Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The first year went by quickly for Berkeley High School Principal Steven Steele.
When reflecting over the past 12 months, the first words spoken aren’t words at all, but a sigh. “We’ve been busy,” Steele said as he and his staff gear up for the start of the 2013-2014 school year. “Last year was an amazing year with the 100-year celebration of Berkeley High School. The yearlong event really played a big part in joining the past of Berkeley with its present and future.
“It got the students involved and that’s carried over into this school year.”
Steele is excited about the direction Berkeley has taken.
“We’ve really turned things around,” he said. “Test scores are up as is our graduation rate. The students are really taking an active interest in what’s going on here.”
The BHS principal said the credit should go to the faculty and staff, and to the students.
“I don’t want the focus or spotlight to be on me,” he said. “This is all about great teachers and great students. I want the focus to be on them.”
Steele said the faculty and staff at Berkeley have added a new wrinkle to the start of the new school year.
The 2013-2014 school year starts off with a bang with the first annual Stag Roundup. The roundup spans two days, Tuesday, Aug. 13 for seniors and Wednesday, Aug. 14 for juniors and sophomores.
“Each day, the school will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for students to attend and pick up their schedules and books,” Steele said. “Plus, students who drive to school will be able to purchase their parking passes at this time.”
Parking permit applications are available on the school website at www.berkeley.k12.sc.us/BerkeleyHigh.cfm. Parking applications must be filled out completely and must be signed by a parent or guardian. The parking fee is $25.
“There will also be representatives on site for many of the clubs available at Berkeley and students may sign up for the clubs at this time,” Steele said. “The goal is for students to be able to hit the ground running on the first day of school, and teachers to begin teaching.
“The administration, faculty, and staff are excited about the start of this school year and feel this program will give students a better start,” Steele added. “With schedules and books in hand, club sign up and parking passes behind them, our students can concentrate on getting to their classes and the excellent opportunities that await them.”
On Friday, Aug. 16, the halls will be crammed with the annual Stag Stampede orientation for incoming freshmen. The orientation session is expected to run from 8 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. and all incoming BHS freshman are expected to attend.
The Stag Stampede is an orientation event for freshmen where they will receive schedules and textbooks, rent lockers, learn their way around campus, play team building games, and meet their teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators. Students should report to the BHS auditorium upon arrival.
Bus transportation will be provided, and according to the bus office, students will need to report to their bus stop by 7 a.m. for in-town students and 6:45 a.m. for out-of-town students.
Anyone with transportation questions is encouraged to call the Berkeley County School District Transportation Department at 899-8804.
Also, students and parents should note that the times for buses on Friday will be different from the regular school pickup times. Parents dropping off students for the Stag Stampede may do so in the back student parking lot near the auditorium.
Students are encouraged to wear shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. Each student should bring $5 if they wish to rent a locker. Food will not be provided, but students may want to bring a snack or money for the vending machines. Steele said questions should be directed to Assistant Principal Georgetta Bryant at 899-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steele said he is looking forward to the coming football season as he expects to see a big increase in student body participation, not just on Friday nights, but throughout the week leading up to the big game.
“We have some really big games early on, especially with our home opener against Summerville,” he said. “For the old guard here at Berkeley there really is no bigger and longer standing rivalry than Berkeley and Summerville. It used to be the whole season came down to beating Summerville.”
Steele is also excited about the new radio deal reached with WTUA 106.1 FM to broadcast Stags football starting in the 2013 season.
“Berkeley football is the gem of Berkeley County, no matter how you look at it,” he said. “With the Stags’ long and storied tradition, the return to radio will send Berkeley football to all parts of Berkeley County.”