Three of the most distinguished and notable graduates of South Carolina public schools are going to be honored at an upcoming gala.
The South Carolina Foundation for Educational Leadership, South Carolina Association of School Administrators Foundation are holding an event to raise money and honor the legacy of some of the Palmetto State’s most distinguished educators and students. The former pupils have excelled nationally and/or internationally in their respective fields.
Three people, two posthumously, will be inducted into the SC Educator Hall of Fame. Three more people will be enshrined into the Distinguished South Carolina Public School Graduates.
Those who have been selected for the honor of joining the Circle of Life: Soar to the Stars are well known in home state of South Carolina, even though their professional careers have taken them far away. Some even into outer space.
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This year’s Distinguished South Carolina Public School Graduates are Major General Charles Bolden, Leeza Gibbons and Dr. Kary Mullis.
Bolden is a 1964 graduate of C.A. Johnson High School (Richland District One). The former astronaut has already been enshrined into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2006. he also served as a NASA Administrator from 2009-17.
Gibbons is a 1975 graduate of Irmo High School (Lexington-Richland District Five). The “Entertainment Tonight” host has also previously been honored in 1998, when she was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gibbons is also an Emmy Award winner (2013), and a New York Times best-selling author.
Mullis is a 1962 graduate of Dreher High School (Richland District One). In 1993, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the Japan Prize Award. Like Bolden and Gibbons, Mullis has also been honored previously, as he was added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1998.
The 2018 South Carolina Educator Hall of Fame Inductees include:
▪ Dr. Carlos Gibbons
A 1946 graduate of Salem Centralized High School (Clarendon County), the former Executive Director of the South Carolina Education Association who oversaw the first school leaders’ affiliate
▪ Tom Ackerman (posthumous)
A 1945 graduate of Williston High School (Barnwell District 29), the first Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators
▪ Dr. William B. (Bill) Royster (posthumous)
A 1941 graduate of Townville High School (Anderson County), the only South Carolinian to serve as president of the American Association of School Administrators
The gala will be held on April 27, at the Columbia Marriott at 6:30 p.m. It is a celebration of the impact of public education and how it contributed to the personal careers and achievements of the six honorees.
Stewart Moore, a two-time Emmy Award–winning news anchor in Orlando, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Moore is a 2003 graduate of Northwestern High School in Rock Hill (York District Three) and a former anchor at WIS-TV in Columbia.