School District Five celebrates service

School business partners, mentors, volunteers, and parent-teacher organizations gathered at Seven Oaks Park April 4 to be honored and celebrated as an integral part of the success of Lexington-Richland School District Five.

“Community involvement is critical to School District Five’s success,” Superintendent Dr. Akil Ross said. “It’s like the old saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and this event recognizes that village and what they do for every child to make them successful. The strength of the community is the strength of the schools and when the community comes in and offers their support to the schools it makes a tremendous difference to the success of our students and staff. Everyone who is nominated and honored today is a winner and we are so thankful for their dedication to School District Five.”

District schools nominate one group or person for each category. Categories include: Outstanding Volunteer, Outstanding Volunteer Group, Outstanding Business Partner, Outstanding Mentor and Outstanding PTO. Awards are given to each school level in each category: elementary, intermediate/middle and high school.

Ballentine Elementary School PTO received the Outstanding Volunteer Group Award in the elementary school category. The group of men and women work to support the work of the school’s faculty, staff and students. They host First Friday events to boost staff morale each month. They also host events for staff, teachers, students and their parents as well including Boosterthon, Daddy-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Bowling and a Holiday Store. The group is currently finalizing plans for a digital marquee for the school. Annie Campbell serves on Ballentine Elementary PTO and said it is so nice to be recognized for the work the group does to help support the teachers and students at the school.

“I think this event is fantastic,” Campbell said. “It’s just nice being in a large group with all the schools and administrators that are investing in the students and teachers in the whole district. It really means a lot to know that the work we put in is valued.”

Palmetto Trim Specialist of Irmo received the Outstanding Business Partner award in the elementary school category for Oak Pointe Elementary School. Scott Boykin, the business owner, accepted the award highlighting the partnership which provided generous donations to the PTO fundraisers which help pay for staff treat trolleys, early release lunch. The business also donated $1000 to the PTO Pal A Thon Fun Run and the Special Olympics Lake Murray Polar Plunge. Boykin has also helped with the sensory playground at the school.

“I was definitely not expecting to win this award but I am so thankful that my name was called,” Boykin said. “Everything I do for Oak Pointe Elementary is for the students and the teachers because they are our next generation. I especially enjoy assisting the special needs children so they know how much they are loved and valued.”

This year’s award recipients included: Marilyn Smith, Oak Pointe Elementary (Outstanding Volunteer); Dee Dee Simmons, Chapin Middle (Outstanding Volunteer); Viv Carlick, Spring Hill High (Outstanding Volunteer); Ballentine Elementary PTO, Ballentine Elementary (Outstanding Volunteer Group); We Care, Chapin Middle (Outstanding Volunteer Group); South Carolina Army National Guard, Dutch Fork High (Outstanding Volunteer Group); Palmetto Trim Specialist of Irmo, Oak Pointe Elementary (Outstanding Business Partner); Nelson Mullins LLP-Sarah Eibling & Player Law Firm-Tucker Player, Chapin Middle (Outstanding Business Partner); Chick-Fil-A Ballentine, Spring Hill High (Outstanding Business Partner); Annie Owen, Piney Woods Elementary (Outstanding Mentor); Amanda Dequattro, Irmo Middle (Outstanding Mentor); Steve Fisher, Dutch Fork High (Outstanding Mentor); Lake Murray Elementary PTO (Outstanding PTO); Chapin Intermediate PTO (Outstanding PTO); Academic Leadership Academy Booster Club (Outstanding Booster Club).