Congratulations to the Class of 2016!!

Grad cap red

I’ve been in a bit of a stupor the past few weeks as my youngest is getting ready to graduate from high school and preparing to leave home for college in the fall.  It alternates between rambling on and on about scholarships, financial aid, school choices, to just standing, staring off into space not able to speak because it’s a bit surreal that my baby girl is ready to make her place in the world.  Not to mention, the constant feeling of being on the edge of a very long, very ugly cry.

Given that my current situation is what’s weighing on my mind right now it seemed natural to ask graduates what they want their parent to know and how that might differ from what the parents want their student to know.   I posed this question to a group of college bound seniors who will graduate June 1, 2016.  Some answers were funny, some sweet and reassuring but all in all do address some of our concerns as parents.

What is the one thing that you would like to tell your parent to help ease their mind and assure them that you are prepared and ready to go to college? 

– Parker also assures his parents that “I’m not going to spend all my study hours playing video games! I promise!  God!”

-Terry knows that “Uber saves lives.”  Smart boy!

-J.J. says beer tastes gross and Parker adds that it goes through your system too quickly.

-Alexandria appreciates learning some basic life skills!  “Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry!”

-Zachary tells us that his parent already knows his future college roommate.  We’re assuming that is a positive statement.  

-Simply stated Eli says “I got this!”

-Anizia thanks her parent for helping her become a mature, independent adult capable of taking care of herself.

-Ashton acknowledges the hard work it takes to be a parent. “I appreciate all the hard work and endless nights towards making me become the successful young lady I am today and I will not underestimate my gift and knowledge to surpass all obstacles.

-Bailey affirms that her parents have taught her well and helped her make good decisions and now she knows how to make good decisions on her own.

-Jonathan shares this “It’s time to for me to grow up in a new and unknown world. You have prepared me for this since I was being held in your arms. But it’s now time to find who I truly am. I will make mistakes, I guarantee it. But it’s you who has taught me to learn from every experience. So thank you.”

-Maddie adds with a smile emoticon that she is ready for this time in her life and reminds her parents that she will always be their little girl.

There are conversations that we parents all want to have with our graduates but somehow don’t seem to be able to do so without coming off as overbearing, nagging, or simply more involved than we are desired to be at this point in our students lives.  So, graduating seniors, bear with your parents as we try to make sure we have taught you and told you everything that we feel like you need to know in the next few months before you leave home.

Your well-being and success in college is our only concern.  We just need to know that you are going to be okay.   We need to know that we did a good job raising you and that you are able to make good, intelligent, and safe choices.   We need to know that you understand that you are going to college for a purpose, not just a party.  Have fun but be smart and keep your studies your number one priority.  We need to know that you feel equipped to handle most of the things we have always done for you – kept your schedule posted on the fridge, given reminders of your commitments, emphasized the importance of your schoolwork, handled your finances, filled out your forms, washed your laundry.    We don’t want you to be scared of new experiences.  We want you to make lifelong friends and we want to be confident in your ability to do so.

Ultimately, we hope you come out of your college experience a happy, productive adult ready to embark on a career that is meaningful to you and allows you to support yourself in the manner that you desire.   That is all. – Gail


Charleston’s Amazing Schools

Along with its rich history, Charleston also has a claim to fame with many of its schools. Here are three that we find exemplary.

Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA)

This one is particularly near and dear to our hearts, as we have sponsored events for their students in the past.

Rose Maree Myers founded SOA in 1995, and it was recently named the second-best high school in the state by U.S. News and World Report. When Rose Maree founded the school, there were only sixth and seventh grades. As time went by, more grades were added to make today’s 6–12 school.

SOA offers eight art majors, including piano, string orchestra, vocal music, theater, and dance. Students audition for no more than two majors, and once accepted into one, spend one-fourth of their day in that area. SOA’s strenuous curriculum focuses on creativity and problem solving so that students self develop and learn individually.

Thanks to the challenging curriculum, which includes Advanced Placement courses, students develop high levels of intellect, maturity, creativity, and cooperation, and they earn scholarships, awards, and the respect of patrons of the arts and peers.

To learn more about SOA, visit their website at

The Citadel

Founded in 1842, The Citadel, also known as The Military College of South Carolina, is one of the six Senior Military Colleges in the United States. It is famed for its reputation of preparing leaders. Its Corps of Cadets takes classes in 17 academic departments, divided into five schools that offer 19 majors and 35 minors.

The Corp of Cadets study under the day program and live under a traditional military system, which includes residing on campus for all four years. The evening program, known as The Citadel Graduate College, is geared toward working adults and includes a postgraduate program and a distance learning online degree program.

For the third consecutive year, The Citadel was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the top public college in the South.

For more information on The Citadel, visit

American College of the Building Arts (ACBA)

If you’ve ever wandered around a classic, historic home and said something like, “Homes aren’t built like this anymore,” know that the reason for that is the lack of people skilled in that type of building. Not many people want to learn those skills at that expert level, but those who do train at ACBA.

The American College of the Building Arts is the only college that offers a Bachelor in Applied Science in Building Arts (B.A.S.) degree. Students major in the Building Arts and select one of the six areas of craft specialization in which to focus the work in a trade. Majors include timber framing, carpentry, architectural stone, masonry, plaster, and forged architectural iron.

The degree consists of 138 credit hours taken over four years, which includes72 hours of general education coursework and 66 craft specialization hours. Students must successfully complete three internships lasting eight weeks in their craft specialization.

To learn more about the American College of the Building Arts, visit the website:

Join Us for Beauty & the Beast at SOA!

We’re one of the sponsors of the Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA) Vocal Department presentation of Beauty & the Beast, which runs October 24 through Nov 2 at the Rose Maree Myers Theatre at SOA. Each night, the show runs from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. We hope you’ll be able to join us and support SOA!

SOA was founded in 1995 by Rose Maree Myers, who also founded the Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School. It’s located in North Charleston, and it was named the #2 Best High School in South Carolina by U.S. News and World Report. When it was founded, there were only two grades, sixth and seventh. Eventually more grades were added, and today SOA is a grades 6–12 school.

SOA’s curriculum focuses on problem solving skills and creativity, which gives their students an opportunity to grow and learn in their own ways. They learn to develop high levels of creativity, perseverance, intellect, and cooperation with others—skills that not all middle school and high school students learn.

This is a truly special school!

For tickets to Beauty and the Beast, please visit the SOA website.

From the principal, Shannon Cook:

“Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA) offers students rich and intensive instruction in eight art majors in a unique sixth through twelfth grade setting. Students may apply and audition for two areas, and once accepted into a major, spend one-fourth of their day with dynamic teachers in that art area. Art majors include instrumental band, creative writing, dance, piano, string orchestra, theater, visual arts, and vocal music. SOA’s students excel at the local, state and national level, earning awards, scholarships, and the respect of audience members, peers, and patrons of the arts.

Students also participate in an appropriately challenging academic curriculum that includes college preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Clubs, community service, and unique school events tailored to meet the interests of young artists, provide additional opportunities for expression and involvement. We want our students to maximize their potential and then find out how their art can impact the world around them. At SOA we believe art makes a difference!”

For more info on SOA, visit their website at