Lexington One hires Drozdak
At the October 21, 2014 regular monthly meeting of the
Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, the board approved the
hire of Andrew Drozdak as assistant administrator at Carolina Springs Middle
has seven years of public education experience, currently serves as a
seventh-grade social studies teacher and co-heads the social studies department
at Chapin Middle School in School District Five of Lexington and Richland
He began his career in 2007 as an eighth-grade social
studies teacher at Dutch Fork Middle School in District Five of Lexington and
Richland Counties where he later also taught seventh-grade social studies. In
2012, Drozdak transferred to Chapin Middle as seventh-grade social studies
teacher and became co-department chair in 2013.
Drozdak holds a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor
in secondary education and a Master of Teaching in secondary education from the
University of South Carolina. He also holds a Master of Science in educational
leadership (curriculum design) from Arkansas State University and
certifications in middle-level social studies, secondary social studies and
secondary school leadership. He also has a gifted and talented endorsement.
Drozdak is a member of the South Carolina Geographic
Board conducts superintendent’s evaluation
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, the Lexington County School
District One Board of Trustees met in executive session at 5:30 P.M. to conduct
Superintendent Karen C. Woodward’s 2013–2014 performance evaluation.
This annual evaluation is required by board policy and by
the district’s employment agreement with the superintendent, and focused on the
district’s 2013–2014 goals for its LexLeads, LexLearns and LexLives priority
initiatives. District administrators reviewed the 2013–2014 school year with
the board, and set goals and priorities for this school year (2014–2015) at the
board workshop held Sept. 30, 2014.
In open session, after finishing Dr. Woodward’s review,
the board publicly expressed its strong approval of her performance and overall
vision for Lexington One, the state of South Carolina and public education in
general, remarked on what an honor it was to have Woodward as Lexington One’s
leader and pointed out her particularly strong performance in the following
her capability, dedication, diligence, vision,
integrity and ability to bring consistency in an ever-changing and
constantly growing district;
the district’s performance and improvement overall,
in graduation rate (up four points) and in every other measured performance
indicator, including the overall performance of its students in the ESEA
Federal Accountability system where 26 of the 27 Lexington One schools
listed met or exceeded the state’s expectations in spite of the fact that
the Annual Measureable Objective increased five points for elementary
schools, four points for middle schools and three points for high schools,
and the fact that more Lexington One students are living in poverty;
an emphasis on meeting the individual needs of
the design, construction, rezoning and successful
opening of the district’s newest school, Deerfield Elementary School, an
innovative new approach to education both in construction and education;
her innovative leadership and vision for the design
and continued implementation of the district’s Schools of the Future — Now!
initiative, which continues to garner state and national recognition and
which focuses on making sure Lexington One graduates possess the necessary
skills to compete, contribute and succeed locally and globally by
emphasizing three areas: LexLeads, LexLearns and LexLives; and
the district’s focus on safe schools for students
with the addition of a Security and Emergency Services Director at the
district level and the continuation of School Resource Officers at all
middle schools, high schools and the Lexington Technology Center and of
officers in elementary schools for several hours each day.
On behalf of the board, Chair Cynthia S. Smith stated,
“Dr. Woodward leads by example on a daily basis. She not only looks out for the
students of Lexington County School District One, but also advocates for all of
the students in South Carolina. It is truly her mission in life to give our
students an opportunity to soar.
“Under her leadership, the district was one of nine new
members selected to join Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, a
national network of school districts committed to demonstrating, evaluating and
scaling innovation. AASA, the national School Superintendents Association,
presented her with the 2014 AASA Women in School Leadership Award, which
recognizes the exceptional leadership of active, front-line female
administrators who make a difference in the lives of students every day.
“She focuses on advocacy for children and on service to
the community. She is committed to preparing graduates for a fast-changing 21st
century digital, global and knowledge economy, and possesses a unique,
innovative and forward-thinking vision.”
A superintendent for 30 years and leader of Lexington One
for 14, Woodward joined Lexington One in July 2000. Since that time, the
district has opened 14 new school buildings (WKHS, PHS, GHS, PHES, PHMS, CSES,
CSMS, FPES, NPES, RCES, MGES, MGMS, RBHS, DES) in an effort to cope with rapid
student population growth.
In 2013–2014, the district, one of the state’s
fastest-growing school districts, grew by another 429 students and celebrated
significant successes in academics, fine arts and athletics. The district
opened the Pelion Performing Arts Center at Pelion Middle that includes
performance space and two new classrooms; River Bluff High with Expeditionary
Learning, Flexible Modular Scheduling and two Lexington One Centers for
Advanced Study (The Center for Law and Global Policy Development and The Center
for Media Arts, Design and Production); and Gilbert High’s Center for
Lexington One students continued to perform above state
and national averages on nationally normed assessments. Some of the academic
and leadership awards won by students during the 2013–2014 school year included
National Achievement and Merit Scholarship Winners and Finalists; ACT perfect
score; U.S. Presidential Scholar; and National Center for Women & Information
Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing.
Students won state and national competitions in Virtual
Enterprise Trade Show, DECA, FBLA, Future Farmers of America Association, HOSA,
S.C. Scholastic Press Association, SkillsUSA, Virtual Enterprise competitions,
Atlanta Braves T-shirt Design Competition and South Carolina State Fair
Culinary Arts. They also took state championships in cheerleading, cross
country, golf, track and field, wrestling and swimming, and won awards at the
Festivals of Music National Competition.
Teachers and staff were honored with local, state and
national awards, making Lexington One home to the South Carolina Association of
School Administrators South Carolina Middle School Assistant Principal of the
Year, S.C. VFW Citizenship Middle School Teacher of the Year, Palmetto State
School Counselor Association School Administrator of the Year, and a Supreme
Court Institute participant.
Schools and departments were honored with FranklinCovey
The Leader in Me Lighthouse status; recognition for general performance in the
South Carolina Department of Education’s Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards
program (16 schools); National Athletic Trainers’ Association 1st Team Safe
Sports School; “100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” top 30
national ranking; and a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial
Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association as well as a
Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School
Business Officials, International.
In addition, the National School Boards Association’s
American School Board Journal honored the district’s Board of Trustees and
World Languages program with a first-place 2014 Magna Award, recognizing bold
and innovative steps to advance public education.
In light of an excellent job performance evaluation, the
board authorized an amendment to the superintendent’s employment agreement with
the district during open session of its meeting. The amendment increases her
annual compensation by 2.7 percent (the same average percentage increase given
to all other district staff for 2014–2015), bringing her annual salary from
$184,487 to $189,468 and provides her with 30 additional days of pay for
earned, but unused leave at the time of separation from employment. Her
contract runs through 2017.
In 2014–2015, the board and the superintendent will place
an emphasis on maintenance of the district’s schools and continue the
challenging work of delivering academic excellence in the face of shifting
state and federal funding. Districts continue to be funded by the state at
levels lower than the state’s formula recommends. Funding for 2014–2015 is
below the 2005–2006 school year formula. The district will continue to pursue
alternate funding sources such as grants, business partnerships and
opportunities made possible by the district’s Educational Foundation.
26 of 27 Lexington District One schools exceed state’s expectations in ESEA
Federal Accountability system
This year, for the third year, because of the U.S.
Education Department’s approval of South Carolina Department of Education’s
request for a waiver from certain ESEA or NCLB requirements, schools and
districts received letter grades ranging from “A” to “F” based upon a
combination of student achievement and student improvement in English/language
arts, mathematics, social studies, science, high school graduation rates and
percent of students tested.
Lexington County School District One reports the overall
performance of its students in the ESEA Federal Accountability system met or
exceeded state expectations. In fact, 26 of the 27 Lexington One schools listed
met or exceeded the state’s expectations in spite of the fact that the Annual
Measureable Objective increased five points for elementary schools, four points
for middle schools and three points for high schools.
For the 2013–2014 school year, Lexington One received a
“B” letter grade with an 89.4 point total. A 90 point total would be an “A”
letter grade. The district’s subtotals of 93.0 for elementary, 85.3 for middle
and 90.7 for high schools all exceeded the state’s average.
In addition, Saxe Gotha Elementary received additional
recognition as a Title I Reward School for Performance as one of the highest
performing Title I schools in the state. This is based on attaining a letter
grade of “A” or “B” for the last two years, having a free/reduced meal count
greater than 50 percent, having no significant achievement gaps and having at
least one tested grade on state assessments.
The district continues to be concerned about and work
with demographic subgroups of students who are often the hardest to prepare for
tests, such as students with disabilities, students from low-income families
and students with limited English proficiency.
“Our teachers and staff care deeply for their students
and work very hard. We want to thank them for their continued good work as the
district improved overall in all groups and all grades, in graduation rate and
in every other measured indicator,” said Superintendent Karen Woodward,
“With that said, we all will continue to be concerned
about and work with demographic subgroups of students who are often the hardest
to prepare for tests, such as students with disabilities, students from
low-income families and students with limited English proficiency. We are
working with Dr. Tammy Pawloski and the Center of Excellence to Prepare
Teachers of Poverty at Francis Marion University in an attempt to give our
principals and teachers the tools they need to help students in poverty be
Three Lexington One schools do not have ESEA results.
Deerfield Elementary opened this year and did not exist last year. River
Bluff High only opened last year, and schools must have two years of
comparative data. Technology Centers are assessed differently, and
Lexington Technology Center, like all technology centers across the state,
has no grade yet.
A “C” letter grade in this system indicates that the
student performance met the state’s expectations, a “B” letter grade that
the student performance exceeds the state’s expectations and an “A” letter
grade indicates that the student performance substantially exceeds the
I keep hearing about smart snacks. What is that?
The National School Lunch and Breakfast Program
establishes standards for school lunches and breakfasts. Lexington One
participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast
Districts participating in the program are required to
comply with a new law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which
required new standards for snack foods and beverages (Smart Snacks in School).
You can go here to learn more about it.
Congratulations to our schools’ Teachers of the Year!
Lexington County School District One proudly celebrates
its newest Teachers of the Year.
Representing their schools in the District Teacher of the
Year process this year are: Carolina Springs Elementary Fifth-Grade English
Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher Tamela Jett; Carolina Springs Middle
Eighth-Grade Science Teacher Teresa Gibbons; Forts Pond Elementary Art Teacher
Lisa Thomas; Gilbert Elementary Fourth-Grade Teacher Jamie Brunson; Gilbert
High Algebra Teacher Christina Bosserman; Gilbert Middle Eighth-Grade Science
Teacher Pamela Humphries; Gilbert Primary Kindergarten Teacher Amy Van Horne;
Lake Murray Elementary Music Teacher Amy Shealy; Lexington Elementary
Technology Integration Specialist Suzanne Brooks; Lexington High AP Statistics
and International Baccalaureate Teacher Sheryn Billue; Lexington Middle
Sixth-Grade Science Teacher Charlene Jones; Lexington Technology Center
Marketing Teacher Marcy O’Brien; Meadow Glen Elementary Kindergarten Teacher
Aubrey Catone; Meadow Glen Middle iCivics Teacher Melody Shafer; Midway
Elementary Fifth-Grade Teacher Katie McKinley; New Providence Elementary
Kindergarten Teacher Kay Derrick; Oak Grove Elementary Second-Grade Teacher
Cassie Stone; Pelion Elementary School Counselor Julie Long; Pelion High Band
Director Otto Hage; Pelion Middle Industrial Technology and STEM Academy
Teacher John Leneschmidt; Pleasant Hill Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Cheryl
Banks; Pleasant Hill Middle Sixth-Grade Social Studies Teacher Steve Woodyard;
Red Bank Elementary Second-Grade Teacher Meghan Cegelis; River Bluff High Band
Director Ken Turner; Rocky Creek Elementary Third-Grade Teacher Katie Herndon;
Saxe Gotha Elementary Special Education Teacher Patricia Dutton; White Knoll
Elementary ESOL Teacher Jennifer Gillespie; White Knoll Middle Sixth-Grade
Mathematics Teacher Joan Conger; and White Knoll High NJROTC Instructor David
here to see these Teachers of the Year.
Each of these Teachers of the Year represent their school
on the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council for one year and serve on the
district’s Teacher Forum for two years.
How did these teachers get chosen? At each school,
teachers nominate and vote for a school-level Teacher of the Year.
What happens next?
Once chosen, these school-level Teachers of the Year
complete written applications.
Five teams of judges carefully review and score
The 10 applications with the highest scores are
judged by yet a different team of six judges.
The district will announce the five finalists for the
2014–2015 District Teacher of the Year in January 2015. After that, another
panel of judges will spend a day observing the five finalists as they teach
and interviewing them.
The district announces the new District Teacher of
the Year and celebrates each of the Teachers of the Year on March 31, 2015,
during the district’s annual Teacher of the Year Celebration.
The District Teacher of the Year then competes for
the title of State Teacher of the Year.
Mark your calendars now and join us at the Teacher of the
Year Celebration held this year at the Lexington One Performing Arts Center at
River Bluff High.
Lexington One updates cellphone policy
Lexington County School District One recently updated
Policy JICJ Use of Personal Communication Devices which deals with our
students’ use of cellular telephones (cellphones) and other personal
The new policy will be posted online by the South
Carolina School Boards Association soon. In the meantime, we wanted you to know
about the changes.
Effective immediately, both middle and high school
students may have cellphones and other personal communication devices in
school. Students may use devices between classes and during lunch, but still
may not use them during instructional time or in locker rooms or restrooms at
Elementary school students may have cellphones and other
personal communication devices at school now — as long as the devices remain
turned off and out of sight during the school day.
There were also some changes to the consequences for
students who violate the policy. Here are the new consequences for policy
The first offense results in confiscation of the
device for one day and a letter mailed home to parents/legal guardians.
The second offense results in confiscation of the
device for three days and a letter mailed home to parents/legal guardians.
The student must pay a $15 fine before the device will be returned.
The third offense results in confiscation of the
device for five days and a letter mailed home reminding parents/legal
guardians of the severity of what happens if the student violates the
policy one more time. The student must pay a $15 fine before the device
will be returned.
If there is a fourth offense, the student loses the
privilege of bringing any cellphone or other personal communication device
to school for the remainder of the year. A letter is mailed home to
parents/legal guardians informing them of this. The student must pay a $15
How do I find it?
Where do I find out information about the current
Where do my children go to school?
Can I enroll my child online?
Where can I find information about my child’s school? You can
find information on your child’s school web page located here for
Where can I find bus routes? You can find your child’s bus
route on your child’s school web page located here for
There are also links on the
Where can I find out about high school athletics? You can find
information here about Gilbert High,
Pelion High, River
Bluff High and White Knoll High
Where can I learn more about the personal mobile computing
initiative at the middle and high schools?
Does the district have a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account?