The Aiken Technical College Student Veterans Association made a splash with its Spring Festival fundraiser, sending instructors and administrators into a dunk tank for a good cause.

For a $1 donation, students and staff took their best shots at unseating Buffy Halter, a nursing instructor, and Dr. Vinson Burdette, ATC's vice president of academic and student affairs, who taunted the crowd with trash talk: “You throw wide; I don't slide. You throw low; I don't go,” he said perched about the water.

The veterans also sold hot dogs, chips and drinks.

“We're a week away from the end of the semester, and this is a chance for students to come out and blow off a little steam,” said Victor McInnis, a speech instructor at ATC and the faculty advisor to the Student Veterans Association.

Funds from the event will be used for future projects and to support veterans and their families on campus and in Aiken County, McInnis said.

“Army Times” has named ATC a Best for Vets school, McInnis said.

“We've had that distinction for multiple years running,” he said. “Many of our instructors are retired military. We're able to do a lot to assist students transfer their military experience to their academic career and transition to the civilian world. Aiken Tech is a great place to do that.”

Lisa Washington, who served in the U.S. Navy and is the president of the ATC Student Veterans Association, said the event also gave the group an opportunity to make its presence known on campus.

“We can interact with the students, have fun, dunk some of the teachers and maybe get in a little bit of friendly revenge,” she said and laughed. “It's all good.”

Educators to earn specialized mathematics master’s degree

Members of the Aiken County Board of Education honored an innovative partnership between Aiken County Public Schools and USC Columbia during April 16 at its special called meeting.

Math master's program with USC Colulmbia -math masters cohort

Members of the Aiken County Board of Education honored an innovative partnership between Aiken County Public Schools and USC Columbia during April 16 at its special called meeting. The collaboration will offer a specialized mathematics master’s degree to an initial cohort of 34 Aiken County educators at no charge.

The collaboration will offer a specialized mathematics master’s degree to an initial cohort of 34 Aiken County educators at no charge, according to a news release from Aiken County Public Schools.

“We are providing Aiken County educators with the tools they need to serve as growth leaders in their schools while expanding the instructional capacity of their fellow educators,” Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said. “We certainly appreciate the outstanding support of the University of South Carolina’s College of Education in helping us make this new opportunity possible and we look forward to our continued partnership in the future.”

Members of the first cohort for the Math Master’s Program are as follows: Sabrina Amos, North Aiken Elementary; Katie Anderson, Kennedy Middle School; Richard Ball, North Augusta High School; Shauna Bashline, New Ellenton Middle School; Jeanette Beck, Belvedere Elementary; Tamara Butler, Hammond Hill Elementary; Leah Bynes, J.D. Lever Elementary; Cristie Caldwell, Aiken Elementary; Miranda Church, Chukker Creek Elementary; Tiffany Coleman, Jefferson Elementary; Jessica Cutler, East Aiken School of the Arts; Julianne Dove, Greendale Elementary; Sarah Emerling, Hammond Hill Elementary; Kimberly Floyd, Aiken High School; Jessica Greenlee, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School; Sharon Gregory, Midland Valley High School; Katelyn Howell, Aiken Middle School; Shane Hutto, Aiken Middle School; Jocelyn Jones, Schofield Middle School; Alecia Kinard, Chukker Creek Elementary; April Layfield, Millbrook Elementary; Steven McLeod, North Augusta Middle School; Ashley Nalley, Ridge Spring Elementary; Emily Owens, North Augusta Elementary; Heather Parliament, Paul Knox Middle School; April Ray, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary; Andrea Rexroad, Byrd Elementary; April Slack, District Content Interventionist; Elaine Smoak, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School; Theresa Spieker, Mossy Creek Elementary; Khaleelah Stroman, Silver Bluff High School; Shanythia Thomas, North Augusta Middle School; Erin Tindle, Paul Knox Middle School; and Debby Turno, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School.

Classes for the math master’s degree program will begin this summer.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.