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home : education : education January 24, 2015

10/17/2013 8:20:00 AM
School Foundation Gala honors Hunter Bell, announces Teacher of the Year
DR. LUCIA HUANG received flowers and gifts as the FSD1 Teacher of the  Year. Behind her are Honor Roll teachers Shadaris Bradley, Gail Hayes and  Dedra Wilson-Patrick. 
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DR. LUCIA HUANG received flowers and gifts as the FSD1 Teacher of the  Year. Behind her are Honor Roll teachers Shadaris Bradley, Gail Hayes and  Dedra Wilson-Patrick. 
HUNTER BELL, right, on stage with friends modeling  her designs. 
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HUNTER BELL, right, on stage with friends modeling  her designs. 

Hunter Lingle Bell, a 1999  graduate of West Florence  High School, was honored as  Florence School District One’s  Distinguished Graduate at the  12th Annual School Foundation  Celebration Gala on Oct. 10 at  the SiMT.

At the end of the program  the FSDT Teachers of the Year  were presented followed by the  announcement of the overall  Teacher of the Year. Dr. Lucia  Huang of Wilson High was  selected at the winner.

“The School Foundation  spotlights a success story each  year during our gala. Our 2013  honoree is our youngest ever  recipient,” stated Jean  Leatherman, chairman of the  Foundation’s Fund Development  Committee. “We hope  this celebration of public education  will inspire our graduates to  follow their passion and encourage  them to achieve their  goals! Hunter’s achievements  prove students from Florence  District One can ‘Reach for  their Star.’”

Hunter, the designer behind  Hunter Dixon, is a South Carolina  native with the sensibility  of a New Yorker. The contemporary  designer was most  recently named the winner of  NBC’s hit show Fashion Star,  where she competed with 13  other contestants to have her  collection bought by Express,  Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The daughter of Jay and  Jan Lingle, Hunter was born  and raised in Florence. She  was fortunate to have parents  who consistently encouraged  their daughters to explore their  passions. As a young girl she  was involved in dance, art  classes and theatre which carried  over into her fascination of  fashion. Determined to create  unique clothes for her Barbie  dolls, Hunter would sketch  designs and use leftover fabric  from her mother’s sewing room  to create interesting pieces.  Her early love of color, fashion  and style would lead her toward  the success she has achieved  as a designer today.

“Hunter is a culmination of  Barbie dolls, art lessons, Florence  friends, cheerleading,  sisters’ love, Roll Tide and New  York!” stated her mom. “Her  happy heart and love of others  brought a sincerity and zeal to  go after her goals with a determined  perseverance. The  underlying truth about her success  is her passion and an  unwavering faith; that God  would see to it that her dream  of fashion would unfold! We as  parents have used this motto in  our own lives and have  engrained it in our daughters as  well. ‘Don't ever spend time lingering  on your failures in life but  learn from them, and move on  to what the future holds!”

While studying fashion  design and studio art at the University  of Alabama, Hunter  yearned for the city life and left  Tuscaloosa during the summers  to intern for inspirational  designers Nanette Lepore and  Rebecca Taylor. Upon graduation  in 2003, Bell was on the  first plane back to New York  City to further her design education  at Parsons The New  School of Design. She simultaneously  worked as an assistant  designer at Jones Apparel  Group and then Vineyard  Vines, while creating her own  line on the side. Hunter married  Paul Bell in 2009 and that same  year was able to raise the capital  to allow her to realize the  dream of working full time on  launching her own line.

The School Foundation promotes  educational excellence  in Florence School District One  through grants for innovative  learning and through high  impact initiatives designed to  prepare all students for success.  They are currently leading  a school readiness awareness  campaign focusing on preparing  all children to enter kindergarten  with the skills needed to  succeed.












Galloway Mosley
SCPA
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