Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 2:05pm
We have always celebrated February 5 as the FOUNDER'S DAY for GSSM, because on that day in 1987 the state legislature passed the enabling legislation to establish the Governor’s School in Hartsville. In part the brain child of Dr. Jim Daniels of Coker College, Mr. Jim Rogers of the Florence Morning News and Charles Coker of Sonoco, enthusiastically supported by Governor Carroll Campbell, GSSM got off to a great start with Dr. Doug Smith, President emeritus of Francis Marion College as the Interim President. Students were found, faculty hired and Dr. Lee Cox named as the First Director (later President) of GSSM and the Charter class entered in the fall of 1988.
Those first students were in many ways different from our current classes – not in their abilities or commitment to excellence, but rather in the expectations which they brought to GSSM. Those were the days when students rarely had their own computers, there were no cell phones (One wall line for each floor of the residence hall had to suffice. You can imagine how inadequate that was!), and there seemed to be more common knowledge which all the students shared, regardless of their home school. Today electronics rule and it is hard to imagine how we functioned otherwise. The students eagerly look up information and have a wide and eclectic knowledge unavailable to our charter classes. On the other hand, they are blissfully ignorant of much that was once considered common knowledge.
Throughout all the changes and moves there has always been progress toward excellence and the students remain as much fun to teach today as they ever were. Their accomplishments continue to astonish me and I can imagine no other job as rewarding or as challenging. Much of American History is as it always was, but each new class brings to it their own unique experiences and often surprising way of looking at their heritage. Our past performance is a promise for the future for South Carolina and its citizens.
Dr. Carlanna L. Hendrick, GSSM Teaching Faculty
Dr. Hendrick teaches American History, Western Civ,
and elective topics on the 50s, 60s and 70s, World War II
and Medieval Europe.