A 'historic day' for the new Philip Simmons High School
One by one, the seats in the massive, gleaming new Philip Simmons High School auditorium began to fill as the community came together on Sunday, Aug. 13 to celebrate the dedication of the first public high school on the Cainhoy Peninsula in more than 20 years.
Joining the festivities were dozens of Berkeley County School District officials, including newly appointed Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram, as well as family members of the school’s namesake, the late Master Blacksmith Philip Simmons, a Daniel Island native.
Freshmen Bailey Pinckney and Colin Nemeth served as masters of ceremonies for the event. In the program’s opening remarks, Pinckney referenced the hard work that went into bringing the school to fruition, using words expressed by Simmons during his lifetime about what it takes to get tasks done.
“If you want your prayers answered, get off your knees and hustle,” said Pinckney, quoting Simmons.
“Today is definitely a win for the Iron Horses,” added Nemeth during his time at the podium. “…I bleed purple and I know you all will, too!”
Interim Superintendent Deon Jackson noted that the district first began studying a new high school for the Cainhoy Peninsula in the 1990s. Jackson called the effort to build PSHS “a unique accomplishment” in that it utilized an integrated project delivery method, stayed within budget and finished on time.
“The handprints of this community can be found [here],” said Jackson, who also credited the building’s contractor, architects and others for their efforts in seeing the project through.”
“It’s encouraging to see this big of a turnout,” added Daniel Island resident Mac McQuillin, who represents District 2 as a member of the Berkley County School Board. “…I am humbled to be a part of this ceremony and witness this. It’s an honor to be here.”
District 8 Board Member Frank Wright thanked the taxpayers for their contributions.
“You voted for that bond referendum,” he said to the audience. “…The finished product is worth it!”
School officially starts in the new facility on Thursday, Aug. 17.