Jeff's Corner

Well, 1997 has turned out to be a year of change for the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center. We have had the first major turn over on staff since I became Director in 1988. Pam Graves, Director of the NRSMEEP, left in February and took a similar position with the University of Kentucky. Ms. Angie Osbon, our Administrative Assistant since the beginning of the Hub, also left in February to take a position with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Ms. Wanda Thieken, Administrative Specialist, moved away from the area in January. Pam, Angie and Wanda were a valued part of our family and will be greatly missed.

Let me introduce you to our new family members. Taking WandaÕs place is Ms. Angela Taylor. If you have called the Center since February, the cheerful voice you have spoken to was probably that of Angela. Angela had the unenviable task of holding down the fort on her own until we found a replacement for Ms. Osbon. In the short time she has been here, Angela done a super job in manning the front office.

Taking Angie OsbonÕs position is Ms. Stacey Norwood. Stacey comes to us after taking a few years off from working at SRS to have a family. In the few weeks that she has been here, she has done an outstanding job in learning the ins and outs of the Center, and keeping me straight. That in itself is an accomplishment!

At the time of this writing, Norm Rischbieter is acting director of NRSMEEP until a replacement is hired.

Not only has the Center undergone change, but last week I learned that one of the best principals I have ever had the pleasure of working with is retiring after 30 years of service. Ms. Candye Slay has decided to retire as of June 30. Candy has one of the most innovative elementary school programs in the country. Under her guidance Redcliffe Elementary School has become a model elementary school that integrates the arts and sciences into the curriculum. She and her talented staff have done the best job that I have seen in closing the achievement gap between African Americans and White Americans. The next time you see Candye, thank her for her many years of innovative contributions to the Aiken School System and wish her luck in her well deserved retirement.

Kelly Edwards Elementary School

Congratulations to Jonna Adcox, Linda Welch and Lexi Clamp of Kelly Edwards Elementary School in Williston. For the second year in a row their kindergarten students are the best prepared for entering the first grade.

IMA

In this newsletter is the announcement that we are now officially able to assist teachers in enrolling in the Interdisciplinary MasterÕs of Arts Degree. This degree is specifically designed for those teachers who want to go on for a MasterÕs Degree and emphasize science content. Teachers from the CSRA should now be able to get most if not all of their courses at the USCA campus. To assist teachers in planning for this program, we have tried to outline the courses that will be offered at the Center through the Summer of 1999. Please give me a call if you are interested in this program.

Finally, I have been requested by teachers to tell them what trips I plan to take over the next few summers so that they can save their money to participate in these trips. Therefore, here is a list of trips and estimated costs: Summer 1997 - Hawaii ($2,600), Summer 1998 - Alaska ($3,000), Summer 1999 - Rockies ($2,000), Summer 2000 - Desert Southwest ($2,000).

I hope you enjoy the rest of your school year. Have a safe and restful summer. Until August........Aloha!