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Carolina Forest High School

Carolina Forest High School is located in Horry County, South Carolina in the rapidly developing Carolina Forest attendance area. The school is one of nine high schools within Horry County Schools. The school serves parts of Myrtle Beach and eastern Conway. Approximately 1,843 students attend Carolina Forest High School (grades 9-12) each year. It is currently led by Principal Velna Allen.

History

In 1997, Carolina Forest Education Center opened and welcomed students from the Conway, Myrtle Beach, and Socastee attendance areas. The middle school opened with grades 6-8. The high school opened with grades 9-10 only. Wendell Shealy was principal over the entire complex. The school was built by Hay Construction Company and was not complete when it opened. Several buildings were still under construction, particularly on the high school side. There was little in the way of landscaping, grass, and amenities. Kimmie Tomlinson, also known as "Miss Kimmie" led the effort to bring unity to the school. She initiated several efforts to instill spirit and pride in the new school. Many students still felt connected to the schools they came from. It took a couple of years for CFHS to establish its own identity. Eventually the "Education Center" concept was scrapped. Mr. Shealy was made principal of Carolina Forest Middle School. Ron Malone became principal of Carolina Forest High School. His tenure was short. There were a series of interim principals for the high school which created instability and a lack of progress. Rick Maxey assumed the principalship of CFHS from 1998-2000 when he left to become principal of Conway High School. Velna Allen, who had served as assistant principal under Maxey became principal and has been at that post since. Under her leadership the school has grown and established itself as one of the leading academic schools in the county. Allen had been a mathematics teacher at Conway High School for several years prior to her administrative positions at CFHS. At the end of the 2004-2005 school year Wendell Shealy retired after a long and distinguished career. His vision and leadership laid the foundation for many of the programs taken for granted at both schools. Cindy Thibodeau became principal of Carolina Forest Middle School. At the end of the 2005-2006 school year Carolina Forest Middle School ceased to exist. Due to the population explosion in the Carolina Forest area, two new middle schools have been constructed: Ocean Bay Middle School and Blackwater Middle School. OBMS is slated to open January 6 2007. It is located on International Drive across from Ocean Bay Elementary School. The school will be led by Connie Huddle. Blackwater is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2007 and will be led by Cindy Thibodeau. The school is located off of Highway 90 in Conway, SC. At the end of the 2006-2007 school year the middle school side of campus will become part of one large high school. That high school could potentially grow to one of the largest in South Carolina with as many as 3,000 students attending within 5-6 years.

Their modern facility offers our students in grades 9 – 12 numerous advantages, including advanced technology, modern science laboratories, advanced placement courses, college credits, honors, college preparatory, and career academic assistance classes. The Carolina Forest High School Panther family is dedicated to providing their students with the educational challenges and opportunities that will prepare them to compete successfully as life-long learners in global society.

Accreditation: Approved and accredited by the South Carolina Department of Education and the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Associating Colleges and Schools.

Faculty

The faculty consists of: 102 professionals with 35 holding Bachelor’s Degrees, 54 Master’s Degrees, 10 Master’s Degree + 30 and 3 Doctorate Degrees. Graduation Requirements: English (4 units), Math (4 units), Science (3 units), Government/Economics (1 unit), US History (1 unit), Social Studies (1 unit), Physical Education or ROTC (1 unit), Foreign Language or Occupational Course (1 unit), Computer Science (1 unit), Electives (7 units) for a total of 24 units. A South Carolina exit exam consisting of two parts of ELA and math must also be passed to receive a high school diploma. Four Year College Additional Requirements: Lab Science (3 units), Foreign Language (2 – 3 units of the same language), Academic Electives (4 units in 3 different academic areas).

Student placement and rank

Carolina Forest High School students are placed in classes based upon achievement on standardized tests, teacher recommendation, and course availability. Students are ranked at the end of their junior year, the 135th day of their senior year, and final rank is calculated at the end of the senior year. Rank is calculated based on all courses taken using the South Carolina Uniform Grading scale.

Graduating class of 2005: Size: 319; Percent attending: four-year college 49%, two-year college 30%, Military 3%, Employment 18%. Scholarship awards totaled $5,824,819.00.

Testing

Average SAT score for the graduating class of 2005 – 1058; national average – 1028. Average ACT score is 28, highest average in the District and above national average.

Athletics

In 1997, Mark Roach was hired as athletic director. His immediate concern was facilities. The school lacked proper facilities for many of its teams, including football. Roach and Shane Williamson, te first head football coach at CFHS, worked hard to obtain funding for a football stadium that was completed in time for the 1998 season. Roach did such an outstanding job that he was hired by Horry County Schools to oversee a phased in development plan for athletic facilities throughout the district. Under this plan, all Horry County Schools saw major improvements over the course of several years. Tennis courts were built, baseball and football stadiums improved, including the construction of the long overdue Backyard at Conway High School. Roach was eventually hired by Coastal Carolina University as assistant athletic director. Mickey Wilson, Sr. took over for Roach and headed athletics until 2000 when Michael Morris took over. Coach Morris led several efforts to improve facilities and the quality of coaching at CFHS. He left in 2005. Bubba Lewis then became A.D. and currently holds the position.

Panther Football

Shane Williamson was the first head coach for varsity football at CFHS. His dynamic personality and hard work paid dividends in the 1999 season when the team made a deep run into the State AAA Playoffs, eventually losing to Marion in the lower state semi-finals. The team had a tough defense led by Keith Sherman, Tyke Greene (Citadel), and Jack Johnson (USC transferred to South Carolina State.) At the end of that year, Williamson had an opportunity to work at Broome High School. It was a hard decision, but one that eventually led him to become even more heavily involved with the FCA Program. He now works for FCA in Atlanta.

Michael "Doc" Davis was hired to replace Williamson. Davis came from Beaufort High School. His first few teams had little success. The 2004 season was clearly going to be a good one with a highly talented senior class including QB Zach Cerny, TE/DL Drew Seay, RB/LB Tommy Fraser (CCU), OL/DL Jake Brown (UT), WR Jamel Green, and many other quality players. Coach Davis, who was a member of the South Carolina Army National Guard, was called to duty in Iraq. He missed the 2004 season and defensive coach Robbie Brown, a former Clemson assistant, took over as interim head coach. The team had its best season in history going deep into the playoffs eventually losing at Manning 45-35 in the lower state semifinals. Davis returned to the sidelines the following season. The team, having lost a host of talented players, took a step back in 2005. Davis was replaced by North Augusta's Drew Hummel who went on to a 2-8 season in 2006. However, the team became the biggest surprise of the 2007 season when they went 8-4, including a surprise victory over Carver's Bay High.

Advancements

Famous Alumni

  • Brandon Roach - CCU golfer
  • Jake Brown- University of Tennessee Football
  • Kellen Altman - College of Charleston golfer
  • Paul Rodriguez - CCU pitcher
  • Mike Strickland - Randolph Macon basketball
  • James "Tyke" Greene - The Citadel Football
  • Bennett Fite - Marymount Basketball
  • Zach Cerny - Clemson University Football
  • Rachel Blue - East Carolina University swimmer

Awards

  • Average SAT, ACT, and AP scores are above the national average
  • Mock Trial team advance to the state competition three out of the last four years
  • 10 honors societies, all affiliated with their national organizations
  • Award-winning band played in the Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2003 under the direction of Josh Rudolph, and again on July 4, 2007, under the direction of Chad Horsley.
  • The NJROTC unit has earned three Distinguished Unit with honors and two Unit Achievement awards.
  • We The People Competition State Champions of 2004
  • SCSPA - Best of Broadcast - Panther News
  • SCSPA - All-State Rating - Panther News 2006
  • SIPA - All-Southern Rating - Panther News 2006

See also

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