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March Head of School Update & Hurricane Watch Newsletter

Greetings, First Baptist Community!

As we prepare for the Easter season, we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice Christ paid for our sins. As Christians, we celebrate His resurrection on the third day, not His death. Matthew 28:5-6 provides an account of Christ’s resurrection: "The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Let us meditate on the resurrection as we enter the weeks to come.

Spring is almost here! We are once again met with the beauty of God’s creation as everything begins to wake up from winter. The Daffodil Project began at FBS last year by C.R.E.A.T.E as a memorial to the 1.5 million children victims of the Holocaust. The bulbs they planted last year are blooming beautifully again this year and serve as a reminder of the memory of those who perished, honor survivors, and remind us to stand up for those suffering around the world today. If you are on the James Island Campus any time soon, be sure to check out the daffodil beds directly behind the main academic building.

We have new faces joining our community. The first introduction is Mr. Jamaal Birch, who is joining us as the new head football coach and academic mentor. Coach Birch grew up in Charleston but has most recently been serving at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. Coach Birch became a Christian at a young age and has fond memories from his childhood of attending church and Bible Studies with his siblings, his grandmother, and God Mother. He currently attends Elevation Church in Charlotte and is looking forward to getting reconnected to a church home here in Charleston. Coach Birch earned his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from MacMurray College and is currently completing his master’s degree in organizational leadership through Southern New Hampshire University. Coach Birch’s strong faith, infectious enthusiasm, passion for students, and love of football will serve our school community well.

Additionally, we are excited to announce that we will be adding a high school Assistant Principal beginning in June. Ms. Marshelle Grant is also a Charleston native, raised in Mt. Pleasant. She is currently the Dual Enrollment Coordinator at Trident Technical College. FBS partners with TTC for its dual-credit classes. Trident Tech has an enrollment of over 10,000 students. She graduated from Wando High School, holds a BA in History from Winthrop University, and a Master of Arts in Education from the Citadel. Ms. Grant has had a career in education since July 2001. She is an active member of Olive Branch AME Church in Mt. Pleasant, where she serves on the Ministerial Staff, as Christian Education Director, Adult Sunday School Class Instructor, as well as in youth ministry as the Youth Church-Co-Director. Ms. Grant’s faith, love of students, warm disposition, and professional experiences will make her an excellent addition to our school community.

Both campuses have so many exciting opportunities for students happening now and in the near future. We are beginning our Boosterthon fundraisers to upgrade books in our Downtown Campus library, purchase a sign for the entrance to our James Island Campus, and to purchase iPads for our Kindergarten through 2nd-graders. Our middle school students recently traveled to the SC State House, where they had the opportunity to meet Governor McMaster, have him provide a tour of his office to our students, and then recognize our students and school on the State House Floor. After their visit to Columbia, they went to Biltmore Estate. Our seniors are excited as they are preparing for their upcoming annual trip to Disney. During the week of March 6th-10th, PTO is leading the charge for Teacher Appreciation Week. Please join us in helping our teachers feel special for all of the hard work they do day in, and day out, for our students. Additionally, both campuses are working hard to prepare for our upcoming SAIS Accreditation Visit from April 30th through May 2nd.

The arrival of spring brings with it a flurry of activity in the Fine Arts Department. After months of developing skills and exploring the creative process, our students are preparing for several upcoming events where their growth and efforts will be showcased. On March 9th and 10th, our middle and high school theatre students will present “Heroes & Villains,” a musical tribute to some of Broadway’s most loved heroes & villains. The creative process for this event has been led by our theatre director, Mrs. Kelsey Nelson, with assistance from our music and choir director, Mrs. Reagan Lethco. Our student performers have played an active role in selecting scenes & songs, brainstorming costumes, and refining an original script for the performance. We are proud of these students and their leaders for exploring and growing through all areas of theatre in their process this semester. In April, several of our high school dance students will be traveling to New York City to perform in an outdoor concert and take master classes on Broadway. This is the first time since Covid that this special event has been offered and we are thrilled to once again send representatives from our school! Our choir and band programs will share the spotlight together on Sunday, April 23rd, in a collaborative spring concert featuring student performers from both music programs. The following week, our K3-12th grade dance students will take the stage in their annual Spring Dance Showcase. The end of April ushers in a weeklong high school visual art and photography show, which will feature displayed student work on our James Island campus. We hope you and your family will join us at one or more of these arts events, celebrating the many diverse talents of our student body and creative faculty. Please follow our fine arts accounts on social media to see behind-the-scenes progress and previews of these upcoming performances and events.

Our Athletic Department is also very busy. Basketball season was an absolute success for our teams from top to bottom. Our elementary and middle school teams made strong progress throughout the year as they focused on fundamentals and learning the game. Our 7th-8th grade girls proved it on the court and in the classroom with a 9-3 record on the court and an academic award for the highest-grade average in their league! Our varsity basketball teams were the only 4A teams in the state to both make the state semifinals this past weekend. We are so proud of all of you!

Spring sports are off to a fast start with baseball and both soccer programs earning wins in their early scrimmages and first games of the season! We have many nights this season during the Spring where both soccer programs and baseball are playing at home at the same time. The boys golf team and track teams are just getting started and look to have a strong year on the course and on the track! We also want to welcome two of our newest spring head coaches to FBS with our new girls' soccer coach, Marc Simpson and our new boys golf coach, Jacob Redmond. We hope you can make plans to join us to watch all of our teams in action. Please follow our athletic calendar and the athletic social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the most up to date game information.

As a reminder, Easter Break is April 3rd-10th. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our students, families, each other, and you, our First Baptist community. We invite you to stay up to date with current events by following First Baptist School’s social media and our school webpage. #WeAreFB

Be Blessed!

Dr. Justin Mitchell

Head of School

Check out the March Hurricane Watch newsletter here!


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