Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School is named for Miss Mary Pinckney Whitesides, more fondly known as Miss Mamie. She was born May 3, 1884, and was the youngest of John Frazier Whitesides and Abigail Legare Whitesides' five children. Miss Mamie's place of birth was Whitesides Plantation, located in Christ Church Parish, S.C., but her mother and four children moved to 209 Pitt Street following the horrific deaths of Mamie's father John (43) and sister Carrie (6) as a result of the 1885 Cyclone. John and Carrie were swept to their deaths by a raging sea. John desperately tried to save his daughter, who was drowning in the swirling water. Mamie's mom and children clung for their lives, huddled together on a bedstead until the storm's fury subsided, and they were able to reach shore. Mamie P. Whitesides, a former teacher and principal of Mount Pleasant Academy, dedicated her life with over fifty years of service in public education. Her death was February 17, 1970. The recognition of having the school named for her was a great honor. The first Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School welcomed students in 1956 and was built to house 350 students, grades one through seven. The cost of the building was $186,628. That building has been used as a transitional school since the new school was built. The present Whitesides designed for 800 students opened in 2010-2011 school year at the cost of $24.9 million and was the recipient of a 2011 Excellence in School Building and Design Honor Award. William H. Royall, Jr. was the first principal and was followed by Sid Gosnell, Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Lee, Dave Schlachter, and Lona Pounder. One main goal of MPW is to engage students in a program of academic excellence that will prepare them to be independent, responsible citizens.