UNION COUNTY — Union County High School released a newsletter for students and parents — copies of which are available in the school office — titled “State of the UC.”
UCHS Principal Floyd Lyles Lyles said the newsletter — a magazine-style collage of photos and information designed by Mrs. Jenelle Gilliam — was a way to release a sort of “State of Union County High School” address.
The first page of the newsletter features the following letter from Lyles:
Dear UCHS Family,
It is with great pleasure that I present to you this exceptional snapshot of my pride and joy — UCHS!
As principal, I am constantly bombarded by everyone about our school: “Mr. Lyles, why are we an ‘F’? Mr. Lyles, why do we always have to wear IDs and be on time? Mr. Lyles, why are you always expecting only our best?”
The answer is very simple and reflective of the many accomplishments that we have achieved and are continuing to achieve through the many efforts of our students, faculty, staff, and through the tremendous support from our parents, local businesses, our Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall, and our school board.
Today and every day, we will continue to celebrate what is already evident: Here at UCHS, we exhibit pride, always strive, and never settle for less than our best because we know that “Success is our only option!”
The newsletter also profiles UCHS:
“In the central area of Union County, you will find Union County High School. In 2007, two schools in the community were added to create UCHS. We serve a diverse population of students in grades 9-12. With continued community and parental support, we strive to continue to build a climate where “Success is the only option!”
Another section of the newsletter is labeled, “Why UC?” Six answers are bulleted:
• Highest graduation rate in the history of Union County!
• Recipient of the Palmetto Gold Award for closing the achievement gap!
• Over $1 million in scholarships awarded to seniors and 14 Palmetto Fellows recipients!
• Steady improvement across the board in all four core areas, with substantial increase in math and biology (more than 16 percent)!
• Home ofthe 2014 State Champion Lady Jackets Softball Team!
• Home of the UCHS Indoor Percussion Team, ranked 14th in the world!
The newsletter features an assortment of photos featuring many of the above mentioned award recipients and activities. The newsletter also explains that opportunities at UCHS can yield even greater opportunities for students, as Gino Ferguson was accepted into the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities due to his exceptional skills as a violinist; and Quinn Dobson was accepted into the South Carolina Governor’s School for Math and Science because of his remarkable skills in both subject areas.
The newsletter also lists facts about faculty and staff, enrichment activities, athletic programs, clubs and organizations. Quotes from students are also featured:
“A lot of leaders have come out of Union County, but a lot of people don’t realize it. UCHS has a lot of organizations to offer, and more people are starting to participate. They all have leadership positions, and students can take that leadership out of the organizations and into the classroom!” — Alana Wright, Class of 2014
“I am thankful for our administrators and teachers for making me feel completely comfortable. I know that I can go to anyone and talk to them. We are blessed to have them here and do so much for us!” — Reid Bailey
The newsletter also lists several ideas on which there is a school-wide emphasis:
Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)
Jacket “POWER” (Performance, Ownership, World awareness, Effective behaviors, Respect)
• College Night
• College Day
• National Career Week
• Peer Coaching Network
• School-wide planning and collaboration
• Extensive staff development
• School Improvement Council
• Service learning/career education
• Parenting workshops
• Standards-based instruction
• Data-driven school
The school website — www.edline.net/pages/Union_County_High_School — is also listed. Complete copies of the State of the UC newsletter are available in the UCHS main office.