Principal makes budget pitch for JROTC – Coastal Observer


Principal makes budget pitch for JROTC

The first time David Hammel was principal of Waccamaw High School, one of his goals was to start a Junior ROTC program.

Unfortunately the country was in the middle of an economic downtown and there was no money in the district’s budget.

Now that Hammel is principal again, he has resurrected the idea.

“Adding this program at Waccamaw High School would provide our students with numerous opportunities and experiences that are currently missing in our curriculum at this time,” Hammel told the Georgetown County School Board this week while presenting a “wish list” for all four of the county high schools. 

Hammel has selected an Army JROTC. 

“The positive correlation between JROTC programs and student growth in leadership, citizenship, personal accountability and physical fitness is well documented and clearly evident in other JROTC programs around our district,” Hammel said. “This program will also provide our students with more opportunities for scholarships, internships and mentoring possibilities, while at the same time, possibly enhancing our overall school climate, culture and discipline.”

Hammel also touted the program as a career path for some students, and a chance to gain employment skills for those not wanting a career in the military.

Hammel told the board it would cost $385,000 to start the program and then $180,000 a year going forward.

However, Hammel said there are a variety of factors, including the number of students enrolled, that could get the program moved to a “cost share model” which would lower the yearly cost to $93,000 a year.

That will probably take about three years, Hammel said.

Nearly a dozen supporters holding American flags sat in the audience while Hammel gave his presentation.

“There’s strong support in our community for this program,” Hammel said. “If added, I feel confident it will make our school district and community proud.”

If the school board includes the money to fund the new JROTC program in the next budget, it would start this fall.

Hammel told the board there are two classrooms, two offices and a storage room already available. 

Georgetown, Andrews and Carvers Bay already have programs. More than 200 students were enrolled last semester.



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to   , .