Penn Center Selects Chair of Heritage Days Celebration Planning Committee






(843) 838-2432 

Penn Center Selects Chair of Heritage Days Celebration Planning Committee

St. Helena Island, SC (May 9, 2016)—The Historic Penn Center will celebrate its 34th Annual Heritage Days Celebration November 10—13, 2016 and has selected Dr. Marie Gibbs to lead the Planning Committee. 

Dr. Marie Gibbs has strong ties to her beloved St. Helena Island and has touched the lives of many Islanders.  As a Gullah native, she taught, inspired and motivated young mind for over 30 years at St. Helena Elementary School, the school she attended as a child and later graduated from St. Helena High School in 1970.  Gibbs states, “This was one of my proudest moments in my life, coming back to teach.”  During her tenure as a teacher, she furthered her education by receiving her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Education. 

Dr. Gibbs retired in 2008 and began her second career as a devoted grandmother and volunteer.  In her retirement, Gibbs and husband Stanley Gibbs have been a dynamic duo as dedicated volunteers at Penn Center, Taste of Beaufort, and Shrimp Festival.  She even finds time to volunteer as a test monitor at St. Helena Elementary School which allows her to get back into teacher mode.   Dr. Gibbs also provided her expertise to Penn Center as a Gullah Studies program presenter for Beaufort County School District educators.  Gibbs says that she “valued those opportunities and learning experiences because they offered skills and knowledge in being a responsible leader while motivating others.”

“Penn Center is fortunate to have a person such as Dr. Marie Gibbs, an Islander, an educator and 20-year Heritage Days Celebration volunteer,” states Executive Director, Dr. Rodell Lawrence, “We look forward to working with her as Chair of the Planning Committee.”  The Heritage Days Celebration, an annual festival that honors the founding of Penn School, recognizes the rich heritage of the Gullah Geechee people and its ties to West Africa is a part of American history that is unique to this region.    

 Heritage Days Celebration planning is underway.  For information on this year’s celebration, opportunities to sponsor, vendor and volunteer, please contact Victoria Smalls, Director of Development at Penn Center: or (843) 838-2432.

Victoria A. Smalls Director of Development Penn Center National Historic Landmark District P.O. Box 126, St. Helena Island, SC 29920 Office:  (843) 838-2432 OR (843) 838-8552 Cell:  (843) 812-4662



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