Clover students receive scholarships to flight academy, residents celebrate wins

Gold Hill Elementary School’s Robotics Club is set to compete at South Carolina’s FIRST LEGO West State Championship on Jan. 27 at Riverside High School in Greer.
Gold Hill Elementary School’s Robotics Club is set to compete at South Carolina’s FIRST LEGO West State Championship on Jan. 27 at Riverside High School in Greer. Contributed photo

Local students, organizations and residents are celebrating accomplishments.

Here are a few:

Clover students receive scholarships to attend AFJROTC flight academy

Senior Clover High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets Patrick Belsan and James Boone, along with junior cadet Samantha Burris, received full scholarships to attend a private pilot license training program this summer, according to the Clover school district.

The AFJROTC’s Flight Academy Scholarship Program partners with the commercial aviation industry and aims to address a national shortage of civilian and military pilots and increase diversity in aviation fields, a release states.

The scholarship, worth $20,000, covers room and board, academics, required flight hours and transportation.

The program is offered at six universities that partner with schools, including Kansas State University, Auburn University and Purdue University.

Participants are not required to join the Air Force or other branch of service and the program does not guarantee acceptance into one of the military’s commissioning programs, a release states.

The Clover students are three of 120 cadets around the world to receive the scholarship from Headquarters AFJROTC located at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., a release states. More than 120,000 high school students are enrolled in the AFJROTC program and more than 700 cadets applied for the scholarships.

Lancaster County schools seeking Hall of Fame nominations

The Lancaster County School District Education Hall of Fame is accepting nominations until Feb. 5. Nominations are accepted from students, educators and the Lancaster County community.

Nominations can be for former teachers, administrators or board members who have completed their educational careers. They can also be community members who have made contributions to the school district. Nominees who are deceased will be accepted.

To submit a nomination, submit a nomination form on the district’s website or at the district office. Nominations can also be mailed to Hall of Fame, Lancaster County School District, 300 Catawba Street, Lancaster SC 29720.

Fort Mill elementary robotics students head to state championship

Gold Hill Elementary School’s Robotics Club is set to compete at South Carolina’s FIRST LEGO West State Championship on Jan. 27 at Riverside High School in Greer, according to the Fort Mill school district. The FIRST LEGO League offers after-school engineering and robotics competition programs across the nation.

Gold Hill’s Hyperlink Hornets, a group of nine fourth and fifth grade students, presented their design for “the Storm Drain Strain” in December at the York Regional Tournament.

Their removable device is designed to keep plastic out of storm drains and, in turn, out of natural water sources, a release states.

The Hornets, the only elementary school team out of the six teams advancing to the state championship, also received the Project Award. The award is given to the team that excels in research, innovative solution and presentation categories.

Gold Hill Elementary will compete against 46 other schools at the West State Championship. The winner will have the opportunity to compete at the World Festival in Houston, Texas.

York County school improvement councils named to state honor roll

Rock Hill’s Children’s School at Sylvia Circle’s Improvement Council was one of 19 S.C. public schools included on the South Carolina Improvement Council’s 2018 Honor Roll, according to the council.

School improvement councils, made up of parents, educators and community members, serve as advisory committees, according to the Rock Hill school district. By law, each S.C. public school has to have a school improvement council.

Fort Mill’s Orchard Park Elementary School’s improvement council also made the list, which honors schools for their efforts to foster civic engagement in public education.

The schools will be in the running for the state improvement council’s annual Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence.

Five finalists from the 2018 list will be selected in February, with the winner announced in April.

The award, named for the state’s former governor and former U.S. education secretary Richard Riley and his late wife, was created in 2002 to recognize the contributions from more than 1,200 local improvement councils and more than 14,000 groups across the state.

Donor gives $25K to Lancaster County

The J. Marion Sims Foundation announced on Nov. 27 a donation of up to $75,000 to the Lancaster County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Foundation for the Carolinas.

Of that amount, $40,000 supports the foundation’s grants which help fund efforts related to health, higher education and workforce development and human services in Lancaster County, according to the foundation. Another $10,000 is dedicated to arts and culture in the area.

The foundation posted a challenge to the community to raise $25,000 toward its goal. The foundation pledged to match up to that amount through March 2018.

That goal was recently met with a single $25,000 donation from an anonymous family.

“We are blown away by the generosity of this angel donor,” said Robert Folks, board chair of the J. Marion Sims Foundation. “Our community will be impacted in perpetuity by this family’s contribution to Lancaster County.”

A second match challenge has kicked off. The Foundation, along with Founders Federal Credit Union and Springs Memorial Hospital, will match up to $17,500 for all gifts made through March 2018.

To donate to the foundation, visit www.jmsims.org or contact Brian Collier at 704-973-4556 or bcollier@fftc.org.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082