The Kershaw County Adult Education (KCAE) program earned several top state awards—including the Citizen Leadership Award—at a recent success luncheon sponsored by the SC State Department of Education’s Office of Adult Education.
KCAE teacher LeKeith Bufford received the Citizen Leadership Award for providing exemplary support and service in the development of adult and community education. In addition to teaching classes, Bufford is the program’s technology leader.
“I can think of no other more deserving winner of this award than Mr. B, as he is affectionately known by students and colleagues alike,” said KCAE Director Weyland Burns. He has motivated our students to go beyond their perceived capabilities and elevated an entire cadre of students to workforce ready status.”
Burns said that Bufford is also active in the community by leading Boy Scout troops, teaching swimming lessons, directing his church’s children ministry and teaching soccer skills.
Other awards recognized KCAE students’ performance at the top state level in two categories. Students at the KCAE Camden Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) satellite program posted an 86 percent passage rate on WorkKeys tests—tying this for the highest percentage of all of Adult Education–VR partnerships in the state. This is the second consecutive year that KCAE’s VR program has finished as one of the top three programs in the state.
Students completing the WorkKeys tests earn nationally recognized National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC). The KCAE program was also recognized with a WorkKeys NCRC Award for posting the highest percentage of WorkKeys tests passed for the entire state.
“This outcome is a huge achievement because it means we compare favorably with much bigger adult education programs,” Burns said. “It is also an indication of why Kershaw County is certified as a Workforce Ready County because of the number of NCRCs earned by Kershaw County citizens through the adult education program.”
Burns said the program’s success is due to the high quality of its employees and the strong partnerships formed with the community. In addition to Bufford, KCAE teachers include Glady Smoak, Bill Ansley, Laury Wehunt and Kammie Reed. “They have the teaching system down to a science, and the results prove this is one of the best programs in the state for preparing future employees for the technological workforce.”
He also noted that the support provided by Area Director for VR Summer Owens Rigby and her team is extremely valuable.
Since the awards luncheon, Kammie Reed, Lead Teacher for Choice Academy, was selected to teach Foundations of Adult Education as an adjunct teacher for the College of Charleston in the GED Summer Academy. Burns said that many teachers applied for the position, but Reed was chosen because of her statewide and local program leadership in training teachers to apply standards based curriculum, digital literacy and relevant assessments.
Burns encourages Kershaw County businesses, industries and agencies that need someone to administer the WorkKeys test to contact KCAE at 425-8980.Photo #1: SC State Department of Education’s Office of Adult Education Director Mike King presents KCAE teacher LaKeith Bufford with the Citizenship Leadership Award. Photo #2: King presents KCAE Director Weyland Burns with the state’s WorkKeys awards. Photo #3: Burns, Bufford and KCAE Program Coordinator Bridgett Bailey display awards from the State Department of Education.Photo #4: Burns and Area Director for Vocational Rehabilitation Summer Owens Rigby congratulate KCAE WorkKeys teacher Glady Smoak and KCAE WorkKeys assessor and instructor Bill Ansley for their state-level honors.