October 2020
Look Closely and You Will See Their Superhero Capes Peeking Out...
We are so thankful for our principals! For National Principals Month (October), Superintendent Jeff Stevens shared this tribute to our school leaders.
Virtual School Families Move Forward Together 
Determination, flexibility, and perseverance. District 7 families and teachers alike have quickly shifted gears to provide a virtual learning environment for our students. They have embraced the changes that online learning brings with the student experience in mind. It is their leadership, both in word and deed, that is making the impact on student commitment and success.  

This month, Eastside Living Magazine published the story below, written by one of our virtual families. We thank the Gurganus family for sharing their experience and recognizing the dedication of our educators.
You can follow Eastside Living Magazine on Facebook @eastsidelivingmagazine or check them out at www.eastsidelivingmagazine.com.
Breaking Records and Building Memories
Our Lady Vikings were nothing less than spectacular during the 5A State Girls Swim Championships held recently at the North Charleston Aquatic Center. While the small team is young overall, they packed a mighty punch by bringing home the most first place medals of any team and taking second place overall.

The Vikings wasted no time in getting off to a resounding start by not only winning the first event but also setting a new record for it. The 200 Medley Relay team of Sophia Kannee, Caroline Byers, Annika McEnroe, and Kirsti McEnroe achieved a time of 1:43.61, nearly two seconds faster than the meet record of 1:45.57 set in 2013. Kirsti continued the Viking’s momentum into the next event, defending her title in the 200 Freestyle. With her swim, Kirsti took down the 16-year-old meet record set in 2004 and secured an All-American cut. 

Kirsti’s older sister, Annika, broke another meet record in the next event. Swimming the 200 IM, Annika touched at 1:59.29 to dip under the 2:00 barrier and under the old meet record set in 2012. Annika returned two events later in the 100 Butterfly, setting her third meet record of the day as she knocked almost exactly a second off of it. 

In the final event, the 400 Freestyle Relay, Annika and Kirsti teamed up with their younger sister, Teagan McEnroe, and Anna Buchert to win the event in yet another record-breaking fashion. The foursome swam a second faster than the previous meet record set in 2013.

Hear what the team and Coach Johnna Edwards had to say about the performance in the video below. Congratulations to the team on making major headlines!
Fifth Grade Teacher Eric Cheek Publishes Children's Book to Help Students
A story told from the heart by your teacher is special. Add illustrations from another teacher that bring the story to life and the result becomes truly priceless. That’s just what D7 students and others who may experience Mary H. Wright elementary teacher Eric Cheek’s debut book can look forward to for years to come. 

Mr. Cheek shared with 7Headlines his journey to writing and publishing his first book.

Honest Sincere, started as a class project during my fall semester at Converse College in 2019. Dr. Julie Jones created an assignment that required us focus on character education. While you might think that writing a children's book is an easy process, there are many challenges. Initially, I was reluctant to write a book because it was the most difficult choice out of the options given. At the time, I didn’t have a writing style, but it was sure to develop. 

“One morning at the Cleveland Academy of Leadership, where I was serving as the school’s behavioral interventionist, a student was sent to me for dishonesty to his teacher about an assignment. We discussed his infraction and practiced ways to use honesty. After we were done, I walked him back to class and realized his name was Syncere. I asked him if he knew what sincere meant and he replied ‘no’. I proceeded to tell him that his name means honesty and how he carries that with him daily. On my way back to my office, I decided to write about the character trait honesty using this young man’s name. The story is taken from a childhood experience with my grandmother, so book development and finding the words came together easily, but to put pictures to the words became the next task. Cleveland Academy art teacher extraordinaire Kendra Synder was the perfect piece to the puzzle. She brought the story to life with her amazing skills. After the book was complete, I read it to several students and it was a hit; I knew I had to publish it. I did some research into different publishers who specialize in children’s books but found I would be unable to afford such a venture. Mr. Fred Logan, former Cleveland Academy principal, connected me with Dr. Sonia Leverette, best-selling children's book author and former D7 assistant superintendent of student services. The rest is history.”

Mrs. Synder shared, “It was a new adventure for both of us and neither one of us ever wrote a book before. We hope to make more books in the future!”

Mr. Cheek has since completed his master’s degree and now teaches fifth grade at Mary H. Wright Elementary. His book is available on Amazon here.
D7 Students Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
October 15 marked the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, which celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. During the celebration, District 7 schools took the opportunity to spotlight Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our schools and community. 

Drayton Mills Elementary kindergarteners celebrated by highlighting achievements and contributions the Hispanic community has made to our society, and by participating in projects that teach about Hispanic culture. One project (shown above) was making Aztec Sun faces. Each student enjoyed creating their own face, and learning a little about Mexican folk art, too. Students at Mary H. Wright turned their desk partitions into vignettes featuring influential leaders from the Hispanic community that each student selected and researched. Similar projects were found across District 7 schools.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Hispanic population is our nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority, constituting 18.5% of the population. You can read more about Hispanic Heritage, by subscribing to the Hispanic Alliance weekly e-newsletter.
SHS Student Newspaper is Now a Click Away
Spartanburg High School's award-winning student newspaper is now just a click away! Curious about what excellence in SC Scholastic Press Association writing or photography looks like? You can now navigate to the Norse News at https://shsnorsenews.org/. This is the team’s FIRST DIGITAL EDITION of the long-standing staple.

Kudos to advisors Mrs. Angela Eaton and Mrs. Joy Bryant and the Norse News staff for their wonderful work and the courage to try something new. If you or your company is interested in advertising in the online publication, or you would like to support the students of SHS, please contact Mrs. Eaton at areaton@spart7.org.
SHS Student Gives Back During Pandemic
Victoria Jolly, a freshman at Spartanburg High School, found a creative way to pay it forward in her community while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Herald Journal reporter Samantha Swan sat down with Victoria to learn more about her creativity and service, and we are sharing her story:

Knitting for the NICU

Victoria is taking her passion for crafting to the next level by using her talents to comfort some of the city's youngest community members. Victoria, 15, is currently knitting hats that she plans to donate to the NICU at Spartanburg Medical Center as a project to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. She said she chose to do a project for NICU families because she had been born prematurely. 

"I know how to knit, and I know how to knit hats, so I’m knitting hats for premature babies," Jolly said. "They'll probably mean a lot because they're hand-stitched and quite warm."

The hats are a mere four inches wide and Jolly chose bright, cheerful colors for them.

Victoria is a Juliette Girl Scout which means she does not have a troop and serves the community through individual service projects like this one, which she fundraises for herself. Jolly raised the money to purchase the yarn needed for her hat project by making and selling one of her other favorite crafts, pearl bead earrings, on Facebook in the spring.

Jolly hopes to make and donate 100 hats by April for her project. She encourages other teens who are looking for ways to give back to look to their talents and hobbies.

"There's always somewhere you can start," Jolly said. 
Help Pave the Way for Our Future
District 7 is offering opportunities at the new Spartanburg High School for individuals or groups to leave their names or to honor others in perpetuity. Custom, engraved brick pavers have been installed on each side of our beautiful new Forward Together sculpture in the Fine Arts Center plaza. Engraved pavers make perfect gifts for the Class of 2021, favorite teachers, or a Viking alumni! They are also a great way to remember a loved one, to create a memorial for those who have gone before, or to inspire those who come after. Each engraved paver is $100 and benefits the D7 scholarship fund. Your gift ensures that both your legacy—and our community’s rich history—are preserved for future generations.

Pavers can accommodate up to three lines of text. Bricks will be ordered and installed in batches, with exact timeline to be determined by the volume of bricks ordered. The first order of bricks was installed in October (see top left). Once this courtyard area is filled, additional brick orders will be installed in surrounding areas of the SHS campus. To order your brick(s) visit Donor Opportunites for SHS. A gift certificate form is also available if you’d like to give a brick as a gift. 
Scene Around Seven
Students from the Viking Early College are afforded the opportunity for community collaboration and involvement, through mentoring, volunteer opportunities, guest speakers and civic engagement. Below, the group learned about Spartanburg from City leaders Mitch Kennedy and Bill Barnet, and Converse College's President Krista Newkirk and former D7 Superintendent Russell Booker. Superintendent Jeff Stevens said, "It is our goal to expose this group of men to real world opportunities on a regular basis." You can be sure that every ounce of creative collaboration and volunteer effort is a direct investment in their wellbeing.
In this month of multiple awareness campaigns, we laced up our shoes, wore pink and just said "no" to drugs. Throughout the District, students and staff organized a variety of activities to support Walk to School Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Red Ribbon Week.
Come aboard with the crew from Drayton Mills! There's nothing quite like the sweet smiles on Talk Like a Pirate Day!
These cuties from Pine Street Elementary celebrated being All American and Healthy during Red Ribbon Week with Cowgirl and Cowboy Day.
For day two of Red Ribbon Festivities, Mary Wright students and teachers dressed to reflect their future careers for Be Somebody! day.
At Meeting Street Academy, students and teachers are keeping reading alive with their annual Book Character dress-up day!
Wearing her heart on her sleeve (and mask!), Jadd Kidd-Robinson, Whitlock Flexible Center Director, says capturing her kids’ hearts really helps to create a more caring culture in her school.
The dream team from the Early Learning Center gets a little extra love and attention during National Custodian Appreciation Day.
The Mary H Wright Bobcats are proud to stand up tp drugs. They wore purple on Purple Pride Day to help bring awareness.
At Cleveland Academy, students and teachers celebrate reading with their annual Book Character Day, which included dressing up and pumpkin decorating.
Jesse Boyd's Literary Character Day in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week also raised close to $500 for the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen and their PTSO!
Kindergarteners from JBE learned all about Superintendent Jeff Stevens from his "Me-Bag" when he visited their classrooms this month.
McCracken Middle School computer programming students brought the performing arts into their class by building a digital trumpet. Visit Facebook for the video.
The never-ending creative uses for desk partitions during the pandemic continues, as DMES teachers and students decorate them for Halloween and adorn them with sight words!
The Carver MIddle School Media Center received a Get Graphic grant from the Junior League of Spartanburg to purchase more graphic novels for their library. Graphic novels, particularly Manga, are the school's most popular genre and often these shelves are bare. The grant will allow them to add to the collection and replace these key collections. Congratulations!
In the News
Friday Night Lights Highlights
Our Vikings came from behind Friday, Oct. 30 to defeat Riverside 38-27! The team came together and fought for win, which meant so much more than what was on the scoreboard. Congratulations to our players and coaches.

Our final regular season home game is Friday, November 6 vs. Boiling Springs. As a reminder, ticket and stadium guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic are outlined in our Viking Stadium Guidelines and Procedures.
Homecoming Royalty
SHS's homecoming royals were crowned several weeks ago, but took to the field for an encore during last week's game against Riverside. Trinity Blackley was named Queen, and Collene Belue and Catherine Karn were named Honor Attendants.
Save the Dates
Friday, November 6
Vikings vs. Boiling Springs
Last Home Football Game
Monday, Nov 2
Staff Exchange Day/Student Holiday

Tuesday, Nov 3
Election Day Holiday

Friday, Nov 6
Vikings Home Boiling Springs

Tuesday, Nov 10
School Board Meeting

Wednesday, Nov 11
Veterans Day
Saturday, Nov 14
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Flu Clinic (Last one)

Monday, Nov 16 – Friday, Nov 20
American Education Week

Wednesday, Nov 18
Education Support Professionals Day
Thursday, Nov 19
Progress Reports

Wednesday, Nov 25 – Friday, Nov 27
Thanksgiving Holidays
D7 Orchestra Program Centennial Celebration
According to the best available research, the first strings class taught in Spartanburg District 7 began in the Fall of 1920, making the Fall of 2020 the centennial anniversary of the oldest orchestra program in South Carolina! Former symphony members- we need you! It's time to reminisce about fond memories from playing in the orchestra during your school years. Current and past orchestra members are invited to join the D7 Orchestra Program Centennial Celebration Facebook group to help mark 100 years of excellence and honor this educational milestone.
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