Project Lead The Way honors five CCSD schools

Project Lead The Way honors five CCSD schools Charleston, SC — Charleston County School District (CCSD) is proud to announce five schools have been named Distinguished Schools by Project Lead The Way (PLTW), either as a High School or Gateway School. The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

Wando High School becomes the first high school in South Carolina honored by Project LEad The Way (PTLW) three years in a row, and Thomas C. Cario Middle School is the only middle school in the state to receive Distinguished School status for three consecutive years for its Gateway to Technology program.

Charleston Charter School for Math and Science (CCSMS) is a Distinguished High School for the first time, and the middle school program picked up Gateway honors for the second time in three years. CCSMS is one of just a few schools in the country to pick up multiple awards from PLTW in the same year.

In addition, Morningside Middle School was recognized for the second year in a row as a Gateway School and Laing Middle School received the Gateway honor for the first time.

This recognition program started in the 2017-18 school year; this is the highest number of CCSD schools to make PLTW Distinguished Schools list in one year (four in 2017-18 and three in 2018-19).

“We are building innovative CTE (Career and Technology Education) learning communities using the PLTW curriculum throughout the district,” said Tralice Reddock, the district’s Career and Technology Education curriculum specialist. “Our teachers are committed to providing thorough and creative opportunities for our students, and our students, in turn, are embracing and excelling with these opportunities. It is exciting to see schools recognized nationally.

PLTW is a non-profit organization that serves millions of K-12 students and teachers in approximately 12,200 schools across the United States. The organization’s recognition program honors schools that are committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. Schools that are recognized for this honor empower their students to thrive in an evolving world and have achieved exemplary results from their PLTW programs.

"Project Lead The Way prepares our students for the high-wage, high-skill and in-demand careers of the future,” added Rich Gordon, CCSD’s Executive Director for Career and Technology Education. “Students learn how to problem-solve, think strategically, and work in teams, all the while building determination and grit."

Wando offers seven courses through its Engineering Program and four courses through the Biomedical Science Program.

"Wando's Project Lead The Way teachers are setting the standard for STEM-related education," explained Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer, Wando High School's principal. "This honor symbolizes their commitment to providing life-changing opportunities for the Warrior community as well as the hard work and success of our students in these courses."

Cario Middle carries all ten courses in the Gateway to Technology program: Computer Science for Innovators and Makers, Science and Technology, Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling, Green Architecture, App Creators, Medical Detectives, Magic of Electrons, Energy and the Environment, and Flight and Space.

"We are so proud of our Project Lead the Way teachers, students, and program for earning this award for the third year in a row!" exclaimed Cario Principal Gayle Morris. "Mr. Carr and Ms. Passarello work tirelessly to create engaging lessons that help to empower students to achieve at their highest potential. Students at Cario are offered access to a wide variety of courses designed to promote inspiration, exploration, and real-world learning."

Morningside currently offers Automation and Robotics, Science and Technology, and Design and Modeling.

At the high school level, Charleston Charter provides the seven courses in Engineering and four courses in the Biomedical Science Program. In middle school, CCSMS rotates scholars between several of the PLTW classes each year, including Design and Modeling, Green Architecture, and Medical Detectives, to prepare them for the high school curriculum.

Laing provides students with the opportunity to take Computer Science for Innovators and Makers, Medical Detectives, and Science and Technology.

“This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our students and teachers," said Jay Whitehair, Laing's principal. "PLTW Gateway provides our students access to a curriculum that will help prepare them for future careers. I am so proud of our entire school community.”

For more information about the PLTW in CCSD, contact Tralice Reddock at

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