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State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver Visits Edgefield County School District

Johnston, SC – State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver looked across the J-E-T Middle School art class and smiled as Avis Tuttle Jordan’s students worked side-by-side with an orderly precision and fluid creativity. That the students represented both special needs and general student populations only enhanced her appreciation for their collaboration.   

“It was deeply touching to see the integration of the special needs students in that incredible art classroom and the general education students working together with the special needs students,” stated Superintendent Weaver. “The sense of dynamism and engagement in that class is clear and I understand why she is the school district’s teacher of the year.”

Superintendent Weaver met with Eagles’ students, attended a professional learning session for school district ELA teachers and toured the Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.

After a fun time interacting with the art students, she met with a group of Eagles who presented their J-E-T Middle School P.R.I.D.E. binders, which the students use to track personal and academic goals as well as their academic performance over time. The Eagles also used their binders to lead parent-student conferences at the end of the week.

“I was particularly impressed by the fluency of the students in explaining their personal growth notebooks, their pride notebooks, and the ownership over their goals and accountability to their learning,” commented Superintendent Weaver. “That was absolutely incredible.”

Not far away, American Alliance for Innovative Systems (AAIS) CEO and Instructional Coach David Holden was working with Edgefield County School District middle school ELA teachers to develop greater consistency in district-wide instructional language. Superintendent Weaver stopped by to thank the teachers for their dedication and pose for a group photograph.

“It’s really encouraging to see the commitment to creating a common language our teachers can use because that’s how we’re going to move student outcomes,” commented Superintendent Weaver. “When we have a common language, common assessments and a common way of looking at data so we know where our students are we can create a plan to move them where they need to be.”

Her final stop included a quick tour of the new theatre and gymnasium at Strom Thurmond High School and the Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center, beginning with the new wing of construction.

“It was wonderful to see the engagement of the students and teachers in the CTE programs and to see the incredible opportunities to connect classroom learning with real world experience,” stated Superintendent Weaver.

She said she came away particularly impressed with the many plants she found growing in the agriculture program’s greenhouse.

“Those mums were beautiful,” she added.

State superintendent of education visits to Edgefield County have been rare in recent decades, but Superintendent Weaver said she was thrilled with the opportunity to visit ECSD.

“It was an honor to come here,” she added. “I was glad to do it. It was awesome.”

ECSD Public Information Office