NEWBERRY — The Newberry County School District has awarded seven students the inaugural Bennie D. Bennett Education Scholarship.
Sara McCall from Whitmire Community School, Lauren Yoder from Newberry High School and Destin Long from Mid-Carolina High School received a $1,000 scholarship for a four year institution while Lea Toby from Whitmire Community School, Jenna Davis from Newberry High School and Savannah Harmon from Mid-Carolina High School received a $500 scholarship for a four-year institution.
To receive this scholarship, a student must plan to major in education, have at least a 3.0 weighted grade point average and a combined SAT score of at least 850 or ACT score of at least 18, plan to attend an accredited four year institution and have two teacher recommendations.
“I want you to know how proud Mr. Bennett would be of all of you,” said Pamela Arrington, executive director of Human Resources with the District.
These are the first students to be awarded the scholarship since it was renamed to honor the late superintendent.
The School District of Newberry County set aside scholarships for students who attend a four-year college in the field education or a two-year technical college.
Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded per year to high school seniors planning to attend a four-year college and two $500 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors planning to attend a two-year/technical college, Arrington said.
“Memorials have been made to the Bennie D. Bennett Education Scholarship which has allowed the committee to select additional students to receive scholarships,” she said. “We will continue to award additional scholarships as long as funds allow and students are qualified. Selection of the recipients is made by a committee consisting of the chief human resources officer, two secondary administrators, and a school counselor from each high school and the career center.”
Newberry High School student Jose Hernandez received a $500 scholarship for a two year institution.
To receive the scholarship, a student must be accepted to a two-year institution or technical college, must have a 2.5 weighted grade point average and have two teacher recommendations.
In other business the board approved first reading of the 2017-18 budget. At first reading the expenditures are proposed at $54,276,160 and revenue is proposed at $54,187,988.
“The difference between the two is a negative $88,172. We are listing a little bit more expenditures than revenue today at first reading,” said Susan Dowd, chief financial officer.
On the revenue side, local taxes for operations are projected at $15,750,000 for 2017-18, which is $150,000 over 2016-17. Delinquent tax projections are down an estimated $100,000 and are projected at $500,000. Revenue in lieu projections are up an estimated $200,000 and are projected at $2,300,000. Interest on investments is projected at $100,000, which is up by $90,000 from last year’s budget.
The total local revenue projection is $18,682,000. As of first reading, no additional millage has been added by the District.
When it comes to state revenue, the current base student cost is $2,435, an increase of $85 over 2016-17, which was budgeted at $2,435. Overall, total state revenue from all sources for 2017-18 fiscal year is projected to be $35,223,322.
However, it should be noted this is not finalized.
“The Legislature is still in session and has not finalized their budget therefore these revenue projections may change,” Dowd said.
Highlights from the expenditure side include a $370,000 projected health insurance increase as well as a $670,000 projected retirement increase. Due to a 10 percent reduction in Title One funds, three positions have been added to the General Fund, at $150,000.
First reading was approved after Board member Lee Attaway made a motion and Board member Jessie Reeder seconded.
A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 5 and second reading will be June 26 at the regular board meeting.
• The board approved the superintendent to apply for federal funding and grants for the new fiscal year.
• The board approved second reading of changes, additions and deletions to Board Policy section I.
• Arial Kennedy from Prosperity-Rikard Elementary was recognized for her artwork being chosen as one of the months of the SC Economics Annual Calendar. The contest is an incentive for teachers to include economics in their lesson plans. It explains economics and demonstrates that students in grades first through eighth can learn economics when given the opportunity.
• Ava Grace Long was recognized for being the recipient of the SC Economics’ Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award. She received a $100 check from SC Economics.
• Austin Chase McCarley from Whitmire Community School was recognized for being selected to play in the 2017 North/South baseball game. Coach Chris Martin was also recognized for being selected to coach in the 2017 North/South baseball game.
• Coach Jarrod King from Whitmire Community School was recognized for being named Class A Strength Coach of the Year.
• The Office of Finance was recognized for winning the Association of School Business Officials International’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. This award, the highest recognition for school district financial operations offered by ASBO, is conferred to school systems that meet or exceed the standards for the program.
The District has received the award for 20 consecutive years.
The Office of Finance has also been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This award is presented by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.