Nov/Dec 2020
A Joyful Noise from the SHS Choristers
Booker Honored with Order of the Palmetto During Atrium Dedication
On the evening of November 19, District 7 dedicated the Dr. Russell Booker Atrium of the District 7 Fine Arts Center and surprised our former superintendent with the presentation of our state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto, by South Carolina Representatives Rita Allison and Max Hyde.
While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering as a District 7 family to celebrate Dr. Booker’s retirement in the way we had planned, this was a wonderful opportunity to honor him within our broader community as he so richly deserves.

We hope you enjoy the video above and this photo gallery from the celebration. You won't want to miss Dr. Thomas White’s tribute to Sheryl Booker, Dr. Booker’s mother joining him to cut the ribbon, and the message his son, Grant, sent from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Congratulations, Dr. Booker, and thank you for your incredible leadership of District 7!
District 7 Students and Staff Give Thanks
With gratitude a'plenty and blessings too many to count, District 7 staff and students from kindergarten to high school coordinated a number of Thanksgiving food drives this month in support of the community. Carver Middle School cafeteria staff coordinated a free Thanksgiving Day meal, sponsored by District 7 and Elephnt Group (below top left), for more than 300 families. Our District's Diversity and Inclusion team led by Dr. Carlotta Redish (below top right) delivered meals, supplies, and housing assistance (courtesy of anonymous donor) to our D7 homeless families on Thanksgiving morning. Spartanburg High School championed their annual "Feed a Family" Thanksgiving Drive (below at bottom), which provided hundreds of families with a full bag of groceries to make a Thanksgiving meal. Through the month of December, donation barrels at a number of our other schools are overflowing for TOTAL Ministries, the Soup Kitchen, and other community service organizations. D7 students and staff truly care for our community!
Mrs. Garcia's class from the McCarthy Teszler School got into the thankful spirit by donating enough food for a family to have a Thanksgiving meal. Proud of these Eagles!
The Drayton Mills Elementary School Student Council food drive brought in over 350 items! Thank you, Dalmatian Nation!
A Message of Thanks from District 7

We are family. We are community. Our schools thrive because of each and every person who pours their heart into guiding the lives of our children – in our schools, at home, and across our Spartanburg community. We are thankful for you!

Our students ushered in Thanksgiving break with this special thank you message. Click below to watch, in case you missed it!
Middle/High School Hybrid Students Will Resume Face-to-Face Instruction Full Time on January 5
Following parent and teacher surveys and consultations with DHEC and Spartanburg Regional leaders, District 7 announced that middle and high school hybrid students will resume face-to-face instruction five days a week beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

“It has always been our goal to resume full time face-to-face instruction,” said Superintendent Jeff Stevens. "Throughout this school year, even with the recent rise in cases across our community and state, the rate within District 7 has consistently remained lower than within the broader Spartanburg community. We recognize that students perform better academically in a face-to-face setting and that keeping them out of our classrooms has detrimental impact in many other ways. We are doing everything within our means to provide the safest environment for them to thrive. All of our middle and high school classrooms will follow DHEC guidelines by either meeting the requirements for physical spacing with the use of plexiglass or by requiring masks to be worn at all times. As we return in January, it will be more important than ever for our students, staff and families to abide by safety guidelines."

New plexiglass barriers (as shown below) and desktop dividers will be in place in our middle and high schools for the full in-person return. Stevens further noted, “To our teachers, I want you to know how valuable you are. The fact so many parents want their children back five days speaks volumes that parents appreciate more than ever what you do.”
Strike Up the Band:
Watch the Percussion Ensemble in Action
Take a look for yourself to see why our drum line gets all the attention! The Spartanburg High School Band is no stranger to the national spotlight. Over the years, the marching band has performed at the prestigious national festival in Indianapolis, the Give Kids the World tour in Orlando, Veterans Day in Washington, D.C. (below) and competitions across the country. In spite of the pandemic, SHS's Percussion Ensemble members are still beating to their own drum, although with a few changes. The Percussion Ensemble Concert was not open to the general public this year, but the community was invited to enjoy it online via livestream. You can watch the livestream recording here. Congratulations to Band Director John McAllister, Drumline Director Matt McDaniel, and our students! As they say, the show must go on!
D7 Students Design Ornaments for National Christmas Tree Display
Students from McCracken Middle School are representing South Carolina this year in the 2020 National Christmas Tree display in Washington, D.C. They join students from 56 schools across the country who designed ornaments for their state, district or territory's tree surrounding the National Christmas Tree in President's Park. Ornament designs celebrate the spirit of each state by incorporating images ranging from state flowers to notable landmarks.

The America Celebrates ornament program is a collaboration among the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Park Foundation. The U.S. Department of Education worked through state art and education offices, which identified the schools to participate.

McCracken art teacher Ed Purdy said 12 students created the designs used for the South Carolina ornaments. Their designs, pictured below, depict the state’s official symbols, including the flag, bird (Carolina Wren), flower (Yellow Jessamine) and coastline. MMS students who created the ornaments were Halle Abbott, Maggie Akridge, Ellie Davis, Ellie Hallenbeck, Pierce Lake, Blythe Lemonds, Teagan McEnroe, Sydney McGuire, Amelia Phillips, Carlee Richards, Marianna Saad, and Millie Vandys.

“I was completely shocked to find out that we were the only school to represent the state of South Carolina. This is an awesome opportunity. I am super proud of our kids,” said Purdy, who co-led the project with fellow art teacher Amanda Kingsmore. “Our 8th graders are currently studying South Carolina history,” Kingsmore added, “They researched ways to highlight our wonderful state and did an incredible job representing South Carolina and McCracken!”

The decorated trees were the centerpiece of the 98th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which is available to watch here. The ceremony included a festive compilation of Christmas lights and music, national parks, and holiday cheer. You can learn more about this year's ornaments from each state here.
Amelia Phillips
Blythe Lemonds
Carlee Richards
Ellie Davis
Ellie Hallenbeck
Halle Abbott
Maggie Akridge
Marianna Saad
Millie Vandys
Pierce Lake
Sydney McGuire
Teagan McEnroe
What's Up at Daniel Morgan Technology Center
SHS students in Chef Page's Culinary I class, Charlotte Johnson and Maritza Deleon, can say Oui! They have mastered the French, classic, Hollandaise sauce
Electricity instructor Mr. Sparks ignites learning and promotes safety. The Mechanical Contractors Association of South Carolina granted Sparks $5,500 for tools, PPE, and equipment for his lab. Congratulations!
Ms. Pruitt’s Cosmetology I students are expressing their creativity and talent by coloring hair with a foiling technique. Students work with mannequins, live models and clients.
DMTC Director Kira Reaves said the skills – both practical and collaborative – that students gain through the center are secondary to what they learn about contributing to society as citizens. “That’s what Daniel Morgan is all about, providing not just a skilled workforce, but a skilled workforce that wants to give back and provide community service to others."

Read the December 2020 issue of DMTC's newsletter here.
D7 Helps Transform our Community through the United Way
Our D7 family comes together to show kindness and generosity in all its forms by giving our voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support our community through the annual United Way of the Piedmont Campaign. Live United is the goal of our United Way and in District 7, it's a goal we rally around as well. We know change doesn't happen by one person or organization alone – we can do far more together than any of us can on our own.

This year, with the help of our staff, District 7 hopes to meet our workplace giving goal for the Community Impact Fund. It takes every one of us to build a better community. Thank you for doing your part, and for helping District 7 Live United.
Give the Gift of a Custom Engraved Brick this Holiday Season
Perhaps the perfect gift for someone on your list this holiday season is a custom engraved brick paver to surround our beautiful new Forward Together sculpture at the D7 Fine Arts Center plaza! Engraved pavers make perfect gift for the Class of 2021, rising SHS freshmen, favorite teachers, or a Viking alum. They are also a great way to honor a loved one, to create a memorial for someone who has gone before, or to inspire those who come after. Each engraved paver is $100 and benefits D7 student scholarship. 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. Place your order by submitting payment along with this form. A printable gift certificate form is also available if you’d like to give a brick as a gift.
Scene Around Seven
Members of Spartanburg’s Epsilon Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., facilitated a donation of adult and child sized masks for Cleveland Academy, Mary H. Wright, Drayton Mills, and Spartanburg High School from Rhino Medical Supply. Lance Brown and Elliott Haynie of Rhino Medical Supply presented the donation to school principals in November along with members of the fraternity including District 7 Trustee Vernon Beatty, SHS Principal Vance Jones, SHS guidance counselor Ryan Smith, former guidance counselor and track coach Glover Smiley, and current chapter president Bernard Wheeler. D7 appreciates this community support!
While Pine Street Elementary School was unable to welcome their usual guests for a Veterans Day program this year, they continued the tradition by creating a space for students and staff to reflect and honor veterans connected to their school community. The uniforms pictured above were worn in Word War II. Thank you to all our Veterans!
Look Whooo's at Carver Middle School...Only a few Grinches here! Our Wildcats are keeping spirits bright.
Holiday-themed read-alouds are back again this year at Jesse Boyd Elementary. The school posts one every evening on their Facebook Page. Enjoy with your children!
These two ladies are “sweet as pie”...just like the pies they delivered to each member of the Mary H Wright family! Thank you Julie Coleman Schwartz, Joy Oats and Episcopal Church of The Advent.
Meeting Street Academy scholars are helping the planet by presenting on the importance of taking care of our oceans and its animals. 
Climb aboard the Polar Express - this is an annual tradition for all of our elementary school students! The halls of the Cleveland Academy of Leadership have already cleared the station.
Cleveland Academy students are building for the future as seen here with their cool jet cars at STEM camp.
They're GRRRRREAT! E.P. Todd School celebrated their November Terrific Kids. We are so proud of these Tigers!
Remember the great train that used to be in front of the local Milliken plant on Drayton Road each year? Well, thanks to the generosity of Pacolet Milliken, Drayton Mills Elementary is enjoying it this year!
Our friends from the Early Learning Center are getting into the fun with 12 Days of Holiday Cheer dress up days. Christmas Trees and Snowmen are popping up all over the place. Rudolph would be impressed!
The Pine Street Elementary School elves have been spotted and are encouraging students to help stock the shelves of the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen with winter hats, scarves, socks and gloves.
In the News
You can navigate to December’s award-winning student newspaper, the Norse News here. This is Spartanburg High School’s DIGITAL EDITION of the long-standing staple. If you or your company are interested in advertising in the online publication, or you would like to support the students of SHS, please contact Mrs. Angela Eaton at
Save the Dates
December 18
Friday, December 18
Half Day/End of First Semester
Friday, December 18
Half Day/End of 1st Semester

Friday, December 21-
Friday, January 1
Winter Holidays

January 2021
School Board Appreciation Month
Monday, January 4
Staff Exchange Holiday/No School

Tuesday, January 7
Students Return
School Board Meeting - Virtual for Public
Report Cards

Monday, January 18
MLK, Jr. Holiday
Make room on your refrigerator door! The 2021-2022 school year calendar has been approved. You can view and download your copy here. Progress report and report card dates are to be determined.
Encourage Your Budding Scientist!
Virtual Science Fair Launches in February
This winter break, if your child is more interested in which brand of battery lasts the longest instead of the remote controlled car he just received, you’re in luck! You can encourage your student with the gift of science by helping them plan for the Piedmont Region III Science Fair.

In light of the pandemic, this year's Science Fair will be virtual. The classic display boards will not be part of the science fair this year, instead alternate documents will be uploaded online for judging. Student registration opens Feb. 22, but it’s not too early to get started. For all the details, please visit The Science Fair is open to students in grades 1-12.

"Our students are really excited, not just to get to do their projects, but to be doing research, getting experience, and getting creative," said District 7 Science Coordinator Becky Cornwell. “The youth of today are very resilient, and they're willing to take on every challenge."
610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400