Bethesda Academy Honors Class of 2020 with Outdoor Graduation Ceremony

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Bethesda Academy Honors Class of 2020 with Outdoor Graduation Ceremony 

(SAVANNAH, GA) Bethesda Academy hosted an outdoor graduation ceremony to celebrate the school’s 16 graduating seniors. In adherence with social distancing guidelines, Bethesda provided tents for each graduate and his family, strategically placed six feet apart in a “U” formation surrounding a stage and podium in the middle of their historic campus.  

The President of Bethesda Academy, Dr. Michael Hughes, led the ceremony. Dr. Hughes is a graduate of The United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, where he held various academic and leadership positions. He later earned graduate degrees from the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the United States Army War College. He has also served as headmaster in several positions across the U.S. 

“We’re excited to be able to give these astounding young men a proper send-off,” said Dr. Hughes. “This graduation will undeniably look different than it has in years past, but we are determined to make the day special and honor our graduates.” 

Bethesda Academy Social Distancing Graduation Ceremony 2020 Reflection Walk and Dr. Michael Hughes
The Class of 2020 takes their Reflection Walk around the historic campus before their graduation ceremony.
Bethesda Academy Social Distancing Graduation Ceremony 2020 Valedictorian Jaden Wright
Valedictorian Jaden Wright eagerly awaits his name to be called at Bethesda Academy’s graduation.
Bethesda Academy Social Distancing Graduation Ceremony 2020 Class Spaced Apart
Seniors are spaced apart during Bethesda Academy’s socially distanced graduation ceremony.
Bethesda Academy Graduation Ceremony 2020 Salutatorian Malachi Slusher and Dr. Michael Hughes
Bethesda Academy Salutatorian Malachi Slusher receives his diploma from the school’s President, Dr. Michael Hughes.

Jaden Wright was named the 2020 Valedictorian, and Malachi Slusher the 2020 Salutatorian. Wright has accepted a football scholarship to Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., and Slusher will be enrolled at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga. 

Members of the 2020 graduating class were accepted to and are considering a number of higher education institutions including The Citadel, Mercer University, Oregon State, the University of Alabama, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University. One young man has enlisted in the U.S. Army

Before the ceremony, the graduates also participated in the Bethesda Academy tradition of a Reflection Walk, by touring campus together and revisiting the experiences they shared throughout their education at the leadership academy. 

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY

Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912-644-4376.

MEDIA CONTACT

Cynthia Cradduck

Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC

912-856-9075

cynthia@crussomarketing.com

Call for Support of Horizons Savannah: Giving Day, May 20th

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Call for Support of Horizons Savannah: Giving Day, May 20th

(SAVANNAH, GA) Horizons Savannah, which has seen proven success for over 18 years in closing the “opportunity gap” for under-resourced students over the summer break, will ask the entire community to continue supporting Savannah’s youth during these uncertain times of the coronavirus by participating in its annual Horizons Giving Day on Wednesday, May 20. 

Horizons Savannah, Giving Day
Horizons Savannah, Giving Day

Amidst concerns posed by COVID-19, this year the program is adapting from its typical close-group learning model. It will provide a virtual program so that it can continue its mission of keeping kids’ minds and bodies active during the summer months, thereby setting them up for success in the coming school year. 

Horizons, which serves students from kindergarten through high school, has a goal of raising $100,000 in one day. However, just as the summer program’s agenda is adapting, so is Giving Day

Locally, Savannah businesses have partnered with Horizons Savannah to offer give-back specials throughout the entire month of May to encourage support for the local program, while also encouraging the community to support local shops and restaurants during the global pandemic. 

These give-back opportunities include: 

  • Papa Murphy’s: 25% will be donated from every carry-out customer who says they are supporting Horizons on Wednesday, May 13.
  • Kendra Scott: 20% will be donated from every jewelry purchase with the use of online code: GIVEBACK7301 from May 19 – 20. 
  • Jason’s Deli: 15% will be donated from every carry-out order on Wednesday, May 20. 

Funds raised during Giving Day 2020 will be used to ensure the students enrolled in the Horizons Savannah summer program have access to the technology and tools necessary to participate in the program virtually. The events planned for this summer are designed to foster connectivity by providing resources that keep kids engaged, playing and learning. 

“Even before students faced the challenge of finishing their school year virtually, there was an academic regression over the summer, which is even greater among students from under-resourced families,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “Not only can we prevent that slide, but we can also help students make dramatic gains over the summer break each year. Because of the drastic changes we’ve adapted to in response to COVID-19, this mission is more important than ever this year.”

Horizons Savannah provides an intensive enrichment program that helps prevent the well-documented loss of academic ground over the summer vacation. Horizons students typically advance six to eight weeks in reading and math skills each summer, with national statistics showing 97 percent of Horizons high school students graduating on time and 91 percent going on to college.

Horizons Savannah had a 92 percent attendance rate last summer and has had an 89 percent student retention rate from summer to summer.

In Chatham County, the program serves over 300 students from local public schools each summer on the campuses of partner host institutions Bethesda Academy, St. Andrews School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School and The Savannah Country Day School.

For more information, or to make a gift please visit https://www.horizonsgivingday.org/organizations/horizons-savannah

https://www.horizonssavannah.org, or follow @horizonsav on social media.

ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School serves over 300 under-resourced students each summer. Since 2003, Horizons has been a transformative experience for young people in kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or cedwards@savcds.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/, check out our Facebook page.

ABOUT HORIZONS NATIONAL
Horizons National is a growing, community-centered network of more than 60 affiliate sites nationwide that provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to children in need, from Pre-K through high school. Located on the campuses of independent schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, Horizons programs offer a project-based curriculum, focused on reading, STEM, the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.

CONTACT
Christy Edwards
Executive Director
912-961-8854
cedwards@savcds.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Horizons Savannah Teachers Support Independent Learning During COVID-19

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Horizons Savannah Teachers Support Independent Learning During COVID-19

(SAVANNAH, GA) In an effort to support independent learning in the midst of school cancellations and a mandatory shelter in place, Horizons Savannah teachers are providing recorded online lessons that correspond with the district’s choice board activities. These lessons are tailored to kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third-fifth grades and middle school and can be viewed anytime from any device. 

These resources are available to Horizons families as well as the entire Savannah community.

“We know that all families are balancing many challenges at this time,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “It’s difficult to know where to start with at-home learning, and while there are many resources available to families online, it can be overwhelming to know how to pull these resources together effectively when you aren’t a teacher. We are doing our best to provide additional tools to make this as easy as possible for parents by creating lessons that support what our students may already be working on.” 

To access these daily learning videos, visit https://www.horizonssavannah.org/videolessons

ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School serves over 300 under resourced students each summer. Horizons is a transformative experience for young people in Kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or cedwards@savcds.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/,
check out our Facebook page.

CONTACT
Christy Edwards
Executive Director
Horizons Savannah
912-961-8854
cedwards@savcds.org

Bethesda Academy Senior Nishan Roberson Signing Day with Savannah State University

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Bethesda Academy Senior Nishan Roberson Signing Day with Savannah State University

Bethesda Academy hosted a Signing Day ceremony in honor of senior Nishan Roberson’s decision to accept a football scholarship with Savannah State University in the Diamond Dining Hall at Bethesda Academy.

Roberson has played on the Bethesda Academy football team as a lineman for three of his four years in high school, having missed his junior year due to a preseason knee injury. Highlights from his senior year include 64 tackles on defense and offensive blocks that accounted for 3,002 rushing yards and 2,017 passing yards. He will receive a full-ride scholarship to play at Savannah State.

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Two Bethesda Academy Teachers Earn “Master Teacher” Status Awarded by SCISA

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Two Bethesda Academy Teachers Earn “Master Teacher” Status Awarded by SCISA

(SAVANNAH, GA) Two teachers at Bethesda Academy, a private day and boarding school for young men grades six through 12, were granted “master teacher” status after evaluation by the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA).

Craig Sherman and Jennifer Gilmour are the recipients of this honor. Sherman teaches social studies and history. Gilmour is a science and mathematics teacher, as well as a cottage teacher, whose responsibilities include ensuring all students staying in the cottage complete homework assignments, finish chores and are in bed on time.

“This is a major accomplishment for Mr. Sherman and Mrs. Gilmour, as well as for Bethesda Academy on several counts,” said Michael Hughes, president of Bethesda. “Firstly, an amazing amount of work goes into the application, so it is a lengthy and arduous process. Additionally, it is very rare for one school to have two master teachers named at once.”

The application process includes meeting rigorous teaching qualifications and submitting an entire portfolio for evaluation by a peer committee. It also entails presentations and exhausting interviews, endorsement letters from school officials and sample lesson plans.

“In their evaluation, SCISA staff also noted a ‘surge in professional development and teaching quality at Bethesda,’ because two of our teachers, Kim Godbee-Glisson and Elizabeth Peek, had been recent finalists for Teacher of the Year,” said Hughes. “This recognition is a tribute to our entire faculty and staff. Each consistently personifies Bethesda’s commitment to ensuring students receive a superior education that will enable them to mature into young men with the potential to lead exemplary lives.”

Having formerly been affiliated with the Georgia Independent School Association, Bethesda Academy has been a member of the South Carolina Independent School Association since 2014. SCISA is a non-profit voluntary association of independent schools responsible for establishing accreditation standards, coordinating athletic and academic competitions and providing professional development opportunities for member schools.

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

St. Vincent’s Academy Dedicates Library to Late Clara McDonough Russo

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St. Vincent’s Academy Dedicates Library to Late Clara McDonough Russo

(SAVANNAH, GA) St. Vincent’s Academy, Savannah’s historic Catholic girls’ high school, dedicated its refurbished library to the late matriarch of a prominent Savannah family, Clara McDonough Russo, in a service held at the school.

Charles Russo with his four daughters at the St. Vincent’s Academy library dedication ceremony
Charles Russo with his four daughters at the St. Vincent’s Academy library dedication ceremony

Like many of the other girls in her family before her, Russo graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy in 1961. She soon married Charles Joseph Russo Jr., who is well known as the man behind Russo’s Seafood, a local staple. The couple had five children. Their four daughters, three granddaughters and several nieces and cousins all attended St. Vincent’s.

While she worked occasional stints behind the counter at Russo’s Seafood, Russo’s real career was her family. At the time of her death in 2016, she had been married for more than 50 years and had nine grandchildren.

The building that now houses the St. Vincent’s Academy library dates back to 1855, 10 years after the founding of the school. It has seen many uses throughout the centuries and was renovated to serve as a library in 2014.

St. Vincent’s Academy, which is both an important part of Savannah’s history and a fixture on its educational scene, will observe its 175th anniversary next year.

Charles Russo stands in front of the plaque honoring his late wife Clara at the St. Vincent’s Academy library dedication ceremony
Charles Russo stands in front of the plaque honoring his late wife Clara at the St. Vincent’s Academy library dedication ceremony

The dedication ceremony took place at the school, 207 E. Liberty St. For more information, contact Christina Winters at christina.winters@svaga.net.

Bethesda Academy Partners with Savannah Technical College to Offer Dual Enrollment Courses with an Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit

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Bethesda Academy Partners with Savannah Technical College to Offer Dual Enrollment Courses with an Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Bethesda Academy has partnered with Savannah Technical College to be one of the first high schools to offer the new Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit, as a dual enrollment opportunity for students to earn college credit while still in high school.

Students that complete the Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit will be able to graduate with both their high school diploma from Bethesda Academy as well as with six general core college courses (18 hours) from Savannah Technical College that transfer to any University System of Georgia (USG) institution.

Savannah Technical College also offers occupational program courses for students to take through Dual Enrollment. If students complete occupational courses, they may be eligible to graduate with occupational program certifications at the time of their graduation from Bethesda Academy.

“Bethesda Academy is proud to partner with Savannah Technical College to make additional college credit options available to our students,” said Michael Hughes, president of Bethesda. “Our focus is on college-preparatory academics, and this program gives us an additional transferrable college-prep path for our students. We are delighted with this new partnership.”

Savannah Technical College offers 28 general core courses that transfer to any University System of Georgia institution. General core courses include English, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities/fine arts, and social/behavioral science.

Dual Enrollment is open to any student in grades 9-12 who has a grade point average of 2.6 or higher in Georgia.

For more information about the Early College Essentials Technical Certificate of Credit visit: www.savannahtech.edu/EarlyCollege.

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Bethesda Hires Veteran Educator with State, National Credentials to Direct Admissions

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Bethesda Hires Veteran Educator with State, National Credentials to Direct Admissions

(SAVANNAH, GA) Bethesda Academy has hired a director of admissions who is a veteran teacher with state and national credentials and nearly two decades in the classroom.

Tia Adkins joins the staff at the private college-preparatory day and boarding school for young men in grades six through 12.

Tia Adkins
Tia Adkins

“Ms. Adkins brings a wealth of experience to this position, and we are delighted that experience ranges from classroom teaching to statewide remediation to work with national curriculum publishers,” said Michael Hughes, president of Bethesda. “Her leadership will be invaluable to the students we serve.”

Her education career began in Gadsden and Pooler elementary schools, where she became a finalist for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools’ teacher of the year and was named the 2006 Grammy Foundation Character Through the Arts national teacher of the year. She also served as the local school district’s literary specialist for two years.

At the state level, Adkins worked on a literacy project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, she led teams of teachers at struggling schools who were working to find innovative ways to teach in challenging situations. As a mentor to other teachers, she taught how to implement Common Core curriculum elements and other strategies and worked often with low-achieving schools in remediation efforts.

She also spent six years with Scholastic Achievement Partners, now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, as a manager of professional learning. Plus, she has worked as an independent contractor writing content for a new pre-kindergarten curriculum and is the author of the forthcoming book “Setting the Standards for Centers.”

Adkins earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Armstrong State College and has a master’s degree in education from Cambridge College in Boston.

“It’s exciting to open a new chapter in my education career, working with older, college-bound students,” Adkins said. “Bethesda Academy fills a unique niche in Savannah education, and I’m proud to be a part of an education program with centuries of experience in serving youth.”

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075



Horizons Savannah Hosts its Seventh Annual Grab a Bag for Kids Luncheon and Purse Auction

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Horizons Savannah Hosts its Seventh Annual Grab a Bag for Kids Luncheon and Purse Auction

(SAVANNAH, GA) Horizons Savannah announces its seventh annual charity luncheon and purse auction, Grab a Bag for Kids, will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, at The Plantation Club at the Landings.

The auction will include gently-used, vintage and new designer handbags, bags from local designers, and special new silent auction packages that include trips, tickets to events and other local and regional items. Pop-up shops from vendors Kendra Scott, J. Parker Ltd. and Charleston Shoe Company will also be at the event, with a portion of all sales donated back to Horizons.

The silent auction will begin at 11 a.m. with lunch and a live auction to follow at noon. Guest speaker Lorna Smith, Horizons National CEO, will share more about Horizons’ national effort to close the opportunity gap for low-income students. Tickets are $40 apiece or $350 to reserve a table of ten.

“This annual event is a wonderful opportunity for guests and supporters to shop for unique items, enjoy the good company of friends and learn more about our work—all while giving back in a big way,” said Christy Edwards, Horizons Savannah executive director, “This is a great way to get together with friends over lunch and be a part of something positive in our community.”

Grab a Bag for Kids offers sponsorship opportunities for businesses as well. The levels include $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,000. Horizons is still accepting donations of new and lightly used designer handbags, as well as gift cards or other experiences for the silent auction.

For more information on the Grab a Bag for Kids charity luncheon and purse auction, or to learn more about sponsorships and donations, visit http://www.horizonssavannah.org or call 912-961-8854.

ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School welcomes over 250 low-income students each summer to a six-week summer enrichment program that helps prevent “summer slide”: the loss-of-learning that occurs during the summer. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, recreational and cultural activities, nutritious meals and snacks, caring professional teachers and creative, challenging instruction, we unlock a student’s potential to achieve. During the program, students gain an average of two months’ growth in reading and three months’ growth in math. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or info@horizonssavannah.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/horizonssav/.

CONTACT
Christy Edwards
Executive Director
Horizons Savannah
912-961-8854
cedwards@savcds.org
info@horizonssavannah.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-856-9075
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com

State Championship Rings Presented to Bethesda Track, Field Team

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State Championship Rings Presented to Bethesda Track, Field Team

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Bethesda Blazers’ track and field team celebrated their state championship victory during a ring ceremony held at Bethesda Academy.

Thirteen state championship rings were presented to the athletes on the 2018-2019 team which won the state honor in the South Carolina Independent School Association Class A/AA competition at the end of last school year. Several private schools along the South Carolina/Georgia border, including Bethesda Academy, are members of SCISA.

Two graduated seniors from the team returned to their alma mater to accept their rings. Five coaches led by the athletic director Antwain Turner watched as the seniors along with the rest of the track and field team were honored.

“I can’t express how proud of these young men I am,” said head track coach Clevan Thompson. “It’s an honor to hold this title and to coach these outstanding athletes. I’ve watched this team make tremendous strides physically and personally to get to this point, and I can’t think of a more deserving team.”

For more information on Bethesda Academy, please visit www.bethesdaacademy.org

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and STEM curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912.856.9075