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orchester Academy



orchester Academy

Dorchester Academy holds Advanced Accreditation from the South Carolina Independent School Association. Dorchester Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender or national and ethnic origin.


orchester Academy believes that a quality education should be available for all students and provides a comprehensive curriculum that addresses the individual needs of all students. Students in K4 through fourth grades are instructed in phonemic awareness and spelling using the researchbased STEPS Program. The Saxon Math Curriculum is used in K4 through the middle school. Its spiraling design reinforces student learning. Dorchester Academy believes that mastering reading skills is necessary to educational success. Our students participate in the Accelerated Reader program and in required summer reading. Dorchester Academy offers three diploma tracks - an honors track, a college preparatory track and a general track. All tracks are designed to prepare students for success in college, whether a two year technical college or a four year university. One hundred percent of the Class of 2008 pursued a post-secondary education. Dorchester Academy offers advanced courses for students who are academically ready for challenging, college-level courses. Four dual credit courses are offered on Dorchester Academy’s campus in partnership with USC Salkehatchie. Seniors are encouraged to take additional dual credit courses on their own. Two Advanced Placement courses, AP Literature and Composition and AP United States History, are also offered. Additional Advanced Placement courses are available online. The SAT scores of the Class of 2008 averaged 1025 on critical reading and math, with the top 25 percent of the class averaging 1263. Four levels in first through seventh grades scored above the 60 percentile on the Stanford 10 Achievement Test, with all other levels exceeding the national average. Seventy-four percent of the Class of 2008 received state supported scholarships including the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the LIFE scholarship and the HOPE scholarship. Additionally, $307,000 in private scholarships were awarded to academically outstanding graduates. In 2007, Dorchester Academy’s Academic Quiz Bowl Team won their region and finished as SCISA State Runners-up. In 2008, Dorchester Academy had 16 Duke Tip Scholars, two of which were recognized at the state level. Dorchester Academy students consistently place in the SCISA State Spelling Bee. In 2009, one student was a finalist and one finished fourth. Three students have represented Dorchester Academy in the Spellbound Competition with one student finishing second in 2007.



Photo by Jansen Cumbie

Photo by David Wagers


Dorchester Academy’s students have multiple opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. Students in second through twelfth grades participate in the SCISA State Literacy meet which includes competitions in drama, poetry recitation, oral interpretation, story telling, extemporaneous speaking and debate. Students also compete in the SCISA State Science Fair. In 2009, one student placed second in the Biological Science Division. Students who serve in Dorchester Academy’s Student Government are leaders in our school and in the SCISA Student Government Association. Student representatives serve as role models and participate in community service activities. In 2007 - 2008, the SCISA Student Government President was a Dorchester Academy student. Dorchester Academy boasts a strong journalism program, having won over 40 state and national awards from the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association, the Southern Interscholastic Press Association and the South Carolina Independent School Association. Students in the journalism class produce the “Maroon & Gold,” the school’s newspaper, and “Newspeak,” the school’s morning broadcast. The yearbook staff produces the “Challenger.” Students from the graphic design class will produce the school’s first literary magazine, “Mood Swings,” in 2009. Students in the journalism program attend conventions and summer camp. The editors from the 2007 and 2008 “Maroon & Gold” staffs both earned full-tuition journalism scholarships to the state-supported university of their choice. The St. George Rotary Club sponsors the Dorchester Academy Interact Club, providing multiple opportunities for community service. Students in the club have participated in Relay for Life, the Backpack Buddies program, Any Soldier and many other programs. Additionally, students can participate in the Fellowship of Christian Students, the Beta Club, the Junior Beta Club, Palmetto Youth Leadership, the Math teams, and the Quiz Bowl teams. Activities for all grade levels are added each year.

udent life

Dorchester Academy has a strong athletic program and has won five SCISA Football State Championships, three SCISA Girls Basketball State Championships, five SCISA Boys Basketball State Championships and two SCISA Baseball State Championships. In 2009, the Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Team completed a perfect season, finishing 19 - 0. Students in all grades have the opportunity to participate in sports. With an intramural soccer club and softball team, a C-team basketball squad, B-team sports, Junior Varsity teams and Varsity teams, students have ample opportunities to play. But Dorchester Academy’s athletic philosophy isn’t about winning. We teach our student-athletes strong character values and demand that they develop discipline and punctuality on the field and in the classroom. We believe that having athletic events gives all of our students an opportunity to experience a more complete and active campus life.

Sports Opportunities at Dorchester Academy: Intramural Soccer - Grades K4 - 5 Intramural Softball - Grades K5 - 5 C-Team Basketball B-Team Basketball B-Team Softball B-Team Football Junior Varsity Volleyball Junior Varsity Basketball Junior Varsity Baseball Junior Varsity Softball Junior Varsity Football Varsity Volleyball Varsity Basketball Varsity Baseball Varsity Softball Varsity Football Varsity Cheerleading Junior Varsity Cheerleading B-Team Cheerleading Wee Poms Junior Poms Weightlifting Cross Country Golf



Photo by McKenzie Ammons

Protecting the past

The struggle to keep American Indian traditions alive BY ZAK BARTHLOMEW AND CODY GRUBER Shouting. Feathers. Drumming. Dancing.Traditions. Traditions that are fading, but not if Winnie Mraz has anything to do with it. Custodian Winnie Mraz, a Cherokee Indian, volunteers at hundreds of charities, hospitals and powwows sharing her values and trying to revitalize her heritage. Helping with the challenge is her grandson Mason Mraz, fourth grade. At a recent presentation at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Winnie Mraz, also known as Red Feather, stood behind a table covered with dream catchers, deerskins, corn husk dolls and beads. Many of the items she has crafted. She wears a white leather regalia. Mason Mraz, also known as Little Wolf, wears a tan regalia with a blue thunderbird on the front. Their mission is to help others understand American Indian culture. As Red Feather explains the significance of the items on the table, she points to an ornate seashell that is used to burn sage. “Sage is used in blessings.” She holds a snake rattle. “A rattlesnake rattle means no fear.” Perhaps her most prized possession is the Jobes tears beads that hang around her neck. “These beads symbolize the Trail of Tears, the journey when the Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from their homes.” Over 4,000 of the 15,000 Cherokees died from hunger, disease and exhaustion on the forced march. Winnie and Mason Mraz join other American Indians and perform traditional dances. Red Feather performs the “Ladies Traditional” dance. Little Wolf performs the “Warrior” dance. “It’s important to dance because you dance for yourself and your ancestors. The drumbeat is the heartbeat of Mother Earth. When you dance you can feel the heartbeat,” Winnie Mraz said. The day’s presentation was a success. But finding enough American Indians to continue these mini-seminars is a struggle. “We had a difficult time finding enough people to do this presentation,” Winnie Mraz said. But in her spare time, Mraz will continue her twenty year mission to teach others, especially other American Indians, the rich culture.

Diagnosis: Cancer BY BAILEY FENDER Editor

Wayne Rabon expected to start Dorchester Academy’s K-4 program in August. He looked forward to learning the alphabet, cutting paper and playing with his friends. But the four-year-old, known to his family and friends as Lil’ Wayne, is not able to start his days in class. Instead, he spends most of his days being examined by doctors who administer his treatments. Lil’ Wayne has cancer. Lil’ Wayne was recently diagnosed with Pleuropulmonary Blastoma (PPB), a rare form of cancer that attacks the lungs in children ages eight and younger. Initially, his parents Wayne and Milvia Rabon, were told he had pneumonia. “He (Lil’ Wayne) had a fever of 104 and he was getting chills. It was very hard for him to breathe. The doctor diagnosed him with a severe case of pneumonia,” Milvia Rabon said. After a week of tests, the doctors told the Rabons of the correct diagnosis. “They did some x-rays of his chest and they found a tumor. They did a biopsy and found out he has Pleuropulmonary Blastoma,” Rabon said. The diagnosis was difficult for his mother. “I cried a lot, but he picks up on everything, so I have to be as strong as possible,” she said. “He understands he’s sick. It’s really hard because he doesn’t know what cancer is. We had to explain to him that his hair would fall out and the treatments might make him sick. But he has handled everything very well. He doesn’t even act like he’s sick,” Rabon said. Lil’ Wayne is still very active. “I like to play baseball and I like to play my video games,” Lil’ Wayne said. The community has come together to help out this family whose medical costs are in the thousands. “Everybody’s great,” Rabon said. “We get letters and cards from a lot of people saying we are in their thoughts and prayers. They did fundraisers at my church, the fire department and Dorchester Academy. Everyone’s very generous.”

Students dress down, raise over $2,000 BY BAILEY FENDER Editor

Students and faculty donned hats and gym pants on Sept. 10, but none were reprimanded for the dress code violations. Instead, the dress code violators were thanked for raising over $2,000 for ‘Lil Wayne Rabon who was recently diagnosed with cancer. For a fee, students and teachers were given the opportunity to wear hats or gym shorts or to wear their shirt tails out. The event was a huge success. “We raised over $2,000 to help the Rabon family with medical bills. We will continue to support and pray for him,” Headmaster Kimberly Brock said. The students and teachers were very generous and willing to help. “I want to help that little fella. It just

breaks my heart,” Robine Jackson, fourth grade teacher, said. Many students echoed that sentiment. “I think it (the fundraiser) was very good and I heard we raised a bunch of money,” Tyler Brownlee, junior, said. This is not the first time the school sponsored a fundraiser to help someone in need. “This school does support everyone here. It (the fundraiser) was fantastic and I cannot imagine all he is going through,” Susan Hughes, receptionist, said. Hughes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and a similar fundraiser helped her with her medical expenses. “I could not have made it without this school when I had cancer. The school helped me by raising money and being my shoulder to cry on. D.A. was a big help,” Hughes said.

FAMILY SUPPORT: Lexi Rabon, Milvia Rabon and ‘Lil Wayne Rabon are thankful for the support of the community during ‘Lil Wayne’s cancer treatments. “Everybody’s great. We get letters and cards from a lot of people saying we are in their thoughts and prayers. Everyone’s very generous,” Milva Rabon said. Students and faculty recently raised over $2,000 to help the Rabons.

THE PERFECT SEASON! J.V. Boys win conference title, finish 19 - 0 BY CODY WAY

For the first time in recent history, the Dorchester Academy J. V. Boys basketball team went undefeated, ultimately winning the conference tournament title. “We worked hard,

played good, and deserved a winning season,” Daniel Fralix, eighth grade, said. Head Coach Darell Austin agreed. “They’re a good group of kids. They practiced hard,” Austin said.

The highlight of the year was beating Holly Hill Academy

three times. They’re our biggest rival. Some of our players used to go there. I was happy to defeat a team three times in one season. That’s hard to do,” Austin said. “We had a good season. Cooperation on the court was the key. Everyone worked together,” freshman Joey Shieder said. And according to Austin, that’s what it takes to win. “Hard work and chemistry will lead to a successful season every time,” Austin said. But that work ethic does not

always lead to an undefeated season. “At the beginning the season, I never thought about going undefeated,” sophomore Thomas McAlhany said. But as the season went on, the team started to believe. “Everyone contributed,” sophomore Josh Bacot said. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.” The team will lose many of its starters next season, and it seems unlikely that next year’s team will have the same success. But Austin and his team are not worried about next year. They’re just happy to have made history at Dorchester Academy. Austin uses three words to describe that feeling. “It feels great.”


‘I never intended to become a coach’ Coach Stanley Gruber enjoys 30 years of success in football BY BAILEY FENDER Editor


ords that have been used to describe Coach Stanley Gruber include successful, stubborn and intense. Now add one more word: legendary. Gruber wrapped up his thirtieth year of coaching with a less than stellar 4 - 7 season. His 278 - 34 overall record, five state championships and multiple conference titles are more impressive. But Gruber doesn’t dwell on his accomplishments. “Considering longevity, years and records, it’s said that a coach is no better than his last game. When we lose a game, I forget it and we focus on the next one. When a season is over, it’s over, and we move on to the next one. It’s all in the past. I’ve never really thought about all the years I’ve been here. I guess the time just snuck up on me,” Gruber said. Gruber never intended on becoming a coach. After graduating from Presbyterian College, Gruber worked for three months before the San Francisco 49ers offered him a free agent contract. “I never intended on becoming a coach,” Gruber said. After injuries ended his professional career, Gruber took a job as an assistant coach in Georgia for two years. “ I have always been a homebody and I missed SC. There was a job opening at Andrew Jackson as a football coach and I was there for two years. The last year I was there, was the year we won the state championship. I applied for the job at DA and I got it.” Gruber’s career at Dorchester Academy has created many memories. Some of his favorite include fourth quarter comebacks and surprising state championships. “Beating Dillon Christian in 2006 was good. After they beat us in the regular season, we beat them at State. There was one game against Orangeburg when we had no penalties or turnovers. That was probably the best game I’ve ever had. All the state championships were good. We beat Hammond one time when we were down 17 or 21 points at the beginning of the fourth. We beat Heathwood Hall in regular season there and at state,” Gruber said. But with the good comes the unthinkable. Gruber has lost many players in off the field to accidents and homicides. “When each and every one of those players got killed, those phone calls were the worst.” Gruber has seen many changes during his coaching career. “You know I’ve been here since the school had one wing and there were three rows of wooden bleachers. As far as people are concerned, there are more things now for the boys to get in trouble with.” No matter the changes, Gruber enjoys his job. He knows the challenges he will face as society continues to change. He plans to coach at Dorchester Academy for many more years. “This is where I live and grew up. I have always enjoyed being here at D. A. This is my home.”

What we miss when we look at veterans BY SEAN GRUBER Editor

We don’t know what a


veteran is. When we say veteran, we think of a predetermined image - the soldier, the invincible fighter, the tireless protector of freedom. And when we cheer and clap for veterans at ceremonies, we only really see that side of them. Many seem to forget what really makes a veteran a hero - that he is human. We never really see men like Stephen Britt. Stephen Britt was a new member of the small group of men that sat before us in that gym on November 9. He served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps as an assaultmen trained in anti-tank demolition. From 2002 to 2006, he served one tour of duty in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq. But if we leave it at that, we miss so much of the real hero behind the image. We lose the man. We miss how Stephen Britt felt when he witnessed 9/11 as a Dorchester Academy high school student. We miss the horror, the anger, and the shock. We miss when he decided that 9/11 was the final push. We miss how he joined the Marines right out of high school. We miss basic training. How Stephen was flung into a mind game. How the Marines broke him down. How they built him back up. And how they prepared him for the real thing. We miss the thousands of emotions he had the night before he left the United States. The feelings of excitement. The feeling of fear, knowing that he

was about to be sent to a place that was a complete mystery to him. How he wanted to stay home. And how he wanted to go. We miss his trip overseas, first on civilian Boeing aircraft to Kuwait, then on CH-47 helicopters. We miss his conversion period - the time it took for him to get used to the environment. The heat that felt like it was crushing you. Dealing with the sand and the dust. We miss his first day in Iraq, as he provided security for those building Camp Spartan, a security camp for POWs. We miss Stephen’s sense of worth as he provided security for the Iraqi elections. We miss Stephen as he celebrated. We miss his pride in the coalition; how he felt that everything that the military tried to build in Iraq was finally starting to be accomplished. We miss the culture shock he experienced. How the people in Afghanistan where completely used to his presence. How soldiers and jeeps moving through villages had become part of the day-to-day life of an Afghani. We miss his experience with the Iraqi people. How, despite what others may tell you, they are not all terrorists. The majority of the civilians only got angry with U.S. soldiers because they held up traffic. We miss the relief he felt when he came back home. How, when he walked off the Boeing aircraft, he saw the crowds cheering for him, welcoming Stephen home. We miss Stephen’s feelings of gratitude as he sits in Dorchester Academy’s gym. How humble he feels. How he feels that he has not done enough when compared to these other veterans. How he feels like he hasn’t done enough. We miss Stephen sitting at home, in his mother’s kitchen, telling his story. We miss what makes him human. We miss what makes him, and others like him, a hero.

The Maroon & Gold Staff Bailey Fender, Editor Zak Bartholomew, Photo Editor Nicole Bennett, Layout and Design Mckenzie Ammons Hannah Austin Trevor Davis Cody Gruber David Wagers Cody Way Stephanie Gruber, Adviser

This brochure was designed by the “Maroon & Gold” staff using Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. All pictures were taken by journalism students. Articles used in this publication were reproduced from previous editions of the “Maroon & Gold.” All work is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the written permission of the individual “Maroon & Gold” staff members.

234 Academy Road . Post Office Box 901 . Saint George, South Carolina . (843) 563- 9511 . FAX (843)563-4764

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