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Sunday, April 7, 2013
Hammond Hill Elementary had two special visitors bearing gifts last Wednesday.
Principal Janet Vaughan and her staff were presented two resolutions from S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, and S.C. Rep. Bill Hixon, R-North Augusta.
The resolution was the first that Young authored as a senator back in January. Both recognized Hammond Hill Elementary for its accomplishment in winning the National Blue Ribbon award.
"The accomplishment deserved recognition, and I wanted to make sure that happened," Young said.
The resolutions were framed and delivered by Young, Hixon and Aiken County Public School Vice Chair Ray Fleming.
It has been a special year for Hammond Hill Elementary, which also recently won the Palmetto's Finest award and the Palmetto Gold Award.
The school's work was something that Young noted was special, but that other schools around the county also were deserving of praise.
"I'm real impressed with the students, faculty and staff at this school," he said. "The work that's being done here is really outstanding. I'm sure that we also have faculty and staff at other schools in Aiken County that are just as dedicated to their jobs and the students as I've seen today at Hammond Hill."
It was the first time touring the school for Young, but far from the first for Hixon.
"I've been able to see a lot of familiar faces with the children I've seen throughout town and at our church," he said. "I see why Hammond Hill wins so many awards - they have a very enthusiastic principal. She encourages her teachers to be enthusiastic like she is and have a smiling face, and just try to get these children to learn everything they can.
"The two were then taken on a tour throughout the school, making a handful of stops to see classrooms and facilities for about two hours. As a special treat for the third graders, who are currently studying South Carolina history, Hixon and Young stopped in each class for a few moments and spent some time interacting and speaking to students. The third grade class will be visiting the S.C. Statehouse on April 16.
The two also quizzed the students, asking them what the state horse and vegetable were (the Marsh Tacky and collard green, respectively). Only one student got either question correct without any hints; Graycen Sanders of Michelle Mauldin's class correctly guessed the Marsh Tacky.
"I am very pleased that Sen. Young and Rep. Hixon took the time out to tour our school and to see the fine job that the teachers are doing," Vaughan said. "They seem to be interested in what is making our school successful. I appreciate that someone is walking around and looking at our program. It also helps that the students and teachers are valued, and the job they are doing is worthy of this recognition. I want them to be recognized for their hard work."
Both Young and Hixon hope to make stops at other schools throughout Aiken County in the future.