Former Lowcountry Prep teachers to form school in Georgetown
Dr. Gary Gates, his wife Dr. Laura Gates and several other teachers who have left Lowcountry Preparatory School in Pawleys Island are working to start a new school in downtown Georgetown.
The proposed college preparatory school, called the Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences, would be for grades 6 to 12, Gates said.
Teachers, who also include Michelle Neubauer and Shannon Lewis, will hold an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, at the Rice Museum at the Town Clock. The public is invited to attend.
“If people have children in that age range, they should come to find out more about the Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences,” Gates said.
An official with the proposed school met with a Georgetown city official on Thursday. That city official said organizers are now looking for a building for the school.
On Thursday it was said there will be 15 to 45 students, but a more precise number is expected after Tuesday’s meeting.
“We have some options for an exact location,” Gates said. “We need to gauge interest to find out how many students we would have and what size building we would need.”
He said the focus of the school would be preparing children for college while being interactive with the community.
“Our team of teachers have had great success in the past helping students from all walks of life get into colleges all over the country,” Gates said.
“We want to recreate that diverse population in our new school. Part of the reason we are locating downtown is because it is in the middle of things and we can partner with organizations and businesses downtown.”
He said they want to leave the possibility of becoming a charter school open and have been in close contact with organizers of Coastal Montessori Charter School which opened its doors at the beginning of this past school year.
Gates said leaving Lowcountry Prep was unfortunate and he will miss teaching the students there, but it brings the possibility of a new beginning with new opportunities.
“They (school officials) wanted to go another way and we wanted to stay the course,” Gates said. “We wish them well.”
For more information about the proposed school or Tuesday’s meeting, call 843-213-8011, or e-mail email@example.com.
Headmaster of Lowcountry Prep
Scott K. Gibson III, headmaster of Lowcountry Preparatory School, said in a prepared written statement:
“Among 12 teachers who taught in the combined Middle and Upper School at Lowcountry Preparatory School during Academic Year 2012-2013, five have signed contracts to return for Academic Year 2013-2014.
“The remaining seven teachers are not returning for Academic Year 2013-2014. Among them, three were not offered contracts; one had reached the retirement age for Social Security and took it; two opted not to return on their own; and one was confronted with a visa not eligible for renewal without extraordinary diplomatic intervention, according to our legal counsel.
“We wish each of them well and thank them for their erstwhile service at Lowcountry Preparatory School.”
He added that the school has found replacements for most of the open positions.
By Clayton Stairs
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