Aiken Technical College diversity program DSC_4603

Andrew Walker traces his name in Chinese characters Wednesday during a diversity program at Aiken Technical College. Walker, a senior from Graniteville, will graduate in May with an associate in science degree.

Members of the award-winning South Aiken High School DECA Program were recognized for their success during the State DECA competition in Charleston.

Nineteen South Aiken High students also qualified to attend the International DECA Conference and Competition April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida, according to a news release from Aiken County Public Schools.

South Aiken DECA President Lydia Terlizzi won the South Carolina DECA Scholarship given to the most outstanding DECA members in the state, and advisor Rob Lovejoy was named Advisor of the Year.

The South Aiken DECA Chapter also earned the Thrive Level Certification – the highest level of state recognition given to the top performing chapters in the state.

South Aiken HIgh DECA Club 1

Members of the award-winning South Aiken High School DECA Program were recognized for their success during the State DECA competition in Charleston.

The 2019 DECA State Competition winners from South Aiken are as follows:

First Place: Lydia Terlizzi, Sarah Grace Piercy, Sebastian O’Banion, Jacob Curtis, Shelby Coleman, Mary Margaret Seawell, Julia Harper and Hannah Middleswarth.

Second Place: Emily Spacek, Alissa McIntosh, Logan Tubbs, T’Mya Brown, Isabella Minolfo and Gemma Osbon.

Third Place: Reid Chafin, Susie Reeves, Lee-Ann Murphy, Taylor Ward, Jessica Frias, Katie Gray, Haley Vecchio, Kaylie Whitson and Sofia Ferreira.

Fourth Place: Alexis Harrington, Aleia Woodard, Sophie Klipa, Jackie Gaskill, Susanna Johnson, Lindsey Plunkett, Ellie Seawell, Mikayla Egbert and Kevin O’Flaherty.

Honorable Mention: Gage O’Banion, Ethan Youmans, Dominick Terlizzi, Christian Rogerson, Alyssa Bagby and Natalie Gibson.

State Scholarship Winner: Lydia Terlizzi.

• DECA Advisor of the Year: Rob Lovejoy.

DECA is an international youth organization developing emerging leaders in business and marketing for college and careers.

South Aiken High DECA Club 2

Students in the South Aiken High School DECA took top honors during the State DECA competition in Charleston.

Schofield is tops at Battle of the Books

Schofield Middle took first place Wednesday at the 2019 Middle School Battle of the Book at Aiken Church of Christ after a tie-breaker round.

Kennedy Middle School placed second.

During the competition, students from Aiken County Public Schools' middle schools answered questions about books nominated at the junior level of the South Carolina 2018-19 Children's Book Award.

Students from 11 elementary schools competed Tuesday.

"It was a really great event, and I saw so many examples of good sportsmanship," said Michelle King, the media specialist at Kennedy Middle School. "I am loving this event more and more every year."

Avara Aiken donates 200 computers to J.D. Lever

The Aiken Avara Pharmaceutical Services site recently donated 200 computers to its neighboring school J.D. Lever Elementary.

The laptops and desktops provided to the school will benefit the students as they embark in classes that require the use of technology for assignments and tests, according to a news release from Avara.

Avara computer donation to J.D. Lever Elementary - Avara Aiken

Avara Aiken leadership received handmade artwork from the students at J.D. Lever Elementary as a thank you gesture for their donation of 200 computers to the school.

During a meet and greet at the school, J.D. Lever’s principal, Michael Truitt, and Avara’s site leadership team spent time with students from all grades who showcased their abilities with the keyboard while learning about math and science.

Truitt explained that students begin to complete essays using computers in third grade, so having them practice keyboarding skills from as early as age 4 provides the foundations they need to complete their school work without the hurdles of losing their train of thought searching for the right keys while writing their answers, according to the release.

Avara Aiken’s Site Director Keith Richardson expressed his commitment to the school, saying “We look forward to working with J.D. Lever in future projects like their career fair at the end of the semester. Our company and employees believe in giving back to the community. Engaging with the school will be the ideal way to build a partnership with future generations that will, hopefully, be part of our workforce and the business development of the city.”

The donation stems from a relationship formed during the Aiken County Public School District’s Principal for a Day event in which an Avara leader spent the day as principal at the nearby J.D. Lever campus. During the visit, it was noted that the school could benefit from idle technology at the Avara campus.

Avara is a global contract manufacturing and technical services organization providing both active pharmaceutical ingredient formulation and manufacturing.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.