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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 School.

Andrew DrozdakDrozdak 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 Counties.

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 Alliance.

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.

KCW with studentsThis 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 areas:

  • 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 students;

  • 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 Sustainable Solutions.

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. ReportCards

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, Ed.D.

“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 successful.”


  • 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 state’s expectations.

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 Program.

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 Pelley. Click 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 applications.

  • 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 communication devices.

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. cellphone

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 any time.

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 violation offenses:

  • 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 fine.


How do I find it?

Where do I find out information about the current rezoning?

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 elementary, middle or high schools.

Where can I find bus routes? You can find your child’s bus route on your child’s school web page located here for elementary, middle or high schools. There are also links on the Transportation page.

Where can I find out about high school athletics? You can find information here about Gilbert High, Lexington High, Pelion High, River Bluff High and White Knoll High schools.

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?



Students celebrate
‘Kindness in Chalk Day’


Students and staff at Carolina Springs Middle, Forts Pond Elementary, Gilbert Primary, Rocky Creek Elementary and White Knoll Elementary participated in “Kindness in Chalk Day” on Friday, Oct. 10, by covering the sidewalks of the school grounds with positive words, phrases, quotes and images.

The drawings and words promoted friendship, peace, hope and acceptance. They also brought smiles to students’ faces.

Chalk Day


Lexington County School District One | 100 Tarrar Springs Road, Lexington, SC 29072 | Phone: 803-821-1000 Fax: 803-821-1010 Social Media Facebook Twitter YouTube Disclaimer
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