Education roundup: Kiwanians give $100K, school year nears, more

Augusta University
Augusta University(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - A local civic club is helping out Augusta University.

The Kiwanis Club of Augusta recently donated $100,000 to the school.

Half of the money will go to AU students through scholarships.

News 12 talked to the president of the Kiwanis Club, who’s says the contribution will help students for years to come.

“That type of investment is going to pay dividends long after our lifetime because we’re going to have people that are coming up now that will be treating people 50 years from now and so to be able to make an impact that was really significant because it’s a lasting legacy of the Kiwanis Club,” Martha Ginn said.

The other half of the $100,000 is going to Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

From left: Daniel Rogers, Scout executive; Martha Ginn, Kiwanis president, Benjamin Budenstein;...
From left: Daniel Rogers, Scout executive; Martha Ginn, Kiwanis president, Benjamin Budenstein; Cheryl Tyson; and Lowell Dorn.(WRDW)

The club also is honoring Benjamin Budenstein, of Evans, first recipient of the Sam Tyson Eagle Scout Scholarship.

The Eagle Scout from Troop 119 was selected from a pool of applications to receive the one-time $1,500 scholarship that will be presented annually in honor of long time Augusta resident Sam Tyson.

The scholarship, funded through an endowment created by the Augusta Kiwanis Club, is open to all Eagle Scout graduating seniors living in the CSRA who plan to continue their education after high school.

Budenstein, a recent graduate of Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, will attend the University of Georgia this fall to study engineering.

For his Eagle Scout project, Budenstein built an outdoor classroom at his school, organizing a group of volunteers to clear a section of land that was badly overgrown. With his leadership, the group then landscaped the property and built two picnic tables and five benches.

Newly endowed scholarship honors longtime coach, wife

AIKEN, S.C. - The University of South Carolina has established a newly endowed scholarship for longtime coach Kenny Thomas and his wife, Judy.

After more than two decades of service to the university, alumni, friends and family members came together to raise the funds for the scholarship.

Mary Driscoll, vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs shared that “more than 90% of our students receive financial aid and support, and this furthers the university’s mission of educating tomorrow’s leaders.”

Thomas stated, “Judy and I are so honored to have the endowed scholarship in our name. For 22 years, we lived and breathed the atmosphere of USC Aiken Pacers. To know our names will last there for many years to come is an unbelievable honor. Thank you to all who helped make this happen.”

Those who want to add to the fund can call 803-641-3518.

University of South Carolina Aiken gets good rating for veterans

AIKEN, S.C. - The University of South Carolina Aiken earned high praise from Military Times, which ranked the institution among those Best for Vets.

UofSC Aiken continues to rise in the national rankings. For four years, it remained at 97 placing it in the top 100 universities in the nation. With the 2021 rankings, the university shot up to 52 placing it alongside the top tier universities nationally. The university remains ranked first in South Carolina.

“Daily we strive to have our military-connected students experience our appreciation for their service in our services,” said Robert A. Murphy, director of the Office of Veteran and Military Student Success at UofSC Aiken.

UofSC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to approximately 3,700 students in 50 programs of study.

Augusta Technical College rolls out new programs

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta Technical College has some new academic programs and continuing education offerings for the fall semester.

New academic programs include:

  • School of Aviation, Industrial and Engineering Technology — TCC in industrial construction I (Thomson campus), TCC photovoltaic systems installation and repair technician (Augusta campus)
  • School of Cyber and Digital Media — AAS in cloud computing and solutions (Augusta campus)
  • School of Health Sciences — TCC central sterile supply processing technician advanced (Augusta campus)
  • School of Public and Professional Services — AAS in culinary arts (Augusta campus), TCC in early childhood care and education basics (Augusta, Thomson and Waynesboro campuses)

New continuing education offerings include:

  • Medical scribe for practicing health care professionals
  • Medical scribe professional health unit coordinator
  • APICS certified in production and inventory management (CPIM)
  • APICS certified supply chain professional (CSCP)
  • APICS certified in logistics, transportation and distribution (CLTD)

The fall term starts Aug. 23, and Augusta Technical College is currently accepting applications for enrollment at all campus locations.

SAIL Charter School receives award for excellence

EVANS, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Education has announced that the School for Arts-Infused Learning has been awarded its Arts-Integration School of Excellence Award.

Schools that receive this award are places where all students have access to arts integration in every subject, and there is both rigor and relevance in the arts integration programming.

Arts integration professional development is ongoing, the program is well-organized, and the school involves the community in the arts.

“This is an honor for our school, said Gene Dunn, SAIL executive director.

SAIL Charter School is located at 4575 Blanchard Woods Drive in Evans and can be found online at

Aiken County district offers registration reminder

AIKEN, S.C. - Although summer is in full swing, administrators across Aiken County Public Schools are busy preparing to welcome students back in August, especially this year’s kindergarten students.

Parents and guardians of kindergarten students and students new to the district are encouraged to register for the 2021-22 school year now on the district’s website,

Parents and guardians should have the following items before beginning the registration process: an active email address, the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and two proof-of residency-documents such as a mortgage contract or statement, driver’s license or ID card, property tax bill or receipt or a utility bill. Copies or pictures of these documents can be uploaded along with your registration information.

Parents and guardians needing assistance in registering should contact their school for support.

Richmond County parents urged to update contact information

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Richmond County School System reminds families with students returning to school for the 2021-22 school year to review and update address and contact information in Parent Portal.

“Current information allows our schools to ensure parents are able to receive the most up to date information,” said Dr. LaMonica Hillman, assistant superintendent of support services. “As schools prepare to receive students, these updates also help us modify and finalize plans so our students have all the support they need for a successful school year.”

The school system and schools use the information in Parent Portal to send email, phone call and text messages to families. Information from the Parent Portal is used to communicate updates in student and school status and provide emergency notification.

Parents are encouraged to visit the “Parents” tab on and click the Parent Portal link to review and update their information. Registration for new students is currently available online using the Registration Central link.

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