Blog

New Varsity Cheerleading Coach Announced

We want to thank Kendra Sue Finch for leading our cheer program over the past three years.  We are excited to introduce our new head varsity cheerleading coach who is not a stranger to Westminster cheerleading.  Coach Jordan Lambert will take the reins once again.  Coach Lambert, who teaches French at Westminster, has been with us for 12 years and has coached 8 of those years with the cheerleading program.  She helped lead former competition teams to multiple state runner up and even a state championship.  She will bring that level of experience once again as she looks forward to coaching the 2018-2019 cheerleading team.  All young ladies interested in cheer next season please keep an eye out for more information about try-outs for next year’s football cheer squad.


Lady Cat Davis signs with GCSU

Senior Ashley Davis joins six other classmates who have been recruited to play their respective sports in college next year. Earlier today she signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Georgia College and State University (GCSU) Bobcats in front of family and friends. 

A 3-year starter on Westminster’s Girls Varsity Basketball team, she has led the team to win 20+ games three years in a row and in the most recent season, to a Final Four appearance in the state tournament. Earlier this season, she was also recognized for scoring 1000+ career points during her high school career.  This All-Region, All-State player:

  • is the only modern-era Westminster player to have 300+ successful field goals & 250+ successful free throws.
  • has notched over 400 rebounds, nearly 300 assists, over 250 steals & over 225 blocked shots
  • routinely ranked during her junior and senior year seasons in CSRA’s Top 10 in scoring, assists, steals, 3pt field goal %, total field goal %, free throw %, & blocked shots
  • has career 37% 3-point shooter

Her most recent accolade was being name Independent Girls Player of the Year by The Augusta Chronicle.

Read the Full Story

According to Head Coach Greg Wilson,

“Without a doubt, Ashley Davis is the Lady Cats’ most dynamic player of the modern era of girls basketball at Westminster. From a statistical standpoint, she has led our team, dominated our region, and left her mark on the Augusta area for most of the past three seasons.  I cannot think of a recent player who’s had more impact on her team than Ashley Davis has had on us.  To see her acquire and build confidence as our team’s chief communicator and then witness her maturation as a leader both on and off the basketball floor has been a pleasure to watch and it will be exciting to see what mark she makes on the world as she transitions to college and beyond.”

Westminster now has seven student-athletes from the Class of 2018 who have committed to playing sports in college.  In addition to Ashley, the other six are Larson Ison, Cale McLarnon, Kylie Duckworth, Abigayle Kelley, Brandon Smith, and Bobbi Wardwell.  We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you! Go Wildcats!


Duckworth Wins Tennis State Championship

Kylie Duckworth, senior from Westminster Schools of Augusta, defeated Madison Price 6-3, 6-3 from William Reid in the 2018 Girls State Singles Tennis Championship.

Kylie has won the girls singles state title her sophomore and senior year.

Athletic Banquet Tickets on Sale Now!

The JV & Varsity Athletic Awards Banquet is just around the corner!  All 2017-18 JV and Varsity athletes and their families are invited to join us at Warren Baptist Church (Simmons Hall) on Tuesday, May 1 from 6 to 9 pm, where all Westminster athletes will be honored and Westminster athletics will be celebrated! Dinner will be catered and served from 6 to 6:30 pm.

All athletes, coaches and their spouses will eat for free. Meal tickets are $10 for any family members or friends who wish to attend.  (Family max is $40.)

Tickets are on sale from now through April 25 in the Upper School office.


Wardwell Signs to Play Hoops for Shorter

Congratulations to senior Bobbi Wardwell who signed a letter of intent earlier this week to play basketball at Shorter University in front of family and friends.

A 4-year starter on Westminster’s Girls Varsity Basketball team, she led the team to win 20+ games three years in a row and in the most recent season, to a Final Four appearance in the state tournament. Earlier this season, she was also recognized for scoring 1000+ career points during her high school career.  This All-Region, All-Area player, selected by The Augusta Chronicle, has 90 career 3-pointers, 195 career steals, and a 10ppg career average.

Westminster now has six student-athletes from the Class of 2018 who have committed to playing a college sport in the next school year.  In addition to Bobbi, the other five are Larson Ison, Cale McLarnon, Kylie Duckworth, Abigayle Kelley, and Brandon Smith.  We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you! Go Wildcats!


Game, Set, & Match for Duckworth & Varsity Tennis!

Once again, Kylie Duckworth clinched the Region Championship singles championship title, for the second year in a row! Congratulations to Kylie for all of her tennis accomplishments during her career including this most recent win at the GISA Region 4AAA Tournament on April 10.  As the Region’s champion, she advances to the GISA State Individual Tennis Tournament on April 16 & 17 at JDS Tennis Center in Macon as the #1 seed.

We are proud of you and wish you luck next week as well as next year, when you play for the University of Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Kylie clinching the singles title at the Region championship, the following girls and boys Varsity Tennis players also advance to the GISA State Individual Tournament next week:

Kaleigh Bakeman: Girls Singles #3 Seed
Michelle Iwama & Brianna Earle: Girls Doubles #2 Seed
Jacob Hanna: Boys Singles #3 Seed
Daniel Baird & Luke Wells: Boys Doubles #2 Seed

Davis and Wilson receive post season honors

What a year for girls basketball at Westminster!

Recently, the Augusta Chronicle named senior Ashley Davis as Player of the Year.  Head coach, Greg Wilson, was also named the Chronicle Coach of the Year.  

Read the Full Story

Joining Ashley on the Augusta Chronicle’s All Area Independent Girls Basketball Team were Bobbi Wardwell, Liz Cave, and Genevieve Waller.

Congrats also to Larkin Ison and Luke Hartenbug, both were named to the Augusta Chronicle’s  All Area Independent Boys Basketball Team.

 


Your 529 Savings Plan Can Help Pay Tuition

What is a 529 saving plan?

A 529 plan is an investment account designed to encourage families to save for future college expenses. Parents can invest after tax dollars on behalf of a child for the purpose of education. Money contributed to the 529 is not tax deductible, but any growth in the investment is tax free. 529 plans have no income limits. Money invested in 529s must be spent on “qualified education expenses.” If you remove it for other purposes, you will pay a penalty.

529 plans have been around since 1996 when they were created by a piece of legislation authorizing qualified tuition programs. These qualified tuition programs are sponsored by a state or state agency, and their primary purpose was to be a tax advantaged investment vehicle to save for future qualified higher education expenses.

How do the new tax laws affect 529 savings plans?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in December of 2017 expanded the definition of education expenses that can be considered as “qualified” to include K-12 tuition. As private school parents, we now have a new option to consider when planning for payment of our private school tuition.

Key Features of 529 Plans

Find a summary below of key features of 529 plans that are important for parents of K-12 students in private schools to consider:

  • Earnings in a 529 plan grow federal tax free and in most cases state tax free. The benefit here is that if you have been saving money each year for private school tuition through an investment/savings account in which gains were taxed, now those earnings can be tax free in a 529 plan.
  • Many states offer a state income tax deduction or tax credit for contributions to a 529 plan. For example, the Georgia state income tax deduction for contributions to a 529 plan is $4,000 for joint filers per year or $2,000 for single filers or head of household tax filers. South Carolina permits a state income tax deduction of 100% of any contributions to the SC College Investment Program (“Future Scholar”).
  • Contributions in Georgia and South Carolina can be made up to the 2018 federal filing deadline to claim a state income tax deduction on the 2017 individual state income tax return (it’s not too late!).
  • Effective, January 1, 2018, families now have the option to withdraw up to $10,000 per child from a 529 plan to cover K-12 tuition at private elementary or secondary schools. Withdrawals are tax-free at both the federal and state level when used to pay for K-12 tuition.
  • The account owner is responsible for ensuring and documenting that the distributions are used for qualified expenses.
  • There are no annual contribution limits to 529 plans, however there are maximum aggregate limits which vary by plan but are typically generous. This means that you can annually contribute to a 529 plan each year for K-12 education as well as continue to contribute for future higher education expenses.
  • A grandparent can contribute to the 529 plan up to $15,000 ($30,000 for joint filers) per child without gift tax consequences in 2018. There is also the option of “super funding” a 529 plan for grandparents which means that five years of contributions can be made at once ($75,000 for single filers or $150,000 for joint filers) without gift tax consequences if the grandparents elect to treat the contributions as having been made over a five-year period.
Plan Information for South Carolina and Georgia
  • The plan offered by South Carolina is the Future Scholar. Learn more at futurescholar.com

Please consult your tax advisor for additional questions on 529 plans.


MS Chorus Excels at LGPE

On Tuesday, March 20, our Middle School Chorus performed at Large Group Performance Evaluation at Greenbrier High School. 

The performance evaluation program sponsored by the Georgia Music Educators Association is an evaluation process for musical performance and sight-reading abilities for individual students, performing groups, and teachers. Performance Evaluation participation affords valuable opportunity and motivation for learning during an extended period of time prior to the event as part of regularly scheduled school work or in private studios in courses taught by accredited teachers.

The following ratings are awarded by each of three adjudicators in GMEA performance evaluations (selected text from the Adjudicator’s Guide to LGPE):

  • Superior (1): Outstanding performance. Worthy of distinction of being recognized as among the very best.
  • Excellent (2): Unusually good performance in many respects, but not worthy of the highest rating due to minor defects. A performance of distinctive quality.
  • Good (3): A good performance, but not one that is outstanding. Shows accomplishment and marked promise, but lacks one or more essential qualities.
  • Fair (4): A performance that shows some obvious weaknesses, generally weak and uncertain.
  • Poor (5): A performance which reveals much room for improvement. The students reveal almost a complete lack of preparedness and understanding.

Our Middle School Chorus was not only awarded a Superior rating at LGPE, but they also received superior scores for 19 of the 22 sub-categories given by the judges.

Congratulations, musicians!


Freace Reaches Coaching Milestone

After 17 years, 8 state championships, and 23 region championships, Coach Mike Freace will step down as head coach for the boys varsity soccer team at Westminster Schools of Augusta at the end of this season. However, that didn’t stop him from reaching yet another milestone in his career.  With the win against West Forsyth earlier this season, Coach Freace captured his 400th career win, an accomplishment not shared by many in the high school soccer world.

The Westminster Athletic Department will honor Coach Freace for this milestone at the upcoming home soccer game on March 29 between the girls’ and boys’ home games vs Prep (girls at 5:30 pm, boys at 7:30 pm).  Coach Freace has coached both the boys and the girls soccer programs, but has dedicated his time to the boys program since 2012. He also has been serving as our Upper School principal since 2016. He will leave Westminster and the Augusta area this summer to pursue God’s calling on his life in ministry with Missionary Athletes International in Charlotte, North Carolina in fall 2018.

If you have not seen or heard much about Coach Freace’s new adventure, take a look at the link provided below to learn more about supporting his ministry efforts through prayer and giving with the Charlotte Eagles and Missionary Athletes International. 

Learn More

Congrats again to Coach Freace on winning over 400 games and having a great career here at Westminster.