Orangeburg County Community of Character P.O. Box 593 Orangeburg, SC 29116 US

(803) 534-6821

Orangeburg County Community of Character

Welcome to Orangeburg County Community of Character

Annual Fifth Grade Outstanding Character Recognition Event

 This event is highlighted as it has become known as a signature event of Orangeburg County Community of Character.  


It is important to acknowledge great character; and it is crucial to instill great character at an early age. In our schools, years ago, guidance counselors (professional school counselors) introduced initiatives that highlighted the importance of integrating the teaching of character traits into the school curriculum. In 2002, a rippling affect took place in our schools. Classroom curriculum, guidance programs, school assemblies and community programs focused on character building. Counselors led the way for the implementation of these programs. Former school superintendent, Melvin Smoak, felt character building would assist in enhancing student achievement and help control school environments; therefore, he agreed to start a District-wide Outstanding Character Recognition Program for all fifth graders. This program has continued to grow and expand throughout the great County of Orangeburg.  

Orangeburg County Community of Character, working with the professional school counselors at each school, brings together fifth graders from all across Orangeburg County and recognizes those who have exemplified outstanding character.  Over 18 elementary schools and about 1500 fifth graders participate in this event.  Students, faculty, administrators, public officials and special guests share and hear messages promoting good character. The program also features special performances and a keynote motivational speaker.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Year / Presenter / Location

  • 2002 Senator John W. Matthews, S.C. State Senate, Retired Education Administrator Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU
  • 2003 The Late Honorable Ernest A. Finney, Former Chief Justice S.C. Supreme Court Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU
  • 2004 Dr. Carl Jones, ​SCSU Executive Director for Student Success and Retention​, Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU
  • 2005 Mrs. Gloria Kirkland, ​OCSD4 Youth Program Coordinator Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center, SCSU
  • 2006 Mr. Craig Melvin, TV AnchorJonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University 
  • 2007 Reverend Henry Hennegan, CEF Volunteer Leader Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2008 Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale, First Lady Claflin University and Educator Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2009 Mr. Michael Douglas, Harlem Globetrotter Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2010 Honorable Glenda Hatchett, Judge Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2011 Reverend Artie Knight, Former Basketball Coach Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2012 Coach Mike Ayers, Head Football Coach, Wofford College Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2013 Sheriff Leroy Ravenell, Orangeburg County Sheriff Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2014 Mr. Al Duncan, Motivational Speaker Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2015 Mr. Laymon Hicks, Motivational Speaker Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2016 Dr. Stephen Peters, Ed.D., Education Administrator Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2017 Coach Willie Jeffries, Coach Emeritus, SCSU Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2018 Dominique W. Riggins, former Claflin SGA President, Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
  • 2019 Whitney Sullivan, Multi-platform Producer and Anchor, WLTX-TV

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