Student Spotlight 2018

Cameron Obioha

Hammond School

854 Galway Lane, 29209

(803) 776-0295

You might just say senior Cameron Obioha is homegrown Hammond.  Having started Hammond in first grade, he has experienced all the school has to offer and has availed himself of the opportunity to participate in athletics, the arts, student government, and community service.

As Cameron tells it, starting Hammond at a young age allowed him to begin building relationships in the small school environment where teachers helped guide him through each grade level, carefully nurturing his talents, and helping him discover new interests.

While Cameron has participated in athletics, he has found his true talent lies in the arts, and his passion is Youth in Government.

Cameron credits his early years singing in the Lower School choir with helping foster his artistic ability.  A member of the premier auditioned choral group, the Select Ensemble, Cameron has traveled with the group internationally, performing for Pope Francis at New Year’s Day Mass.

Cameron’s high school years have been marked by a passion for politics and government.  “I’ve had a chance to be a part of Hammond’s delegation youth and government.  My initial goal was to improve my public speaking, but I’ve found it helped launch a sharing of ideas and an opportunity for intellectual discussions.


Celestina Klaye

Cardinal Newman School

2945 Alpine Road, 29223

(803) 782-2814


Celestina Klaye is an amazing and talented young woman who exemplifies what we want all of our students to strive to be,” says Principal Jacqualine Kasprowski. “She is grounded in faith, dedicated to serving others and is extremely involved in school and church activities.” Celestina is a Student Athletic Training Aide, a member of the Bowling Team, Cardinal Newman Dance Marathon Executive Board, National Honor Society (Vice President), WINGS Mentoring Program (President) and was selected 2017 Miss Sweetheart by the football team.  

In addition, she has earned a President’s Volunteer Service Award since the 9th grade and was a KAIROS team leader this past year. She plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and major in Nursing with a minor in Forensic Science.

“Cardinal Newman has granted more opportunities than I ever could have imagined, and I am surrounded by amazing faculty, staff and students who push me to be the best that I can be,” says Celestina. “I’m proud to say I AM A CARDINAL and fortunate to be able to learn and grow in such an incredible environment. It doesn’t get any better than Cardinal Newman!”


Harman McKnight

Heritage Christian Academy

649 Barr Road

Lexington, SC 29072



Harman is a perfect example of what a Heritage student embodies. He is a leader in the classroom not only because he is self-disciplined, self-motivated, and an excellent student, but also because he encourages others to do the same. Whether it is on the basketball court, tennis court, or classroom, Harman gives everything 100 percent.

Harman is a member of Student Council and has a heart for helping the needy. Harman began attending Heritage in third grade. Because his father’s job required multiple moves, Harman has attended independent schools in Texas, Virginia, and Columbia, SC.

According to Harman, “At most independent schools, students are going to receive a quality academic education. It is expected that the teachers are going to be highly qualified. And Heritage has all of those qualities, but it also has so much more. It is much more like a family. This helps the students want to excel and go the extra mile. The teachers are also invested in our spiritual growth. I feel that I have a personal relationship with Jesus because of Heritage. I don’t think you can find that anywhere else. That is why Heritage is so important to me. The friends I have now will be my friends for life.”


Henry Haywood

Timmerman School

2219 Atascadero Drive, 29206

(803) 782–2748


Henry Haywood, an eighth grader, has been a student at Timmerman School since he was 3 years old.  There is a rich history for the Haywood family at Timmerman as both Henry’s mother and his older brother received their formative education at the school.

Dean of Students, Robert Braciszewski says of Henry, “He is every teacher’s dream. Henry is quiet yet witty; compassionate yet bold.” Both peers and teachers look to Henry as the “go to guy” on campus.

Henry is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, a Duke Tip honoree, and a South Carolina Junior Scholar. As captain of both the competitive math team and the quiz bowl team, Henry has been in the top five scorers in the SCISA State Math Meet for the last two years.

Not only does he excel in the classroom, but he is also a member of the Timmerman School football team and agriculture club. He has been an ardent supporter of the peer tutoring after school program. “One of my favorite things about Timmerman is the relationship that students have with the teachers.  My classmates and I are a close-knit group who have enjoyed years of camaraderie. I’m excited about high school and about what the future holds for me. I know I am truly prepared.”


Jaelen King

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

2000 S. Beltline Blvd., 29201

(803) 765-2309


Heathwood Senior Jaelen King “combines a keen intellect with a work ethic second to none,” says Upper School Dean of Students Rip Blackstone. “That’s a powerful duo.” Jaelen is an outstanding student—a National Merit Semifinalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, and National Hispanic Scholar who has already been admitted to Yale and Clemson—and an outstanding three-sport athlete who’s been recognized as a Carolina Panthers Community Captain and a WACH Fox Scholar Athlete of the Week.

He’s also channeled his passion for sports into involvement with two foundations—IM2B and Bigger Than Sports, for which he serves as a junior board member—that mentor young athletes and help them find a higher purpose. But for all his accomplishments, it was a significant setback—tearing his ACL twice in two years—that helped him discover his passion for sports medicine.

“Missing two seasons of basketball and soccer has been rough,” he says. “But my physical therapists and doctors have been so supportive and that’s really helped me get through it.”

It’s that same sense of supportive community that Jaelen values most about Heathwood. “The teachers here get to know you as a person and recognize when you need to be challenged and when you need more support. That’s helped me not become complacent.”


Marshall Batten

Sandhills School

1500 Hallbrook Drive, 29209

(803) 695-1400


When current freshman Marshall Batten arrived at Sandhills School, he battled the anxiety, frustration, and discouragement often coupled with dyslexia. With superior intelligence and a strong work ethic, it felt disheartening to not perform academically where he believed he could.  

Sandhills understands these struggles and equips students with the skills necessary to be academically successful within the walls of Sandhills and beyond, despite a diagnosed learning difference. Marshall attributes his newfound confidence and success in not only academics, but also on the stage, sports fields, and the fine arts, to the individualized environment that Sandhills provides.  

Being in a class of nine students allows for one-on-one instruction, as well as stimulating, multi-sensory lessons that enable Marshall to learn information in a manner that is interesting, relevant, and meaningful. Marshall excels in the many leadership opportunities that are offered at Sandhills, as well as the many opportunities to plan and serve through service learning projects. Marshall continues to thrive in the college preparatory program offered by Sandhills and has his sights set on attending the college of his choice in 2021.


Nathan Andes

Northside Christian Academy

4347 Sunset Blvd., 29072

(803) 520-5660

Nathan Andes is a promising young leader in his community at Northside Christian Academy. His academic scores have qualified him for entry in the National Merit Scholarship program. He is a member of FCA, a participant in this year’s SCISA All - State Chorus, and Treasurer for the National Honor Society. He is a Boy Scout currently working toward a chieving the rank of Eagle, and he is a dependable student athlete.

Nathan will readily admit to the importance of integrity and recognizes it in the school environment around him. “I cannot speak highly enough of Northside,” says the junior. “You can tell that all of the staff – from the administration down t o even the assistant coaches - really believe what they say they believe. Every student was kind to me from the first day I visited the school.”

As a student at Northside, Nathan has grown in gratitude and perspective. He credits the influence of the school, which emphasizes knowing and loving God first, with an important change in thinking for him. “Instead of feeling entitled, I recognize that every little thing is a blessing from God because we, as humans, do not deserve anything,” states Nathan. Teachers agree that this kind of attitude is exemplary. “His leadership abilities are outstanding,” says Kathy Lord, Dean of Students.

NCA is consistent in upholding a Christ-centered and biblically based world view. Being committed to strong academics isn’t enough. NCA Crusaders take responsibility and own their faith, and Nathan embodies what it means to be a Crusader. Unquestionably, he is described by staff and peers as a team player. “Nathan will be successful at whatever he chooses to do,” states Coach Bell. “ We were impressed by his dedication to learn to be the best kicker he could be for the good of the whole football team.”

More importantly, Nathan understands the meaning of integrity. “If I am the only Christian someone meets, I don’t want that person to see Christianity as fake.”