Carver Principal Rogers dancing for the kids
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.
Competing in the School Foundation’s 2018 Dancing For Our Future Stars competition is a big step for Chris Rogers, principal of Carver Elementary. With no dance experience, Chris is willing to step out of his comfort zone and step on the stage at the SiMT on March 22.
“I want everybody to remember I’m doing this for the kids,” he said, joking that he will probably be hilarious.
Not so, says his dance partner Morgan Truitt. She had high praises for Chris saying he is doing well and is a quick learner.
The pair are rehearsing a hip hop routine to the “Apple Bottom Jeans” by Flo Rida. Chris said his 16 year-old daughter chose the music.
Chris said he is happy to participate in this benefit for the School Foundation, especially since his school has benefitted from School Foundation grants. Carver has received a $75,000 grant, which was matched by the school district, to develop a $150,000 SMART STEM Lab. Not only is this lab the only one of its kind in South Carolina, but currently it is the only one on the east coast, Chris said.
This lab allow students to learn robotics, engineering and coding at an early age, he said. Last week first graders were learning coding and designing computer games. Kindergarteners also are being introduced to the lab, he added.
“Our students are learning skills to help them with jobs that don’t even exist yet,” he commented.
Dance partner Morgan more than makes up for Chris’ lack of dance experience – she has been studying dance since the age of two. She teaches dance to two and three year-olds weekly at the KFA dance school. She’s an excellent teacher, Chris said.
Morgan is a senior at South Florence High School where she is president of the Beta Club and a member of student government. She plans to attend Columbia International College to major in International Cultural Studies.
The remaining dance couples for this year’s DFOFS are:
• Dr. Lisa Bishara (McLeod Health) and Joseph Steen
• Ken Baker (WMBF News) and Mary Grace Colburn
• Louie Callahan (Burch Oxner Seale Co., CPAs) and Alexis McDonald
• Ron Glancy (Raines Hospitality) and Tiffany Welsh
• David Hall (First Reliance Bank) and Erin Haynes
• Dr. Ramzy Hourany (Carolinas Hospital System) and Julia Thompson
• Jammie McDonald (First Citizens Bank) and Cole Davis
• Joey McMillan (Coldwell Banker McMillan and Associates) and Katelyn Rodgers
• Dr. Calvin Robinson (Trinity Baptist Church) and Fallon Frierson
• Robbie Timms (BB&T) and Meggie Baker
• Les Ward (Pepsi of Florence, LLC/Pee Dee Food Service) and Mallory Baxley
These local celebrities and their professional dance partners will square-off at SiMT for a chance to win the coveted mirror ball trophy at the 8th annual dancing competition on March 22. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the competition at 7 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, beverages, fellowship, and an opportunity to win a custom designed jewelry piece donated by Lisa and Lex Matthews of Southern Jewelry Design.
Fans can vote online for their favorite couple(s) at DancingForOurFutureStarsOfFlorence.com for $10 per vote. The “People’s Choice” mirror ball trophies will be awarded to the three couples raising the most votes.
A panel of judges will name one couple “Technical Skills Winner” based on the contestants’ overall skills. One couple will also be chosen as “Most Entertaining” by the judges. Dancers receiving the largest number of online votes will be awarded the “Social Stars” trophy.
School Foundation board member Ed Love and local celebrity Audra Coble will serve as master and mistress of ceremonies. The 2017 celebrities will perform the opening act and the KFA Fierce Team will provide special entertainment throughout the evening.
All proceeds from this major fund-raising event will go to The School Foundation. Founded in 2000, the foundation promotes educational excellence in Florence, SC School District 1 through grants for innovative learning and through high impact initiatives designed to prepare all students for success.
To date, the foundation has provided over $1,355,377 in grants to FSD1 educators and is currently leading a school readiness awareness campaign focusing on preparing all children to enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed. The foundation also launched Start2Read, a program that distributes age appropriate books and reading tips in local businesses. For more information, visit www.theschoolfoundation.org.