2011 ETV American Graduate Dropout Prevention Summit

ETV American Graduate is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis. The purpose of the ETV American Graduate initiative is to encourage awareness of the factors that contribute to the dropout crisis, as well as the economic consequences of dropping out of school.

The ETV American Graduate Summit was recorded October 18, 2011 and hosted by P.A. Bennett of ETV's CONNECTIONS, a weekly television program on the issues and concerns of minorities in South Carolina.

2011 ETV American Graduate Initiative (Full Program)

Recorded October 18, 2011

Voices from the ETV American Graduate Initiative


ETV President, Linda O'Bryon, and South Carolina Department of Education Superintendent, Dr. Mick Zais.

Keynote: We Have A Vision, But Do We See?

Dr. Sam Drew, Executive Director, National Dropout Prevention Center/Network

Dr. Sam Drew

Dr. Sam Drew's career in education spans 39 years and includes the positions of teacher; school principal; special assistant in the United States Department of Education; Deputy Director of Education in the SC Governor's Office; Superintendent of a state residential alternative school; and Superintendent of a county school system in SC. Dr. Drew served as State Director of Adult and Community Education in South Carolina for eight years before joining the Adult Literacy Media Alliance in New York as Director of State Partnership Development. In July of 2002, he joined the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University as Associate Director for Research and Evaluation. Currently he serves as the Interim Executive Director of NDPC.

Dr. Drew holds a B.S. degree in Psychology, a M.Ed. degree in Elementary Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. He serves on many national, state and local boards, committees and workgroups. He speaks and conducts workshops around the country and internationally in the areas of dropout prevention, service learning and community partnership development. He is co-host of a monthly radio webcast, Solutions to the Dropout Crisis, broadcast from Clemson University. His latest publication, Bouncing Back, is a monograph on building youth resiliency.


Where We Stand and What's Working In South Carolina

Mark Bounds, Deputy Superintendent, SC Department of Education, Division of School Effectiveness

Mark Bounds

Mark Bounds has served as a Deputy Superintendent in the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) since October 2006, first serving as Deputy Superintendent for Educator Quality and Leadership, and now as the Deputy Superintendent for School Effectiveness. In his current position, Mark oversees school transformation efforts, teacher professional development, the educator preparation system, the educator certification system, the educator evaluation system, teacher induction and support programs, teacher recruitment, teacher recognition, virtual learning initiatives, and educator leadership programs for the state. Prior to this position, Mark served as the Executive Director for Communities in Schools of South Carolina (CIS-SC), a statewide non-profit organization that focuses on helping children succeed in school and in life, and as a SCDE Team Leader responsible for all actions associated with the assessment process for under-performing schools. Mark had a distinguished career as an officer in the United States Army, having served the nation for 20 years. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he received his bachelor's degree from Towson University, was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Johns Hopkins University ROTC program, and holds master's degrees in Administration from Central Michigan University and in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership Education Leader Development Program, the International Center for Leadership in Education, the Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Initiative, and is an Education Policy Fellow.

Panel Discussion

Aveene Coleman, Education Associate, Office of Student Intervention Services, SC Department of Education

Aveene R. Coleman

Aveene R. Coleman is an Education Associate with the Office of Student Intervention Services at the South Carolina Department of Education. Ms. Coleman provides technical assistance and professional development in the areas of dropout data collection, dropout prevention strategies, and alternative school programs. Ms. Coleman has presented at numerous workshops and conferences throughout the state. She has over 14 years of education experience administering state and federal grant programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from South Carolina State University and a master's degree in human resource development from Webster University. Aveene's areas of expertise are data analysis, data management, dropout prevention and intervention strategies, alternative school education, and grant management.

Robert Barnett, Associate Vice President, Workforce, Education and Manufacturing Policy, SC Chamber of Commerce

Robert Barnett

Robbie Barnett is the Associate Vice President, Workforce, Education and Manufacturing Policy for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. He joined the chamber in early 2006 after a successful 33+ year career managing chemical manufacturing plants for Honeywell and AlliedSignal.

Robbie holds undergraduate degrees in Liberal Arts, Economics and Chemical Engineering. He has performed postgraduate studies in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and obtained his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1984. He has also attended executive training programs at University of Virginia, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan. He is a certified Six Sigma Leadership Black Belt.

Robbie is a member of the New Carolina Education and Workforce Development Council, the Charter School Advisory Committee and is Co-Chair for the Regional Education Center Advisory Panel of the Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council. He also serves on the Director Boards for Junior Achievement and the United Way Association of South Carolina.

He is a past Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance's Chemistry Council, the Midlands Literacy initiative, and the United Way of the Midlands Education, Job and Life Skills Council. He has served on the South Carolina State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Denmark Technical College Commission.

Robbie is a strong advocate of lifelong learning and a national speaker on adult literacy. He has received numerous community service awards.

Dr. John Lane, Education Associate, Office of Student Intervention Services, SC Department of Education

Dr. John Lane

Dr. Lane received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies and the Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from South Carolina State University. He completed additional studies in school administration at the University of South Carolina. He received the Doctor of Education degree from NOVA Southeastern University. Dr. Lane has been a successful school administrator for over 20 years and has been an adjunct professor for Winthrop University, South Carolina State University and most recently, Southern Wesleyan University. Among his accomplishments, he is most proud of the following: Recipient of “Stevenson Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award,” 2005 Selected as an “Outstanding Executive of America,” 1997 Nominated for the South Carolina Father of the Year Award, 1996 Listed on SC Library Association's Honor Roll of Principals, 1995 Selected as an “Outstanding Young Man of America,” 1981 Numerous local, state, regional and national recognition for schools where he worked.

Dr. Lane is currently employed with the South Carolina State Department of Education where he serves as a member of the Education and Economic Development Act team. He and his colleagues have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring full implementation of the Personal Pathways to Success Program. Additionally, Dr. Lane serves as a member of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program where he and his colleagues endeavor support and enhance programs designed to provide K-12 students and their families with academic and other comprehensive enriching activities beyond the school day. Dr. Lane is an ordained Baptist Minister and he is currently pastor of the Disciples of Christ Baptist Church located in West Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Lane is a native of South Carolina and he and his wife are the proud parents of three sons.

Representative Jerry N. Govan, Jr. (D-SC), Orangeburg

Rep. Jerry N. Govan

Jerry Govan, Jr. (b. March 17, 1958) is a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing District 95. Govan earned his BA from South Carolina State University in 1982. He went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of South Carolina. Govan was a Personnel Specialist in the Department of the Navy from 1979 to 1980. In 1984, he worked as a Recruiting Officer for the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control. He then worked as Assistant to the Director of Personnel at South Carolina University from 1984 to 1985. From 1985 to 1986, he worked as Director of the Small Business Development Center for South Carolina State University. Govan then worked for the 1st Judicial Circuit's Pre-Trial Intervention Program as a Coordinator from 1989 to 1990. He has worked as Primary Drug Prevention Consultant since 1990. Govan was a member of the Orangeburg County Democratic Party from 1980 to 1986. He also served as Vice-Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party from 1984 to 1986. He then joined the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992. He has served in that position since, representing the 95th District.

Kimberly Butler, Program Manager, Palmetto Health Office of Community Services

Kimberly Butler

Kimberly Butler is a native of Hollywood, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. There she earned a bachelor degree in Exercise Science, a master degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and is in the midst of completing a doctorate degree in Public Health. Kimberly is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Program Manager within the Office of Community Services at Palmetto Health Hospital. She manages the department's community grants and coordinates its school- and community-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. Kimberly has a passion for adolescent health, and seeks to improve the sexual health of all teenagers and young adults throughout South Carolina.

Matthew Costello, Executive Director, Eau Claire Promise Zone

Matthew Costello

Matthew Costello, the Executive Director of the Eau Claire Promise Zone, has almost 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and project manager in the nonprofit sector. His varied background includes work in virtually all areas of the educational and organizational change sectors, including as a consultant to Fortune 500 corporations, a municipal employee, a contractor to state and local governments, as a founding executive director, and as a grant writer for a youth mentoring group. His innovative approaches to bringing corporations, governments, and citizens together and helping them find common ground have been noted by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and business publications in Japan and Germany. He began his work at the Promise Zone in May 2011 as its first ever employee. A graduate of the University of the South ("Sewanee") with a degree in American Studies, he lives in Columbia with his wife, Elizabeth, a professor of early childhood education at USC.

Showcase/Featured Programs

Call Me Mister, Dr. Roy Jones, Director

Call Me MISTER (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) South Carolina and National Initiative combines the special strengths and resources of a research-oriented public university (Clemson University) with the individualized instructional programs offered by four historically Black colleges in South Carolina: Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College and South Carolina State University. The program has established a network of four two-year colleges (Tri County Technical College, Greenville Technical College, Trident Technical College, and Midlands Technical College), which serve as sites for developing prospective MISTERs wanting to transfer to a four-year Teacher Education program.

The mission of Call Me Mister is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the State's lowest performing elementary schools. College student participants with high academic potential, a demonstrated commitment to teach and a servant-leadership orientation are largely selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities. As graduates, students are expected to have an impact by returning to critical need schools and communities to pursue their professional careers. To maximize opportunity and greater access, students will have the option of first attending one of our two-year partner colleges before transferring to a four-year institution to complete their program of study in teacher education and baccalaureate degree. In some cases, the program may allow enrollment in a Master of Teaching degree program leading to initial certification. It is expected that a MISTER who completes his program of study and becomes certified to teach will assume a teaching position in a public school and teach one year for each year they received financial support from the Call Me MISTER program.



Black Achievers Determined to Be Different (BADD), Dr. Robert Kirton, President, CEO & Founder

The comprehensive model of BADD is designed to help young Black males in K-12th grades reach their full potential by establishing a BADD culture through seven researched based challenges that infuse engaging activities, and interactive experiences, all with rewarding outcomes in a culture of brotherhood and belonging. The program begins with an initial teambuilding camp, leading into an engaging seven challenge curriculum that leads them from Character to Conviction, supported by an intergenerational model, a synchronized website, a brotherhood of adult Black males, and other support mechanisms. These proven strategies as evidenced through our external evaluative Brother's Keeper's Program, addresses a variety of student learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

The impetus of the program, which is founded in peer mentoring principles, is to help close the academic achievement gap between Black males and their counterparts through collected data measured in three categories: Achievement, Attitude, and Attendance. After successfully completing the program, our goal is for members to have developed academic and life skills to make a seamless transition to the next grade level or lifelong endeavors and ultimately become confident, proud, and responsible young men. All young men are welcomed to participate regardless of ethnicity. Once the young men learn to be BADD, they are BADD4LIFE!



Richland One Evening High School, Kerry Abel, Coordinator, Richland One Office of Dropout Prevention and Community Partnerships

The Evening High School is designed to serve students aged 16-20, interested in obtaining a high school diploma; but, due to life circumstances, are unable to attend school during the day. The operational timeframe enables students to hold a job, meet family obligations and, upon meeting the requirements, graduate from high school.



YouthStop Alternatives in Motion (for Success), Kathy Bell, Founder and Director

The YouthStop™ is an educational services center that provides alternative instructional opportunities and supportive services to approximately 100 students who are enrolled in Spartanburg, Dorman, Chapman, and Landrum High Schools. The 6,000 sq. ft. facility is located at 360 East Main Street in the downtown area of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

YouthStop™ programming follows the Alternatives in Motion (AIM) for Success program model. Aligned with current South Carolina school reform initiatives, the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) and High Schools That Work (HSTW), AIM brings together best practices in a comprehensive, research-based program for the at-risk student.

Students who have not been successful in the traditional high school setting, are referred to the YouthStop™ for one or more semesters to receive academic and supportive services that will facilitate on-time graduation.

Using teacher-lead and computer-aided instruction, students are offered credit recovery; new courses, some for dual credit; and leadership development opportunities. Other program offerings include work readiness and supportive services to help the student transition to the workplace and/or post-secondary institutions.



Dorchester County Adult Education, Julie Kornahrens, Director

Dorchester County Adult Education Programs are designed to provide students, 17 years of age of age and older, an opportunity to continue their education in a setting that meets their individual academic and personal needs. Among the academic courses offered are: High School Credential (High School Diploma or GED Diploma) Completion, WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate preparation, English as a Second Language, Pre-Employment Skills Training, Post-Secondary Entrance Exam Preparation, and Computer Skills Training. Additionally, b y working in tandem with Dorchester School Districts 2 and 4, Dorchester County Adult Education serves as an integral partner for dropout prevention and dropout retrieval initiatives. The unprecedented quality of courses offered during the day and evening makes our program one of the best in South Carolina and in the United States.



Black Boys of Distinction (BBOD), Sumner Alexander Benton Sr.

BBOD employs a social strategy that promotes healthy behavior in our community's young black males so they may become healthy and productive. By focusing on boys between the ages of 8–17, we seek to break the vicious cycle of underachievement, underemployment, crime and imprisonment, by providing boys with the educational supports, opportunities, and valuable life skills necessary to enhance their self-esteem, confidence and determination to succeed. Our goal is to raise their aspirations and academic achievement to each individualized full potential.



CATE/Virtual High School, Mary-Paige Boyce, Career and Technology Education Coordinator at Richland Two

Career and Technology Education courses provide students with skills needed to solve problems by applying both academic and technical knowledge; the opportunity to earn post secondary credits; and an edge in securing high quality, high demand employment.

The mission of the Career and Technology Education (CATE) programs of Richland School District Two is to teach students real-world skills that reinforce and enhance core academic courses. Our programs build character, encourage teamwork, provide work-based experiences and prepare students for life-long learning, postsecondary education and/or immediate employment.



Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan, Mentor and Individual Success Story

Chris Sullivan was born August 08, 1990 on Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. He was three years old when his family moved to Columbia, South Carolina. At the age of six, his parents enrolled him into elementary school. The school administrators and teacher made an attempt to place him on medication stating he had an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also known as A.D.H.D and was incapable of learning. His mother, Senorita Sullivan fought the school administrators and won.

This was also a difficult time for Sullivan. His parents were going through the divorce process. He decided to use his frustration to find answers to fulfill his curiosity for being an African American and to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. Shortly after beginning the process of learning about Civil Rights from his Godfather, Dr. Lonnie Randolph, Jr. (who is currently the President of the South Carolina Conference of the N.A.A.C.P), Sullivan was introduced to the Famous Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton, which motivated Sullivan to learn even more about the Civil Rights Movement. Consequently, this was around the same time the South Carolina NAACP launched sanctions against the State of South Carolina calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle flag from the state house grounds. Without hesitation the young Sullivan joined the fight, catching the attention of the national magazine, JET which featured Sullivan.

Chris Sullivan went on to work in the Office of the President at the University of South Carolina under the Columbia Urban League program at the young age of 13. He continued to do so until the age of 15. Sadly, Sullivan was blinded with the perception of the "easy way out" also known as "Wrong Way Blvd." and started falling for "the trap" like many African Americans males in today's society seem to fall for. Sullivan continued on this journey but not for long. Being the leader and intelligent young man, he begins to recognize "the trap". He noticed that there were greater opportunities and that there is a need for Social Justice & advocates for the promotion of the moral authority.

Chris Sullivan decided to join DECA an association for marketing students, to limit his idle time. In his first year, he ranked first at the state and regional competition. He went on to the DECA International Conference, a competition with over 16, 000 students. Sullivan received the Golden Award of Excellence for his performance. Also while attending high school, he served on the Principal's Council, Chair for the DECA's Social/Community Service Committee which orchestrated the largest Christmas campaign to collect toys for the children who were less fortunate in the school's history. His senior year in high school, he joined several political campaigns where he chaired the student's committee. Sullivan also worked in the Office of the Governor for South Carolina. At the age of only 17, Sullivan was presented with the Mayor's Key to the City by Columbia's former Mayor Bob Coble becoming the youngest recipient in the City's history. That same year he was elected to the St. Martin de Porres Catholic Parish Council, making him the youngest Catholic in the State of South Carolina to do so and the youngest African American Parish councilman in the country. Sullivan is the past Vice President for the African American Male Leadership Institute, representative for the Student Advisory Board at Midlands Technical College where he represented over 15, 000 students. Sullivan was selected to represent the state of South Carolina in Washington, DC at the First Youth Clean Energy Forum with President Obama Administration discussing ways to create new jobs, improving low income areas through a clean energy initiative, making energy more affordable during tough economic times.

Chris Sullivan has been the campaign manager and advised many political campaigns on a professional level. He has given speeches from prisons to school to churches, appeared on talk shows, TV commercials, and radio stations throughout the country. One of Sullivan's main goals in life is to make the state of South Carolina a success story and to one day become President of the United States of America.

Closing Remarks

Dr. Sam Drew, Executive Director, National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.