District leaders, staff, students and community members honored the namesakes of Simmons-Pinckney Middle School at a dedication ceremony Thursday evening with a plaque featuring the likenesses of Philip Simmons and the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, which will be placed at the school’s Sumter Street entrance.
In July, the Charleston County School Board unanimously voted to name the new middle school after renowned blacksmith Simmons and Pinckney, a state senator who was shot to death, along with eight others, while serving his ministry at Emanuel AME Church.
Simmons-Pinckney Middle School opened its doors in the fall in the renovated Rhett Building across from Burke High School on President Street.
The school serves 217 students in sixth through eighth grade and teaches a STEAM- focused (science, technology engineering, arts and math) curriculum.
Interim Principal Nathan Nelson said students are also expected to study the lives and legacies of the school’s namesakes.
“They were lifelong learners, teaching kids the importance of that nobody owes you anything, you have to work for everything, so we try to instill those values in our students,” he said. “Their lives are here, their spirits are here. I’m excited tonight the community has the chance to see it.”
Reach Deanna Pan at 843- 937-5764.