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McAlister Dist. 5 Teacher of Year

Angel McAlister, a third grade teacher at Calhoun Academy of the Arts, was named District Five’s Teacher of the Year at today’s Back-to-School Celebration held at Westside High School.

Mrs. McAlister has taught at Calhoun since 2000 and has a total of nine years teaching experience. She says part of her inspiration to teach comes from struggling as a third grade student with Attention Deficit Disorder. Her problem was diagnosed, and with the help of her teachers and other caring adults she became a high-achieving student by fifth grade.

“I believe that it is not a coincidence that I teach third grade; the very grade level that was so demanding for me,” Mrs. McAlister said. “My greatest contribution to education is my sincere sensitivity to students who struggle. I understand that it takes struggling learners so much longer to comprehend new information, and it is my job to be their support system.”

The finalists for District Teacher of the Year, in addition to Mrs. McAlister, were Kimberly Grove of South Fant Early Childhood and Education Center and Donnis Finet of Southwood Middle School.
The District also named its Employees of the Year in seven categories. They are: 
Adult Education – Jan Gambrell
Food Service – Rosemary Small
Maintenance – Terry Arnold
Custodial – Vera Allman
Transportation – Darlene Williams
Instructional Support Staff – Peggy Hanley
Support Staff – Jamey Hill
Teachers of the Year at the District’s individual schools are as follows: Calhoun Academy of the Arts - Angel McAlister; Centerville Elementary School, Renee Drake; Concord Elementary School, An International Baccalaureate World School – Becky Easton; Homeland Park Elementary School – Tara Wilson; McLees Elementary School – Kimberly Barnette; Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering – Melinda Butler; Nevitt Forest Community School of Innovation – Anna Wentzky; New Prospect Elementary School – Jamie Gaines; Varennes Academy of Communications and Technology – Sandra Brock; Whitehall Elementary School – Kristin Cox; Lakeside Middle School – Brooke Lance; McCants Middle School – Shera Patel; Southwood Middle School – Donnis Finet; Anderson V Career Campus – Ashley Granata; T.L. Hanna High School, An International Baccalaureate World School – Ken Littlejohn; Westside High School – Rhonda Usry; South Fant Early Childhood and Education Center – Kimberly Grove; West Market Early Childhood and Education Center, Denise Barrett.

Masked Marvels & Wondertales Coming to Clemson

Michael Cooper combines his talents to present "Michael Cooper: Masked Marvels & Wondertales," a family show that has captivated audiences around the country and the globe, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Clemson
University’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.
Read the entire news release at:

United Way Prepares to Roll Out 2-1-1

United Way is getting very close to being able to launch 211 in Anderson County, and we need your support! 

Every hour of every day, people need help accessing human services, but many do not know where to turn for assistance. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. It is free, confidential, and available 24/7.

Your voice is needed! Help us ensure every Anderson County resource is included. Please join us in creating a successful program for our community:

Date: Monday, August 16th
Time: 4:00pm
Place: Anderson County Library - Rooms B & C
Presenter: Tim Ervolina, President, United Way Association of South Carolina

Please RSVP to or by calling 226-3438


County Council Looks at Meetins at Civic Center; Shelter Policy

Anderson County Council will look at resolutions on the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Center, the Anderson County Animal Shelter as well as a number of other issues facing the county in the new budget year.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the historic courthouse downtown.  Full agenda here.


Becky Ross Anderson School District One Teacher of the Year

1st row: Chrissy Bamberg, Wren Elem.; Rachel Brookman, Palmetto Elem.; Kathy Cord, Powdersville Middle; Betsy Ross (District Winner) Hunt Meadows Elem.; Meagan Long, Palmetto Mid.; Shay Barksdale, West Pelzer Elem.; Addie McConomy, Palmetto High
2nd row: Blakely Callaham, Cedar Grove Elem.; Jill Hendricks, Powdersville Elem.; Ashley Crocker, Concrete Primary; Wes Ballard, Spearman; Lori Randall, Wren Middle; Larry Clark, Jr., Wren High  
  Anderson County School District One is proud to announce Becky Ross as the 2010-2011 district Teacher of the Year winner. She was selected from thirteen representatives from each school in the district. The winner was announced on August 13, 2010 at the back to school opening assembly for the district.
     Her post graduate work was done at Clemson University and undergraduate was from Winthrop College. She taught Kindergarten through second grade before changing her career focus to Counseling and Guidance.      She is presently serving as Guidance Counselor at Hunt Meadows Elementary. 
Teacher of the Year, Becky Ross, said “I am surprised by this awesome recognition. It is such an honor coming from the teachers I work with each day at Hunt Meadows. I have loved working in Anderson One and never doubted my calling to be a teacher and a counselor. I have always felt that caring and making connections with my students must be the primary focus to help all students be successful. It is most rewarding when a former student comes back to say, “You were the reason they became a teacher.”
     Dr. Wayne Fowler, Superintendent for Anderson District One, said, “Becky Ross is an excellent choice for Anderson One’s Teacher of the Year. She has done an outstanding job as a teacher and as a guidance counselor for our district for the past 19 years. It is evident that she cares about what she does. She is certainly a role model for teachers across the district and state.”
     Mrs. Ross is married to Scott Ross and they have two sons. She is actively involved at Easley Presbyterian Church and the Easley Junior Women’s Club. 
     Three finalists were named: Larry Clark, Jr., Wren High School,  Kathy Cord, Powdersville Middle School and Addie McConomy, Palmetto High. The thirteen Teachers of the Year serve on the Superintendent’s Forum representing each individual school. 
     Anderson District One is proud to announce its school nominees for the district Teacher of the Year competition.  Each of these 13 teachers was selected by their peers as the best example of teaching excellence for this year.  Anderson One Teachers of the Year are recognized at the district back to school opening assembly followed by a luncheon in their honor.  The teacher of the year is selected through an application process and will go on to represent the district at the state level.  
Blakely Callaham, Cedar Grove Elementary  
Ashley Crocker, Concrete Primary
Becky Ross, Hunt Meadows Elementary    
Rachel Brookman, Palmetto Elementary
Jill Hendricks, Powdersville Elementary
Wes Ballard, Spearman Elementary
Taquilla Barksdale West Pelzer Elementary
Chrissy Bamberg, Wren Elementary
Meagan Long, Palmetto Middle School
Kathy Cord, Powdersville Middle School
Lori Randall, Wren Middle School
Addie McConomy, Palmetto High School
Larry Clark, Jr., Wren High School

Construction Delays Move Centerville Elementary’s Start Date

     Classes at Centerville Elementary School will begin on Thursday, August 19th because of delays with Anderson-based Lazer Construction Company’s project to improve car access and stacking areas and enhance safety for parents dropping off and picking up their children at the school. Orientation meetings have also been rescheduled.
     Centerville students will not have to attend extra school days this year as a result of the two-day delay, according to District Five Superintendent Betty Bagley. Instead, the school may make up the time during the school year by using half-day professional development days and other time already built into the school calendar. The start of classes for other District Five schools remains Tuesday, August 17th.
      “We regret that this delay will force us to move the start of classes until Thursday, but we feel it is the appropriate course of action to ensure our students and parents the safety and accessibility they need,” Mrs. Bagley said. “It is also important to give our Centerville parents the opportunity to attend orientation meetings in which they can become acquainted with their children’s teachers before classes begin.”
      Centerville Principal Kory Roberts said that, despite the delay of school, his teachers and support staff members are looking forward to the improvements being constructed and appreciate the cooperation of district leaders in modifying the schedule to meet the needs of the school. “I encourage parents with questions or concerns to contact me at 260-5100 or at”
      Orientation meetings at Centerville were originally scheduled for Sunday, August 15th at 3 p.m. for Kindergarteners and Monday, August 16th at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for grades first through fifth. Those meetings have been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 18th at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Parents are invited to attend either meeting regardless of the grade their child will be entering.

Mount Lebanon’s Morrell named District Teacher of the Year 

Pendleton – Mount Lebanon Elementary School's Summer Morrell has been named Anderson School Four's 2010-11 District Teacher of the Year.  Announcement of Mrs. Morrell’s selection was made during Anderson Four's opening day festivities at Pendleton High School on Friday, August 13, 2010.   
As the district winner, Morrell will compete for 2011-12 state honors to be announced in April 2011.  This year's state winner will receive $25,000 and the use of a BMW Roadster for one year, as well as three state finalists will be awarded $10,000 each with all district winners receiving a $1,000 award. 
"Ms. Morrell has an outstanding vitae,” said Dr. Lee D’Andrea, Superintendent.   “She has been the teacher of the year for her school in another district, earned National Board certification, supervised student teachers, actively engaged in professional organizations and continued her own professional learning through graduate course and workshops. I think what sets her apart is the passion and commitment she has for her student's achievement and success. On June 2nd of this year, she returned to Colombia, SC to a high school graduation to see her first class of 4th graders (nine years ago) graduate from high school. She remembered their faces and their names and they excitedly shared their next steps with her: one student entering the Air Force, another going to Clemson this fall, another finishing after 13 years of school and so on. She is truly Educating the Future!  For her students, the future is very bright.”
Mrs. Morrell earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in December 2000 from Clemson University.  She began her career in 2001 at Sandhills Elementary School in Lexington Four where she taught for six years in grade third and fourth.  In 2007, she accepted a third grade position at Mount Lebanon Elementary School.  
“As a child, teachers were the professional adults,” said Ms. Morrell.  “They were the people in my life that ignited a spark for learning and achievement beyond what I might otherwise have aspired to do or be.  In a thousand small ways, they made me feel important and special.  Later in life, when I thought back on whom mattered in my life, teachers were the people who mattered.  Why would I want to be anyone else?  Why would anyone?”
Ms. Morrell’s honors include receiving her National Board Certification in 2007, being named Sandhill Elementary School‘s Teacher of the Year in 2007, earning the PASS Excellence Award in 2009, and receiving the 3rd Grade Team Award in 2010.   In addition to serving as a supervisor for student teachers for several universities, she has presented at district in-services, as well as co- presented at the South Carolina State Council of International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English annual conferences.
Teachers selected as their school's Teacher of the Year for 2010-11 include: Jeff Terry, physical education teacher at La France Elementary, Summer Morrell, 3rd grade teacher at Mount Lebanon Elementary, Carol Menzel, special education teacher at Pendleton Elementary; Russ Laven, physical education teacher at Townville Elementary; Maggie Walters, band teacher at Riverside Middle; and Joanna Covar, Spanish teacher at Pendleton High. 

Art Helps Animals at Saturday FurFest

     The Anderson Arts Center will host 2nd Annual Pet Project Exhibition Fur Fest Saturday, August 14, from 10am to 2 p.m.
     The FurFest is a festival to share the special relationship between us and our pets. We will have vendors on site as well as a many other great activities. Participating Vendors: 4PetSake Rescue • animal rescue Anderson County Humane Society • county adoption & pet rescue Anderson Dog Works, Inc. • pet training Anderson Voices for Animals • donation based spay & neuter program Bow-Wow Wheels Mobile • mobile pet grooming Buster's Buddies Pet Orphanage & Rescue • cats, dogs & endangered animals Carolina Poodle Rescue • non-profit poodle rescue Electric City Animal Clinic • Vet Ellen Spainhour • pet portrait artist J & K Grooming Service • grooming salon & boutique shop; all natural dog foods The Puppy Nanny • dog training & animal communicator Tree Parlor • large dog breed outfits, winter coats & martingale collars Waggin' Train • all natural dog treats Anderson Arts Center 110 Federal Street Anderson, SC 29625 864.222.2787

Still Time to Register for Tour De La France


Burglary Ring Busted

     Anderson County Sheriff’s investigators took down a burglary ring responsible for at least nine burglaries in the Appleton Mill area over the span of four months.
     Late Wednesday (August 11, 2010) afternoon CATCH (Criminal Apprehension Through Community Help) team officers and investigators arrested the last of five suspects involved in the burglary ring.  The ring is responsible for nine burglaries to residences that occurred in the Appleton Mill area between March 2, 2010 through July 18, 2010. 
    Investigators have arrested and charged Jamie Brandon Mullinax, 32 YOA, of 51 R. Street, Anderson with 7 counts of burglary first degree, 2 counts of receiving stolen goods and 1 count of auto breaking.       Christopher Sullivan, 30, of 290 Strickland Ave., Anderson was charged with 1 count burglary first degree and 1 count burglary second degree.  Anthony Geer, 42, of 108 Farmers St., Anderson was charged with 1 count of burglary first degree.  Tammy Melissa Allen, 40, of 233 Foster St., Anderson was charged with 1 count burglary first degree and Randall Simpson, 26, of 23 Q Street with 1 count of burglary second degree. 
     All five suspects are currently housed at the Anderson County Detention Center and awaiting bond hearings on their burglary related charges.

Arts Center Pet Project Opening Reception Tonight

The public is invited to 2nd Annual Pet Project Exhibition Opening Reception Friday, August 13, 2010 at 7p.m.They break your heart. They cover you with fur. They love you unconditionally.

Our pets teach us to live in the moment, and fill us with joy! The Anderson Arts Center presents an exhibition unlike any other! "Pet Project" is an art exhibit that will feature the special relationship between people and pets. The exhibition will feature the Wag 'n Brag Pet Photography Contest, sponsored by the Anderson Independent-Mail, and the work of artists that specialize in pet portraiture using drawing, painting, collage, ceramics or photography. **Awards will be given out during the Opening Reception for the photography contest! Anderson Arts Center 110 Federal Street Anderson, SC 29625 864.222.2787


Meals on Wheels Needs Summer Drivers

Meals on Wheels needs a little extra help on Friday.  We have two routes that need someone to step up and offer to deliver because regular drivers are on vacation!!  Can YOU help?  Call Cindy at 225-6800.

Labor Day Weekend Trike Race Back On

     Put your pedal to the metal for your favorite charity by procuring a child’s pedal vehicle, decorating it and riding it in the Tour de LaFrance Charity Pedal Race. The vehicle can be a tricycle, child’s bicycle no bigger than a 16” model, Big Wheel, pedal car, etc.  The vehicle must be child-sized and pedal-powered. 
All Pedal Race riders MUST wear a bicycle safety helmet....NO EXCEPTIONS.  A limited number of helmets will be available for use, but you are encouraged to bring your own helmet. 
Charity Pedal Race Competitions:
     “Pimp My Trike” Champion presented by the Cancer Association of Anderson: Best decorated vehicle (and rider) will be judged at 10:15 a.m. in front of the Courthouse.  **ARRIVE BY 10:00 a.m. to “stage” your vehicle for judging.**
      Fastest Racer Champion presented by Safe Kids Anderson County:  The pedal race begins at 10:30 a.m. 
     “Show Me the Money” Champion presented by Safe Kids Anderson County: Show us the money! The biggest prize goes to the racer who collects the most money for their charity. 
Registration deadline Aug. 30. For more information, email
     Collect money for your charity by having people make donations in cash, check or through the charity’s website in your honor. Any checks you collect should be made payable to your charity. 
     On the day of the race, bring a letter signed by an official of your charity on their letterhead stating the total “pre-race donations” you have collected and submitted to your charity as of Friday, September 3. 
    You can bring more donations with you to the race and also raise donations at the race from people in the crowd. At the completion of the race, your collected donations will be tallied and added to your “pre-race” total.