Helping HandsA feature about people whose work touches our lives

  • Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gary Gates

GARY GATES

Head of Georgetown School for Arts and Sciences

Native of Aiken, S.C.

Graduate of SC Honors College at USC

Bachelor’s degree in History, studied in England and China

Earned PhD at Rutgers University in Philosphy and Mathematical Logic

Earned post doctorate in Paris at L’escole Polytechnique

Taught at Brown University for eight years

Taught at Lowcountry Preparatory School for 13 years, serving as head of middle and upper school

What is The Georgetown School for Arts and Sciences?

We are a bunch of like minded teachers who wanted to start a school that is centered on the community and made up of people that represent the whole community.

We wanted to create a place to give people who wanted to go to college, regardless of their background or means, to be successful in college and in life.

We have 23 students and two will be graduating this year.

How is the school accredited?

We are full members of SCISA (South Carolina Independent School Association).

We will start the review process next year. We are keeping our options open as far as becoming a charter school,

We are still looking at the pros and cons.

Are you looking to have more students next year?

We would like to have more students than we had this year.

There is room to grow, but we don’t want to get too big.

We don’t want more than 10 per class and we have seven classes, grades 6 to 12.

How has the school’s first year gone?

It is amazing how much we have been able to do. The community has supported us so much.

We would never have been able to do it without the support of everybody.

For more information about the school, people can visit TheGeorgetownSchool.org, or call 520-4359.

With what other groups are you involved?

The school is working with the Winyah Bay Sailing Club.

They are helping schools create sailing clubs and teams and starting this Friday, they will hold races in Georgetown.

We are going to have a boat in the races next week. They are doing it every Friday until end of June.

I am also on the board of the Mitney Project. They are doing a great job of trying to revitalize the west end of Georgetown. What we are doing here at the Georgetown School is part of the same effort, to rebuild downtown Georgetown and make it into a community. They have opened a new center on the west of end of Front Street and they are trying to stir entrepreneurial efforts in that area.

They have also sponsored a doctor to open a clinic in the new building to bring in health care to the west end, with programs to help uninsured people.

Why is it important to focus on the west end of Georgetown?

Nobody focused on it for so long and there are many vacant buildings.

It is a community that had been forgotten almost.

Can you tell me about your family?

My wife Laura is a teacher at the Georgetown School.

Our eldest son, Luke, is graduating from the University of Virginia Architecture School next weekend.

He has an internship in Paris with an architecture firm.

Our daughter, Madeleine, is finishing her first year at the University of Virginia. She is an Echols Scholar, majoring in Biology and Politics.

Our youngest son, Nathan, is a 10th grader at the Georgetown School.

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