CFCA Notebook: Horry third largest school district in state, outperforms top 2

Photo by Steve Albright
Carolina Forest High School Show Choir performed some numbers from their upcoming show “Southern Nights” at this month's Carolina Forest Civic Association meeting.

Carolina Forest High School entertained the Carolina Forest Civic Association membership last week. Then Horry County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Elsberry shared some great statistics about the school district. Read on for details.

January Meeting

January’s CFCA meeting was one of the most entertaining and informative to date, and there are a lot of people we want to thank.  The meeting opened with a spectacular performance by the Carolina Forest High School Show Choir.  They performed some numbers from their upcoming show “Southern Nights”, which will be Feb. 3, 4 & 5 at the high school.  My wife and I can’t wait to see it, and I urge you readers to go to one of the shows.  This is a very talented group of young people.  Thank you to the Show Choir and Musical Director Kraig McBroom for that performance, and also for leading us in singing the National Anthem.

Horry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Elsberry led us in a very interesting discussion about the third largest school district in South Carolina.  There are roughly 38,800 students from pre-K to the 12th grade and 2,500 teachers at Horry County’s 51 school campuses.  Dr. Elsberry said we are a high performance school district with a reputation for being progressive.

Our schools’ test scores outperform Charleston and Greenville schools, the state’s two largest districts, in the overwhelming majority of categories.  Horry County’s MAP (measures of academic progress) test scores are in the 78th percentile nationally for math, and in the 67th percentile for reading.  Our SAT scores exceed those of other U.S. public schools.

When asked about the proposal for the state to opt out of parts of the federal No Child Left Behind program, Dr. Elsberry said the program’s requirements are unrealistic.  If one child fails, the school gets a failing grade.  She used the analogy of a dentist receiving a failing grade if one of his patients has a cavity.  But Dr. Elsberry did point out that one thing No Child Left Behind has done is “forced us to abandon averages and look at individual students.”  Thank you to Dr. Elsberry for a very informative discussion.

Among those in attendance were Principals Dennis Devorick, Carolina Forest Elementary; Gaye Driggers, Carolina Forest High; Robin Jones, The Academy of Arts, Science & Technology; and June Moorhead, River Oaks Elementary, which is scheduled to open this fall.  Also at the meeting were Horry County School Board members Joe Defeo and Karen McIlrath.  Refreshments were generously provided by Full Steam Ahead and Chick-fil-A. 

Civic Association News

Vice President Cliff Abrams has resigned, leaving a vacancy on the CFCA board of directors.  Anyone interested in filling the seat is asked to attend the next board meeting at 6pm on Wednesday, Feb. 8.  Candidates will have up to 5 minutes each to talk to the board.  The board will then appoint a new director from that pool of candidates.  The meeting will be held at the Plantation Lakes clubhouse.  Thank you, Cliff, for all of your hard work and dedication to the community.

Congratulations to Families in the Forest for their award of a $2,000 Palmetto Pride grant.  This grant will be used for the Litter Clean Up event on Saturday, March 31.  The check was awarded at a luncheon in Columbia on Jan. 18.  Congratulations also to the Carolina Forest Lions Club for their grant of 20 trees.

The CFCA is in need of volunteers for the following committees:  Economic Development; Golf Outing; Legislative; Public Safety; Financial; Families in the Forest; HOA; Membership; Blue Ribbon; and the newly created Election Committee.  The CFCA has a lot of goals planned for 2012, and these committees are crucial to accomplishing those goals.  Please consider volunteering your time and talents for the benefit of your community.

You can keep up with Carolina Forest Civic Association updates online by visiting and also by becoming a fan of our Facebook page.

February Meeting

The next open meeting of the CFCA is 6pm Wednesday, February 15, in the HTC building.  Our guest speaker will be Rick Shelley, Director of Workforce and Development for Goodwill of Horry County.  The new Goodwill Retail Store in Carolina Forest will open its doors at 2164 Oakheart Rd. on February 16.  The 15,000 square foot store will feature a Job Link Center which will offer free employment services to residents of the community.  These services include access to computers for job searches, assistance with resumes and other resources. 

Economic development is one of the priorities identified by members of the Civic Association, and unemployment falls under that umbrella.  Goodwill’s mission is “to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work.”  Over 90 percent of the revenue from the Goodwill Retail Stores is used to fund that mission.  The CFCA is excited to have this new store in The Forest, and we are looking forward to Mr. Shelley’s presentation.  We hope to see you there.