Russell and Dr. Bertha McCants, graduates of Mt. Pleasant High School in Lee County and the owners of R & B Strategic Consulting Group, LLC, have made a donation to build an aquatic center for the students of the Lee County School District. The donation was presented by the William and McCants families to Dr. Wanda Andrews, Superintendent of the Lee County School District, and members of the Lee County School Board of Trustees at Dr. McCants’ Leadership Seminar and Book Signing, held at the William L. Yates Conference Center in Columbia on October 28.

The aquatic center will be named after their grandmother and mother, Maggie Brunson Williams and Lattie Mae Isaac McCants, to honor them for all that they have sacrificed to give the McCants a solid foundation. The Williams McCants Aquatic Center Lee County School District will be an indoor pool facility built on school property and is scheduled to be completed by October 2022.

Vice Chair of the board, Sylvia Scott, was on hand for the presentation. "When Dr. McCants told me that she and her husband, Russell, my high school classmate, were going to make a donation to the school district, I had no idea that it would have been one of this magnitude,” she said. “I was speechless, and anyone who knows me knows that is a miracle in itself. Bertha and Russell are true examples of the servants God calls us to be, sharing of what they have been blessed with to make a difference in the lives of others."

During the next five years, the McCants will implement the 5 steps discussed in her new book, Lead Your Imagined Life by Having the Courage to Listen to Your Heart: assess the appropriate location, create plans, systematize the process with the school board for ongoing success, communicate the updates to the community, and take action on the steps until completion.

Andrews shared Scott’s excitement about the donation. "Dr. McCants is a wonderful person,” she said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to work with her. She is a true leader who

demonstrates daily that she cares deeply about others and is a model for all of us to follow. The aquatic center will provide a host of new opportunities for our students and the Lee County School District Family. Special thanks to Dr. McCants and her family."

Personal experiences have made water safety classes very dear to Dr. McCants’ heart. She nearly drowned in a swimming pool on a school senior trip. Also, Mary Cook and her sister, both under the age of 15, drowned in a pond about three miles from her childhood home during her first year of teaching.

Dr. McCants believes that the skills taught in these classes, how to tread water, swim, and build confidence, could have made a difference. “We can’t be sure, but there is a possibility that knowing how to tread water could have saved their lives,” she said. “Investing in youth, water safety, and our home school district is a combination for success.”

A wonderful thing happened to Lee County