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Senator Greg Hembree, Chairman of the South Carolina Senate Education Committee, sat down with Superintendent Runyan and Mr. Sinclair, Deputy Superintendent of School Support, to discuss leadership, education, and ways we can collaborate to address the educational needs in our state. Senator Hembree also shares some of the key elements that inspire his personal desire to lead as well as a behind-the-scenes look into serving in the SC Senate. Institute Leaders Lifeline is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube.
Meet Tore, an Odyssey Online Learning Senior who will be playing baseball at Notre Dame in the fall! Learn more about his journey and the positive impact an online education has had on achieving his goals.
Institute leadership had the honor of attending the Governors Ball in Columbia to spend time with some of our school leaders and celebrate everything that Governor Henry McMaster has done for South Carolina charter schools. From granting permanent funding, to advocating for the importance of school choice, Governor McMaster has made charter schools a priority and we look forward to this next chapter. Let's continue to transform South Carolina’s education system!
As we celebrate School Board Recognition Month, Superintendent Cameron Runyan would like to thank our dedicated Institute Board members for their continued vision and guidance. It was a pleasure having Dr. Adamson and Mrs. Taylor in the office for our Board meeting, and we look forward to the rest of the year as our Institute Board members and school Board members statewide continue to work to #MoveTheNeedle for students.
The Superintendent’s Breakfast Club provides the Institute’s emerging leaders with a platform for personalized small-group discussions on leadership and goal setting. We have seen great growth from this group in the past year and are looking forward to even more excitement in 2023!

Charter Academy honored for outperforming local school district

Cherokee Charter Academy is our first school to be named a Silver Local School of Distinction after outperforming its local district academically last year. Institute leadership visited the school to celebrate with members of the Cherokee community. Supt. Runyan expressed his appreciation for the Board and leadership at CCA in his remarks, stating “We’re excited for the future here at Cherokee!” Learn more about the award in this article from the Gaffney Ledger.
In honor of National Board Month, we're eager to introduce you to our Institute Board Member of the Year, Courtney Suber! Ms. Suber has demonstrated unwavering dedication to South Carolina students in her role as Board Chair for South Carolina Virtual Charter School.
Over the last few weeks, our Charter School Ambassadors have been collecting supplies to donate to Epworth Children's Home. Last week, on Epworth's 127th birthday, they visited the campus to deliver the donations and learn more about the nonprofit. We're proud of our students for taking the initiative to give back to their community! 
In the spirit of School Choice Week, our Charter School Ambassadors wrote opinion pieces on what school choice means to them. For Jack, a 10th grader at South Carolina Virtual Charter School, school choice allows him to pursue his dream of being a professional cyclist, while getting a quality education. Read his essay here and stay tuned this week as we continue to celebrate!

Gray Collegiate debuts on-campus basketball facility, part of school-wide upgrade

Gray Collegiate Academy hosted the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new gym- “The War Zone.” Read more about it in this article from The State!
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Missy Brakefield led a team-building activity for the Institute team at our staff meeting. The team learned ways to focus even more energy on our "why."
Royal Live Oaks Academy of The Arts and Sciences hosted its first on-site robotics competition. The middle school team, Los Amigos, won the tournament and has now qualified for the state championship!
Our school leaders joined us for the first School Leaders Meeting of 2023! Guests Ashley Story and Elizabeth West spoke about best practices for hiring to build a staff that can #MoveTheNeedle and positively impact our students.
We hosted three trainings in our Text Dependent Analysis professional development series! Teachers from across the state came to the Institute office to practice teaching methods for reading and writing strategies. Thank you to Mandy Hocker and Brenna McCormick from the South Carolina Department of Education for presenting!
This month has been packed with professional development! Student Services hosted a Special Education Lunch and Learn with new charter schools to ensure that all students receive strong support.
Upcoming Events at the Institute:
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25: School Choice Rally (SC Statehouse)
  • Thursday, Feb. 9: In-Person School Leaders Meeting (Institute) - Register here!
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