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  Your Source For District News                                    January, 2017
Standing Up for Public Schools
D7 Celebrates National Board Appreciation Month
From left to right: Vernon Beatty, Meg Clayton, Ernest White,  Sharon Porter, Rick Gray, Julie Lonon, Andy Hayes, Clay Mahaffey, and Sanders Lee

Every year, during the month of January, communities across the country pay tribute to their local school boards. Spartanburg District 7 joined the salute by recognizing the nine men and women in our own community who spend countless hours devoted to advancing quality public education. Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker commended Mrs. Meg Clayton, Mr. Vernon Beatty, Mr. Rick Gray, Mr. Andy Hayes, Mr. Sanders Lee, Mrs. Julie Lonon, Mr. Clay Mahaffey, Ms. Sharon Porter, and Dr. Ernest White, saying, "If you add up the years of service among our Trustees, they share well over a century of commitment to the community. While the efforts of a school board often go unrecognized, it's important to note that the Board is the governing body of our school system and responsible for developing policies that are tied to complex educational and social issues."
 
As part of School Board Recognition Month, the Trustees signed a document affirming their vow to uphold effective governance principles and to improve public education in the District. More than 600 elected and appointed school board members in South Carolina participated in similar signing ceremonies. The District also honored Board Member, Vernon Beatty for 25 years of service and new member Clay Mahaffey for attaining Level 1 Leadership Certification from the SC School Board Association's Institute for Boardmanship. In saluting Mr. Beatty's service, Dr. Booker said "only 14 veteran board members throughout the state will be distinguished this year for serving their school system for 20 years or more."
D7 In The Spotlight During Spartanburg Unity Week
Dr. Booker and Spartanburg High's, The Corporation

When District 7 Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker spoke at the Mayor's Unity Breakfast, on January 12, he echoed the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that, hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Drawing from one of Dr. King's most famous quotes, Dr. Booker said, we can all be a light for good in the world. "We have the power to build each other up," We have the capacity to create a better Spartanburg for every member in this community. We can be the community that values everyone, regardless of race, economic standing or zip code." Spartanburg High School's choral group, The Corporation, joined Dr. Booker on stage to perform a beautiful rendition of the song, "Go Light Your World."

1st Place Poster Winner, Corrine Bowden, McCracken
The Corporation Sings
"Go Light the World"

D7 students also participated in the city's MLK poster contest. Open to every school in Spartanburg County, six of the nine winning entries were submitted by students at Pine Street, McCracken and Carver Middle schools. Taking the top prize, was McCracken's Corrine Bowden. Inspired by the theme, Strength, Hope, Love, That's Spartanburg, Corrine's artwork was the featured design on this year's Unity Week t-shirts and event banners. 

3rd Place Poster Winner, Mary Jordan Janeski, McCracken
The Silent Auction Everyone's Talking About
Mackenzie Johnson

For a District that considers itself a family, it doesn't take much to rally the troops. Just ask AJ Johnson. This past November, the Assistant Principal at McCracken Middle School got the kind of phone call every parent fears. AJ's son, Mackenzie, a recent D7 graduate and a Wofford freshman, had suffered a serious spinal cord injury and required acute medical attention. Today, while Mackenzie's making great progress in his journey to recovery, AJ's friends in the District know the road ahead is a long one. To help raise funds for Mackenzie's care at   The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA the staff and students at McCracken are coordinating an online silent auction. "When we started this project, we had no idea it would snowball like it has,"  said Principal Margaret Peach. "Our colleagues at Wofford have gotten involved, as have members of our community who don't even know the Johnson family.  We have wonderful items to auction, everything from paintings and beach homes to a full set of braces and a YETI cooler. We are incredibly touched by everyone's generosity!" 

One of the Paintings Up for Bid in McCracken's Silent Auction

If you're interested in contributing to the auction, please contact Margaret Peach at mpeach@spart7.org or call 864-205-3182. 
A Happy Catastrophe
Liam Nettles and Zoe Gordon with Katrina Robinson from Pine Street

District 7's newest spelling bee champion took home the winning trophy thanks to " catastrophe" - the word he spelled correctly at the District-wide competition this month.

Liam Nettles, a 5th grader from Pine Street, seized the District win in the 15th round of the challenge, with Zoe Gordon coming in second place. Liam is the District's youngest winner and moves on to the Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 18 at USC Upstate. The following students from D7 will also attend:  Carson Bishop, Justin Farr, Katherine Hernandez-Gomez, Jack Kendrick, Destiny Miller. Kevin Labrada-Naovarath, Nick Rhoden, Emily Santiago and Tedrick Williams. 
The winner of the Regional Bee claims a spot at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington in May. 
Houston Elem. Builds Literacy with Little Free Library
Houston Unveils Little Free Library at January Board Meeting

Hands-on Learning at Houston Elementary
"Take a Book, Leave a Book." That's the premise of a worldwide movement known as the Little Free Library and the inspiration for a project that was recently adopted by Houston Elementary School. Principal Mark Hendry tells the story like this, "One of our teachers told us about this really cool initiative to promote literacy and build community. So, we contacted the non-profit organization that coordinates the program and constructed the mini-library that's now in front of our school." Mr. Hendry says the red, white and blue structure is filled with a variety of titles and available to anyone in the neighborhood who wants to borrow or leave a book. Today there are 50,000 Little Free Libraries in 50 states and 70 countries. Best of of all, the one at Houston is the very first in District 7.
From China With Love!
Sarah McMeekin with Visiting Student from China
Children around the globe today are more connected than ever before. Even beyond the ties that technology affords, students have a vast array of opportunities to meet one another and experience new cultures. Thanks to a growing partnership between D7 and the Chinese Cultural Education Center based at USC Upstate, the District recently hosted 50 students from Tangshan Middle School for a week. The visiting students were interspersed in classrooms at McCracken Middle School, EP Todd and Carver, and spent their afternoons and evenings with local host families. Thanks to the District's 1:1 technology program and Google Translate, students had little trouble bridging the language barrier.
 
Tong Liu, 13, known as "Lucy" to her friends at E.P. Todd, said "School here is very different than in China. Students here are very helpful and the classes are very happy." Lucy also noted that class sizes in China are much larger with three times as many students, and the teachers rotate from class to class - not the students. McCracken principal Margaret Peach said, the week was fun for everyone.  "Our halls and classrooms were full of laughter, and we all learned how much more alike we are than different." 
 
District 7 schools have been teaching Chinese for almost a decade.
Memories in the Making at McCracken Middle School
SHS Students Have New Platform For College and Career Networking
SHS Students in Grades 9-11 Are Introduced to STEM Premier 
Rolling Out STEM Premier at
SHS Assembly

Imagine a Linkedin-type platform that helps high school students begin the important process of networking for college and career. A Charleston-based company has done just that with a program called STEM Premier. On January 19, Spartanburg High School students joined thousands of young people in the U.S. who are signing on. The secure hub allows students to build a digital resume that's made available to a wide range of companies and college recruiters. The platform is free to students and promises a safe and secure user experience. Students showcase their accomplishments through a digital portfolio. Principal Jeff Stevens says the program will be a conduit for every student, not just those with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) talents. "We see this as an extremely valuable tool. It's essentially a pipeline that connects students to prospective colleges, and affords business and professional organizations with a new way to seek out potential talent. It's a win-win for everyone." For more information, contact Addie Jones at ABJones@spart7.org
D7 Students Put Best Foot Forward
Promoting the Importance of a Positive Digital Footprint
Students and staff at Jesse Boyd Elementary and E.P. Todd are starting the new year on the right foot. For the second year in a row, both schools are being honored by Common Sense Media as Certified Schools for Digital Citizenship

Principal Dr. Meredith Rose said, "At JBE, we have redefined the way our students interact with technology. The Common Sense curriculum shares foundational principles of our IB program such as respect, empathy, and responsibility and provides students with support to navigate the digital 
landscape." 

Technology Integration Specialist 
Emily Vanderlip at E.P. Todd said, "Teaching digital responsibility has become our norm. We incorporate it in our library time, parent orientations, and classrooms."  Rebecca Randall, vice president of education programs for Common Sense Media, praised the District for "giving students the foundational skills needed to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large." 
And The Fans Went Wild! 
Former Viking Star, Tavien Feaster Makes Us Proud
SHS Principal, Jeff Stevens, Clemson RB, Tavien Feaster and SHS Strength Coach, Bryant Rose at the National Championship Celebration in Death Valley on January 14 

Winning their first national title since 1981, the Clemson Tigers brought a nation of football fans to their feet in what Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said, "has to be one of the greatest games of all times." The epic win against Alabama came in the last second of the game, and the roar of victory was loud and clear in Spartanburg. Following the win in Tampa, Viking alumnus Tavien Feaster presented Principal Stevens with an autographed football from the National Championship game. 
In This Issue
"Go Light Your World"

Members of Spartanburg High School's Corporation reprise their rendition of "Go Light Your World." 

Read more about their performance in the article below.
D7 Spring Musical Is
Nun Other Than......


May 25-28, 2017

Spartanburg School District 7 will present SISTER ACT, A DIVINE COMEDY at the Chapman Cultural Center from May 25 - 28, 2017. 
Ticket information will be released soon, but mark your calendar now. Presented by D7's musical theatre students, this is a show you won't want to miss. 
MLK Posters by D7 Students
Braedon Griffin, McCracken
Keith Means, Carver Middle
Fantasia Smith, Carver Middle 
McCulloh Collins, Pine Street
Seen Around Seven
Silk Making Lesson at Carver
Student Ambassadors from the Viking Early College 
Visit Denny's Headquarters
CAL 5th Grade at Barrier Island
Carver's Tech Savvy Students Visit with Guests from TN
Students at MHW Work With BMW Friends to Build Race Cars
Honor Roll Students at Houston
Jan. Snow Inspires Pine Street 
Chapman's Emily Santiago at the D7 Spelling Bee
Black History Club at SHS visits African American Museum in Washington, D.C.
McCracken Students Tour Daniel Morgan Technology Center
E.P. Todd Tigers Roar with Pride
A Fun Take on the Jan. Snow
 Guests from Cleveland County NC, Visit Cleveland Academy

More January News

State Swimming Champs

Remy Skerjanz, Luke Martin, Spencer Ashby, and Walker Gillespie received their State Championship rings for the SHS boys relay swim team.

Pine Street's Emie Cate Green will represent the state of SC in a talent competition at Disney World this summer. Emie took 1st place in talent at the SC Jr. Beta Convention this month and now moves on to the National Jr. Beta Convention. 

This was Pine Street's first time attending the SC Jr. Beta Club Convention.
Important Dates

Thurs Feb 2, 2017
Progress Reports

Tue Feb 7, 2017
6pm Board Meeting

Wed Feb 8, 2017
9am SHS Black History Assembly

Sat Feb 11, 2017
8am ACT Given at SHS

Wed Feb 15, 2017
Early Dismissal Day

Mon Feb 20, 2017
Snow Make-up Day

Tue Feb 21, 2017
7pm Choral Extravaganza Twichell 
Spartanburg School District Seven | 610 Dupre Drive  | Spartanburg SC  | 29307  | 864-594-4400