School of Education announces 2012 Wall of Fame inductees
John McKissick's lifetime of inspiring students on and off the football field will be recognized on Thursday, Sept. 20, when he and two other Dorchester County educators are inducted into The Citadel School of Education Wall of Fame. In addition, a West Ashley High School teacher will become the second recipient of the STEM Teacher of the Year award.
The 5th annual School of Education Wall of Fame banquet begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Charleston Marriott Hotel, 170 Lockwood Blvd. Created in 2008, the Wall of Fame seeks to honor outstanding educators and those who are outspoken champions of education.
"The accomplishments of the 2012 Wall of Fame honorees are astounding. These men and women are not only leaders in their fields but are examples of the kinds to leaders The Citadel seeks to produce," said Tony Johnson, dean of the School of Education. "This year's inductees also illustrate the School of Education's leadership and support of The Citadel's strategic initiative to provide outreach to the region and to serve as a resource in its economic development."
McKissick, the winningest football coach with a string of local, state and national awards, has coached at Summerville High School since 1952. He is now in his 60th season. The other inductees are Dorchester County District 2 Superintendent Joseph R. Pye and Sean Alford, Citadel Class of 1992, the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Dorchester District 2. In addition, the School of Education will honor its second STEM Educator of the Year – Margaret Spigner of West Ashley High School.
McKissick, is legendary in Lowcountry and South Carolina football circles. He has been a coach and athletic director at Summerville High School since 1952. A native of Kingstree, S.C., and World War II 82nd Airborne Division veteran, McKissick led the Summerville Green Wave to 34 regional titles and 10 state championships during his career. McKissick became the coach with the most wins at any level in 1993, surpassing Gordon Wood's record of 405 wins.
McKissick's list of accolades are long and include South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame (1982), National High School Football Coach of the Year (1980 and 2009), National High School Sports Hall of Fame (1990), National High School Football Coach of the Century (1994) South Carolina Hall of Fame (2005), and Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year (2011). In 1987, the football field at Summerville High School was dedicated to and named for him and in 1999 McKissick and his wife, Joan, were inducted as charter members of the Dorchester School District Two Athletic Hall of Fame.
McKissick earned undergraduate degrees from Brevard College and Presbyterian College and a master's from Western Carolina University. He holds honorary degrees in public service and education from Presbyterian College and The Citadel respectively.
Pye, who holds two advanced degrees from The Citadel Graduate College, has more than four decades of education experience spanning all levels. He began as a classroom teacher and served as an assistant principal and principal. During his tenure at Flowertown Elementary School, Pye was honored as South Carolina Principal of the Year and received the Business Partnership Excellence Award for Education. Under his leadership, Flowertown Elementary School became a Palmetto's Finest Award winner and a Palmetto's First Congressional District winner. He still holds the district record for receiving the South Carolina Incentive Award for the most years. On the district level, Pye served as a personnel director and assistant superintendent for instruction and as superintendent of schools for Dorchester District Two. He was recognized in 2012 as the South Carolina Superintendent of the Year
Pye is an active member of the Summerville Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and teaching Sunday school for the past 32 years. He is a past president of the Oakbrook Rotary Club and a past president of the Charleston Southern Alumni board. He has served as chair of the United Way Educator Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Summerville Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce. He is currently chairman of the Heritage Trust Savings and Loan board of directors and a member of the Summerville Exchange Club.
Each year one of the Wall of Fame inductees is a graduate of the The Citadel's South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel. The 2012 inductee is Ahmed Sean Alford, Class of 1992 and father of a current cadet.
After earning a bachelor of science in social studies education, Alford was a world and American history, psychology, and modern literature teacher in Brown Deer, Wisc. He and served as an administrative assistant to the Richland School District 2 in Columbia, S.C., where he coordinated discipline and attendance interventions for students at Northeast High School and coordinated the in-school suspension program. In addition he provided instructional supervision for the Social Studies Department, performed the duties of assistant curriculum coordinator, and coached football and wrestling.
Alford's success in managing these multiple tasks led to his appointment as supervisor of student personnel services for School District Five and as executive director of student support services at Richland County School District One in Columbia, S.C. Alford's last position before coming to Dorchester District Two as the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction was as instructional services chief with the Beaufort County (S.C.) School District.
Each year The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence recognizes an educator who excels in the teaching disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Margaret Schultz Spigner, a National Board Certified Teacher and chairman of the Science Department at West Ashley High School, is this year's honoree.
The recipient of numerous awards in a teaching career that spans three decades, Spigner was selected for her work with West Ashley High School students on the award winning project "Water Wildcats Preserve Pond Using STEM. "
Working in teams, students put together a comprehensive design, management and publicity plan for creating a floating wetland and underwater reef to improve the ecology of the school pond. Spigner's students worked collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Clemson University's Agricultural Extension Service, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to improve the ecology of the school's pond.
In December 2011 the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recognized the high school as Champions of the Environment. The Champions of the Environment program supports environmental action in South Carolina's kindergarten through 12th grade students through its grants award program.