superintendent, as acting superintendent until an interim superintendent is named is named. On Monday, Boyd was named the interim superintendent. Boyd has been with the school district in a number of capacities for nearly 50 years.

The board voted Monday to give Boyd a salary supplement of $2,500 per month while he is interim superintendent and vehicle allowance of $500 per month. Those become effective on Sunday.

The meeting was Boyd’s first as acting superintendent. He thanked the district staff for helping to make his transition into the position.

Board members thanked Boyd for his willingness to serve as acting superintendent.

“I think the transition has gone pretty well so far,” board Chairman Jamie Morphis said.

“The transition has been seamless,” board member Wanda Hassler said.

Boyd told the board that all district schools have reported that they are ready to accept students back for the first day of school on Thursday.

“All of our schools are ready,” he said.

Darlington County Schools superintendent leaving for Berkeley County

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Tuesday night the Berkeley County School Board named Darlington County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram as its new superintendent, according to a release issued by the Darlington County district Wednesday morning.

“We appreciate all Dr. Ingram has done for our students, schools and community over the past four years,” said Jamie Morphis, chairman of the Darlington County Board of Education. “Sometimes you are presented with professional opportunities too good to ignore, and we wish Dr. Ingram all the best in his new role in Berkeley County.”

The Darlington County Board of Education will hold a special-called meeting Aug. 10 to discuss employment matters regarding the superintendent. The meeting will start at 8 a.m. in the training room of the district's administrative office at 120 E. Smith Avenue, Darlington.

Darlington County receives grant for summer reading

The Darlington County School District will receive approximately $37,000 for summer reading, one of 20 districts set to receive funding through the Summer Reading Camp Community Partnership Grant. The TEACH (Teaching, Educating and Advancing Children in Hartsville) Foundation will also contribute $29,000 to further the program to at-risk students in grades 4K, 5K, 1st and 2nd grades.

“Summer learning loss is a well-documented problem for students. Children need as much quality exposure to vocabulary acquisition, reading and comprehension as possible. Those experiences, coupled with rigor and relevance, will serve to improve children’s academic futures as they move through school,” said Dr. Eddie Ingram, superintendent of the Darlington County School District. “We are excited to once again partner with the YMCA, Coker College and the TEACH Foundation to provide reading opportunities for students this summer. I’m very proud of our staff who took the initiative to secure these funds.”

The Jump Into Reading Program will include Coker College, the YMCA of the Upper Pee Dee and the TEACH Foundation with the purpose of providing students who are significantly below third-grade reading proficiency the opportunity to receive quality, intensive instructional services and support.

“We know that children who do not read on grade level by the third grade are significantly more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers,” said Sharman Poplava, executive director of the TEACH Foundation. “TEACH believes the earlier we can promote good reading skills, the better chance we have for 3rd grade students to meet the reading level mark. Creating an additional learning environment for these students to succeed is paramount to their success.”

Hartsville student to appear on new 'Boy Band' show

Hartsville, S.C. (WPDE) — An 18-year-old from Hartsville will be a part of the new ABC series "Boy Band."

Stone Martin, Hartsville High class of 2017, is one of 30 young men who will be on the series premiere this Thursday, according to a news release.

The 'Boy Band' website says "Host Rita Ora welcomes 30 of the best young male vocalists in the country to Hollywood, where they audition before musical icons Emma Bunton, Nick Carter and Timbaland. Only 18 performers will make the cut and advance to the next round. Thus begins the mixing and matching, as the architects form three groups of six to compete in the next phase of the competition."

Viewers will get to vote for their favorite five band members.

Stone lives in Hartsville and studied at the "A Cappella Academy" last summer in Los Angeles and was accepted again for this summer. He is set to be a music major at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Stone was also on X-Factor when he was in 8th grade, according to a release from school district spokeswoman Audrey Childers.

The series begins this Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. on ABC 15.

10 Hartsville High choir students earn All-State honors

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Ten Hartsville High School students recently earned the highest honor bestowed on high school choral singers when the South Carolina Music Educators Association named them to the All-State Choir.

The students are senior Andrew Lackey, senior Stone Martin, senior Daniel Thompson, junior Elianna Thompson, junior Chris Beasley, junior JaDira Fields, junior C.J. Johnson, junior Archie Torain, sophomore Larissa Berger and sophomore Lee Saxton.

Jim Beaumier, the director of choirs at HHS, described the selections as momentous.

“This is the largest number of All-State Choir students in the history of Hartsville High School,” Beaumier said. “These are all great students."

The number of All-State honorees from HHS increased from six last year. In fact, the number of HHS students named to the All-State Choir has increased four consecutive years. The Darlington County School District had more students named to the All-State Choir than the seven surrounding counties combined.

Lackey and Daniel Thompson earned All-State selections for a third consecutive year, something Beaumier said hasn’t had happen in his 12 years at HHS. Johnson, Martin and Torain earned the honor for a second time.

The 10 All-State Choir members will perform during the South Carolina All-State Concert on March 4 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill.

Jumpstart program provides reading readiness skills

By Sharman Poplava

Learning to read begins in early childhood and research indicates that the ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school. Third grade is a transition period when children should be making the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Studies show that third grade reading level indicates a child’s chances of graduating high school. If children start behind they tend to stay behind.

Early literacy experiences are critical to a child’s development.

Darlington County Head Start offers a language and reading curriculum through the Jumpstart, Children First program for children 3-5 years old at the Butler site in Hartsville. The program is in partnership with Coker College, the Darlington County School District, and the TEACH Foundation. In 2015, the TEACH Foundation selected Jumpstart as one of the PULSE education initiatives to help address early childhood literacy. The TEACH Foundation a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization funded through the Sonoco Foundation.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students to help close the kindergarten readiness gap. The program provides a curriculum to increase reading and vocabulary skills and alphabet comprehension targeting preschool-age children.

Jumpstart’s college corps program began in 1993 in Connecticut and has since trained more than 45,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing nearly 100,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across the country in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

The Jumpstart college corps program offers students a chance to receive high-quality training in early childhood development and education, and gain invaluable hands-on experience in the classroom, all the while giving back to the local community. Jumpstart is a great opportunity for students who are interested in education, looking for a work-study opportunity, or simply love spending time with children.

“The children I work with are amazing. They love Jumpstart and what we do in the classroom. It’s like a game to them but at the same time they’re really learning,” says Kyle Chrzanowski, Coker College student and Jumpstart corps member.

The curriculum, based on language and literacy skills provides children with a consistent routine, low adult-to-child ratios, and positive, meaningful interactions with adults. The curriculum also provides a balance of child-initiated and adult-guided learning opportunities. All of these factors contribute to the progress a child makes towards lifelong success in school and beyond.

By participating in Jumpstart’s program, children can develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success.

Reading skills must be developed early and over time and reinforced once children enter kindergarten. Taking time to read to a child is one of the most important steps to prepare your child for kindergarten. Here are some additional tips and resources to help start your child on the path to lifelong learning:

• Tumblebook Library for free e-books through the Darlington County Library System

• Paws to Read with dogs at the Darlington Library branch

• MotherRead/FatherRead program through Darlington County First Steps

• Parents As Teachers (PAT) through Darlington County First Steps

• Reach Out to Read program through local doctors’ offices

Every child holds great potential and Jumpstart is one path forward to unlock it.

To learn more about the TEACH Foundation and the Jumpstart, Children First program, visit the Foundation website at

Sharman Poplava is the Executive Director of the TEACH Foundation.

Scouts celebrate organization’s 106th birthday

(Hartsville Messenger) Young boys in 5K through fifth grade affiliated with the Scoutreach program in Hartsville celebrated the 106th birthday of Boy Scouts of America with their families at a Blue and Gold Banquet at Jerusalem Baptist Church on Thursday night.

The youngsters enjoyed an evening of food, fellowship and recognition. Advancement awards were announced with belt loops and pins being awarded for accomplishments. A magic show was presented by Michael Barefoot for everyone’s enjoyment.

No birthday would be complete without cake. The group dined on fried chicken with all the trimmings, including cupcakes for dessert.

“The boys have been working really hard to complete their accomplishments,” said Marquita Gaither, program director for the Scoutreach program in Hartsville.

Attending the banquet were three Cub Scout packs – Tigers, first-graders; Wolfs, second-graders; Bears, third-graders and Webelos and fourth- and fifth-graders and “Learning for Life”, kindergarten.

“We serve four different schools,” Gaither said.

The schools represented are Thornwell School for the Arts, Washington Street Elementary and West Hartsville Elementary and Southside Early Childhood Center. Packs 542, 543 and 544 attended, along with Group 500. These represent about 88 boys.

“I really like Boy Scouts,” said Travis Kelley, a student at West Hartsville Elementary. “I like being recognize and being able to represent my school. Other program I’m in I don’t get noticed by the school.”

Joshua Wingate, a student at Washington Elementary, said “I have fun. I like earning belt loops and pins.” This is his second year in Scouting.

“I like the activities,” said Jarris Lambert, a student at West Hartsville. “I especially like the physical activities, playing games.”

The program is implemented by the Pee Dee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the TEACH Foundation, which oversees the Comer School Development Program in Hartsville.

The Scoutreach program in Hartsville is funded by the TEACH Foundation in an effort to reach economically challenged and at-risk youth in the community.

A big difference between this outreach program and a traditional program is parent involvement. With the program beginning directly after school, parents aren’t as involved in the Scouting process.