May 31, 2009

"Spoleto ~ a Tour de Force Since 1976"

May 26, 2009: Nigel Redden stated to our Club what we all know: Charleston, with its long and rich history of culture and its natural beauty has provided tremendous inspiration to artists over the years. Charleston, South Carolina remains the most appropriate place in the United States to stage a festival that celebrates the arts. Charleston claims many cultural firsts. The very first performance of an opera in the American colonies took place in the city during the first half of the 18th century. While the English Ballad opera Flora or Hob in the Well is no longer performed, Porgy and Bess - which has often been called the greatest American opera - was written in Charleston some two hundred years later.

We all know the first theater built specifically for public performances in the American colonies, the Dock Street Theatre, was built in Charleston in 1734. The original theater burned down two years later and was eventually rebuilt. Over the next two hundred and fifty years, many other theaters said to rival the best in Europe were built in Charleston. Today, Charleston is a well-preserved city of stately homes, lofty churches and numerous historical sites needing our support: especially in the venue preservation areas such as the Gaillard Auditorium's required $105M makeover. We all need to support this wonderful festival!

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Submitted by: Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

May 24, 2009

"Educating the Next Generation"

May 19, 2009: Today, we had the pleasure of meeting five exceptional women who are "top of their class"! These ladies are responsible for our future, for educating the leaders of tomorrow and according to Ellen Winkles, Charleston County's Teacher of the Year "we are in good hands"! The five finalists in Charleston County are: Anna Bronk, Sadie Fox, Andrea Gramling, Katherine Houser and this year's winner, Ellen Winkles. Congratulations to each of these talented and gifted individuals!

The Charleston County School District Teacher of the Year for 2009 is Mrs. Ellyn Winkles, a drama teacher at West Ashley High School. Ellyn comes from a long line a life changing teachers and "sees it as her role as the teacher to help the children who enter her classroom find their own talents and abilities so that they, too, may be happy, healthy, contributing members of society." Mrs. Winkles began her teaching career in English and now teaches Drama and gospel company. "She is flexible in her instruction and offers a variety of choice for her students. Ellyn believes the biggest challenge facing public education today is that we must prepare and equip our students for changing times and a global economy. She stresses the importance of critical thinking and problem solving and believes that the most important relationship is that between the student and the teacher." Congratulation Ellyn on a job well done!

Anna Bronk is the CCSD runner up teacher of the year. She is and English Language Arts Teacher at Charleston School for the arts. Ms. Bronk graduated from University of West Florida and went on to earn her masters degree at The Citadel. Anna spent her first career in journalism and decided to follow her parents into teaching. Currently, Anna teaches English and is the year book sponsor for School of the Arts. In addition to educating in the classroom, Anna is an aquatics instructor for children.

Sadie Fox is an Honor Roll teacher in West Ashley. Sadie earned her graduate and under-graduate degrees from the College of Charleston and today she teaches science at CE Williams Middle School. Sadie also serves her students "as a club sponsor" for the Robotics Club, the Surf n Turf club, and the science decathalon club; and chairs the science department at CE Williams. Sadie "challenges her colleagues to equip our students with the tools necessary to make the best decisions."

Andrea Gramling our second Honor Roll teacher is a science instructor at Garrett Academy of Technology. Ms. Gramling's commitment to her students was obvious in her absence as she felt it necessary to remain at school preparing her pupils for their final exam. Andrea complete her undergraduate work at Clemson and received her masters from The University of North Carolina. "Andrea challenges educators to embrace change, and implement new ideas".

Katherine Houser our third Honor Roll Teacher is a third grade teacher at Memminger Elementary School. Ms. Houser "earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the College of Charleston and currently holds National Board Certification". Katherine's original interest morphed into a career in teaching as she "realized her passion in meeting the needs of her students from disadvantaged neighborhoods and low socio-economic living conditions. Ms. Houser "encourages master teachers to take responsibility for sharing experiences and supporting new teachers in the field".

Reported by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

May 8, 2009

"We Celebrate Bringing People Together"

May 5, 2009: Ted Hutcheson came to speak to our club via Ireland, 30 years at TWA, and Kiwi Airlines. He works in Atlanta and lives in New Jersey. Ted began his talk with the tongue in check quote: "the best thing for the airlines would have been for the Wright Brothers to have been assassinated." His reason for saying that is although there have been peaks and valleys, no airline has ever been profitable in the long run. Having said that, he emphasized AirTran's guiding principles throughout his presentation: first and foremost; taking personal responsibility for the safety of each traveler and every Crew Member.

A brisk review of the reasons AirTran is successful followed:

Pride: In our work, in one another and in contributing to the success of our airline.
Teamwork: Support one another and value every traveler's needs.
Innovation: Act with an empowered "can do" spirit to continuously improve.
Cleanliness: Pick it up, keep it clean.
Anticipation of customer, crew member & business needs: Look ahead - be ready!
Every crew member is expected to contribute to our success through measurement and continuous improvement: Know your numbers!
Compliance with Regulatory Standards: In every decision and every action.
Technical Excellence and Continuous Learning: Do it right, then improve on it.
Honesty, Trust, and Integrity in all actions: With our suppliers and our customers.
Respectful Communication and Constructive Disagreement
Personal Responsibility for Resolving Issues: We do not pass the buck.
Acting with Purpose and Urgency: Do the right thing and then act on it.
Hard Work: Taking pride in doing the difficult things make us better than the others.
Fun: Positive people who celebrate success, learn from mistakes and enjoy our work.

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

April 28, 2009: Publisher Bill Hawkins has taken the baton from Rotarian Larry Tarleton at a time of unprecedented challenge to the newspaper industry. A native of Pittsburgh and graduate of Cornell University, Vietnam veteran Bill spent 15 years as editor of the Durham Sun in North Carolina prior to joining the Post and Courier staff. While the P & C is doing "better than GM" it has for the first time in over 200 years had to lay off staff. Non-the-less P & C is a lot better off than many of the huge newspaper corporations who have massive debts and union contracts with which to contend. The big McClatchy firm sold off the Myrtle Beach paper and the remaining paper is now being printed by the P & C.

Since 80 percent of a newspaper's revenue is derived from advertisements and the really biggest one of those is real estate which is in huge decline, P & C's revenue has dropped. Big account losses like Circuit City and Linens and Things have hurt, but the small local businesses still recognize the value of newspaper advertising. The P & C is carefully managing expenses and remains profitable. Each weekday they print 90,000 papers with 105,000 on Sunday. While 3% of their news is now on the WEB, print news still reigns supreme, and 82% of papers are still going out as home delivery. He predicts that 20 years from now print news will still be the premium delivery system, but high subscription costs due to home delivery are likely. Papers who have tried to go 100% web news, have failed. There is no substitute for live reporters in the newsroom. P & C continues to have a newsroom staff of 100, one of the largest newspapers in the south. Local newsman, Warren Peper, has joined P & C to build a video delivery system.
The new technology, such as being able to read a whole newspaper on a palm held "blackberry", is a challenge, but the Post and Courier is geared to win.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee