Northeast Area Update | September 3

Upper East Side, Columbia, S.C. – Richland County School District Two got off to a roaring start last week and this week hosted the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Business at Sunrise at Westwood High School. The event included a speech by Midlands Technical College President Dr. Sonny White and a State of the District presentation by Interim Superintendent Dr. Debra Hamm.

Dr. White discussed the changing needs of the workforce and how Midlands Technical College and Richland District Two are collaborating to address those needs. The District’s motto is Inquire, Ignite, and Inspire and this year’s theme is “On the Road to Awesome.”

With input from the Parent Partnership and the 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year, Patrick Kelly of Blythewood High School, Dr. Hamm provided attendees with a glimpse of the challenges and changes in Richland School District Two classrooms.

Modeled after the Stanford University Design School, Richland District Two has created programs that engage learners in creative problem solving and collaboration. Teachers have moved into facilitator roles as they encourage students to pursue education standards through study, observation, experimentation, and engagement.

While it is inspiring to see the hard work the District’s 3500 employees are putting in to ensure students’ academic and personal success, the challenges slide Dr. Hamm presented showed some real areas of need. For example, 49% of the District’s students receive free and reduced lunch and more than 400 students are homeless.

“We talk about homework,” Dr. Hamm said, “but some of these kids don’t have a home.”

The event wrapped up with ways the business community can get involved to impact the District’s success. Dr. Hamm and Chairman of the School Board, Dr. William Flemming, Jr., encouraged those present to volunteer in the schools, become a true partner with educators, and welcome students into their businesses to learn and grow.

Thanks, District Two for hosting our event and for providing such an enriching, energizing experience.

Now here’s what else is going on here on the Upper East Side:

Northeast Mini-Expo – September 26, 2013
Sponsorships and table exhibitor positions are still available for this annual event. Businesses from the Northeast are invited to attend and review one another’s offerings and services. The event takes place at the Village at Sandhill during our September Business at Sunrise time slot.

If you’d like to be a sponsor or a table exhibitor, contact Lynn Turbeville or Paul Dunn at the Chamber by calling 803.733.1128.

Military Veterans’ Honor Event at Village at Sandhill – October 25, 2013
The Village at Sandhill and A Shoulder for Soldiers invite you to attend a benefit concert at the Village on October 25, 2013. The concert will feature a performance by The Bellamy Brothers, a Grammy-winning country music duo responsible for such hits as “Let Your Love Flow.”

For more information including sponsors, other media, and details about the Village at Sandhill or A Shoulder for Soldiers, visit the Village website.

Spotlight Available
Want to see your business highlighted in the Northeast Update? Come out to a Business at Sunrise, Business at Midday, or Business After Hours event and drop your card in the fish bowl for a chance to win. I’ll run an exclusive post detailing your business offerings, personnel, and achievements.

Have some news about the Upper East Side to share? Leave a comment or send me a note via Twitter (@ClemsonRoad) or email (


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