October 2018
Prayers for Pittsburgh

As neighbors around the country pray for Pittsburgh, District Seven Superintendent, Dr. Russell Booker, would like to share this video message on behalf of our school community. His compelling statement is set to music and sung by students at Spartanburg High School.
We invite you to take a moment to listen and then - "Go light your world."
Dalmatians Dedicate New School
On Thursday, October 25 the students and staff at Drayton Mills Elementary School welcomed members of the community into their brand new facility for a celebratory dedication of the state-of-the-art building. With a flourish of confetti and a ceremonial ribbon cutting, Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker, Principal Thomas Webster and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Ms Sharon Porter, thanked local residents and District partners for making the project a reality and pointed to a number of key distinctions that make the school unique. " Drayton Mills Elementary is the first Green Globe certified school in District 7," said Dr. Booker, "and that means we’ve taken tremendous care to be good stewards of our resources. To conserve energy, to reduce water consumption and to promote sustainable design wherever possible. There's so much about this school that's exciting. From the abundance of natural light at every turn, to the innovative and flexible learning spaces you’ll see throughout the building, this is an optimal environment for teaching and learning."

Principal Thomas Webster noted that the school's curriculum will be rooted in project-based learning and said students got a jump start on that approach in their research to select a mascot for the school. "We can thank our children," said Webster, "for all their hard work in determining what colors would be best for Drayton Mills Elementary and the type of mascot that would symbolize the spirit of our school." Webster went on to explain that the children chose a Dalmatian to be their mascot for its attributes of love and loyalty. Drayton Mills Elementary was designed by the architecture firm of McMillan Pazdan Smith and built by Harper Construction. The property for the school was donated to the District by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises.
The Drayton Mills mascot couldn't help but sneak in for the ceremony! The polka-dotted pup got his hands on a confetti popper and had a blast (literally) spraying the audience with color!

The pictures below show the wonderful natural light in the school and the flexible learning spaces in and out of the classroom.
It's Time for Honest Conversations about Drugs
Every year in October, organizations across the country – including District 7 – rally around Red Ribbon Week. This year, in addition to the various educational events organized by each of our schools – the District enlisted the help of community professionals to drive home the dangers of drug abuse and to broaden the conversation to include parents and families. “We’ve got to do more.” said Rich Jones, the CEO of FAVOR Greenville, which stands for Faces and Voices of Recovery. “Last year alone, 72,000 people in the United States died as a result of a drug overdose. There’s such a stigma associated with addiction and until we can move past that, those who are struggling will stay in the shadows.” Jones was joined by six other panelists, including local physicians, recovery counselors and law enforcement officers – all of them in agreement that drugs are becoming easier to obtain through the internet and the formulas of those drugs, more lethal than ever. “We used to say a drug is a drug is a drug,” said Sue O’Brien of The Forrester Center in Spartanburg, “but, today, nothing could be farther from the truth.” “And sadly,” said O’Brien, “most people dealing with substance use disorder have no idea what’s in some of those drugs, until it’s too late.” Held at the Chapman Cultural Center, organizers of the event say they hope to draw a bigger crowd in the coming years as the conversation is too important to ignore. Click here for an article about the event, featured in the Spartanburg Herald Journal
Making New Friends in Finland
D7 Superintendent Says Our Nordic Neighbors Can Teach Us Much About Education
On any given day, Dr. Russell Booker can be found dashing between one of the 14 schools he oversees as the Superintendent of Spartanburg District Seven. His visits from one classroom to the next are the highlight of his work and a chance to stay connected to the more than 7,400 students and 1200 staff members who make up the D7 community. In mid-October, however, on a trip that took him far from home, Dr. Booker spent a week touring schools and classrooms in the Scandinavian country of Finland. As a participant in a unique field study with more than 20 state and local leaders, Dr. Booker and his US counterparts got a closer look at the Finn’s highly acclaimed education system. Traveling from Helsinki to the remote village of Oulu, near the Arctic Circle, Dr. Booker said the trip was fascinating and the takeaways for possibilities here are numerous. “What struck me most,” said Booker, “is the trust that exists between teachers and all stakeholders. The Finns truly believe in a system that lifts everyone up and their commitment to equity (not just in education) is evident in all aspects of their society.”

Coordinated by The Riley Institute at Furman University, Public Education Partners and the Furman Education Department, the trip-goers were given the opportunity to meet with the Former Prime Minister, Mr. Alex Stubb (who happens to be an alumna of Furman) and one other special celebrity who happens to reside north of the Arctic Circle. While visiting the city of Oulu, Booker and his SC colleagues stepped over the Arctic Line for the rare opportunity to visit the home of Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Back on US soil now and eager to share his findings from Finland, Dr. Booker says there are a number of things he and the other SC educators on the trip believe could work well in US schools.
The picture above includes two of Dr. Booker's trip-mates - Dr. John Stockwell of the Spartanburg Academic Movement and Dr. Laura Reynolds, Dean of Education at USC Upstate.
Proof positive that Santa Claus is alive and well in the North Pole and just as popular with adults as he is with children! Members of the Finland Field Study had a chance to visit Santa and his reindeer in the Arctic Circle.
V eteran D7 Educator Honored for
His Heart for the Arts - Let's Hear it for Dr. Al Jeter!
If you’ve been in District 7 for any length of time, you know the name Al Jeter is synonymous with song! The 45 year-veteran educator is a vocal cheerleader and champion of the Spartanburg art scene and a talented contributor, as well!

This month, in recognition of Dr. Jeter’s tenacious commitment to arts in education the Chapman Cultural Center paid tribute to Jeter at a special ceremony saluting cultural champions. Surrounded by family and friends, Jeter was lauded as a leading force for the District’s rich history of instruction in band, orchestra, dance, theatre, fine arts and music. “As a teacher, a Principal and a revered administrator," said Ava Hughes of the Chapman Cultural Center, "Dr. Jeter has worked tirelessly during his career in District 7 to ensure that all of our children not only have access to the arts but also have an appreciation for the magic, beauty and joy that is found in the arts." Dr. Jeter will retire at the end of this academic year and you can bet he'll be busier than ever lifting up the arts and lighting up our lives! Al was joined by family members and his favorite former District 7 Principal and wife, Anne Chapman Jeter! Click here, to see more pictures from the 2018 Cultural Champions luncheon.
Community Warming Up To E-Learning Days
Kids in pajamas and teachers in slippers. It’s not in the dress code but thanks to a statewide eLearning pilot it will soon be a reality for District 7 students and their instructors. In August, the S.C. Education Oversight Committee chose District 7 as one of five districts to participate in a statewide eLearning pilot program, that will allow students to work, virtually, from home when the District is closed. With the recent school day missed due to tropical storm Michael, the District has been ramping up preparations and testing its ability to connect teachers and students when extreme weather or other conditions make being at school impossible.

Dr. Eric Levitt said the platform students use on their laptops will allow them to continue their classes from home. “We don’t want our parents to feel like this is just busy work for our students. It has to have meaning to it and that’s we're spending so much time with our Technology Integration Specialists and teachers to help everyone understand how to make this work. You can learn more about the District’s eLearning program on our Website - https://www.spartanburg7.org/elearning.
Vikings Celebrate Last Homecoming Parade
on Dupre Drive
Dupre Drive was filled with energy as a sea of colorful floats with blue and gold spirit set sail for the final Homecoming Parade from the current Spartanburg High School. But when it came time to see who was the loudest, it may have been the Grand Marshalls. Principal Jeff Stevens said it was only fitting to honor former SHS principals Rodney Graves, Joe Clarke, and Joe Delaney (pictured on the right).

The parade and pep rally led up to the Viking's last region football game at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium on Friday, Oct 19. During the game, senior athletes were honored and the Homecoming royals were crowned. Malajah Rodgers (center) was anointed the Homecoming Queen, and Carson Hardigree (left) and Liz Yex (right) and were crowned Honor Attendants. Viking pride ruled the week and made way for a big win for the Vikings over Riverside, 52-7. 
A New Year and New Chapter for 7Reads
Students at the Cleveland Academy of Leadership sat mesmerized as they learned how to harvest water from tree leaves, how to make rope out of honeysuckle, how to make a shelter in the woods, and how to forage for edible plants. No it's not a science class - it's part of 7Reads, the District's flagship literacy event. This year, Greenville-based author Jo Hacklr brought her debut children’s novel to Cleveland called,  "Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe." The book is a story of resilience and ingenuity, and the independence of a little girl named Cricket. Hacklr told students, that as a writer, you can research anything that intrigues you and put it in a story. Thanks to an anonymous donor, each student received a copy of "Smack Dab" as part of 7Reads and the community partners who helped establish the program. Since 7Reads was born twelve years ago, students throughout the District have been introduced to more than 40 visiting authors. Next month Ms. Hacklr will visit middle school children at Carver, EP Todd, and McCracken to share her writing process along with her desire to get readers outside. Ms. Hacklr is also the founder of  outdoorosity.org , a resource celebrating the treasures and curiosities of nature with stories.
D7 Shout Outs
During the national StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network Convening held in Seattle, Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker was installed as the newest member of the StriveTogether Board of Directors. StriveTogether is a national nonprofit working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for students.
Seen Around Seven
Ms. Pruitt’s Level II Cosmetology students from the Daniel Morgan Technology Center attended Monster Central at Scarowinds to learn from the experts about special effects and makeup techniques.
These cuties from Pine Street School celebrated Red Ribbon Week with a little throw back to the 1990's.

AH!!! It’s ALIVE!!!! For Halloween at Meeting Street Academy, students and teachers are keeping reading  alive  with their annual Book Character Day! Guess who this little mouse is!?
Bravo to the Spartanburg High School boys basketball team for volunteering at the Mary H. Wright fall carnival this month! Way to go guys!
Aces in the Hole! The Ladies Viking Tennis team took home the Region Championship.
D7 celebrates the singers from SHS selected for the 2018 American Choral Directors Association
Honor Choir!
The amazing relay team and state champions Sarah Grace Byers, Sophie Kannee, Annika McEnroe, and Kirsti McEnroe won both the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 Freestyle Relay, nearly setting state records in both events.  Kirsti was also the individual State Champion in the 200 Freestyle event and finished 2nd in the 100 Freestyle. Go Vikings!
We are so proud of our girls golf team as they earned the right to compete for the State Championship. Elle Johnson (bottom right) finished in the top 4 and made the All-State team.
Monday, October 15 th students and teachers from the Early Learning Center visited Grey Rock Farms in Moore. They learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin, watched a cow being milked, ran through the corn maze, played on the playground and enjoyed a picnic lunch. 
Children from Drayton Mills were in full swing to welcome the PTO.
A Jesse Boyd family of superheroes having fun at the annual JBE Fall Carnival.
Fall carnival fun at Mary H. Wright Elementary, with the ever-helping hands from our friends at The Episcopal Church of the Advent.
Look who Dr. Booker ran into smack dab in the middle of Cleveland Academy. Jo Hacklr will be back in D7 to visit middle schools in November.
This polka-dotted pup had a great time with a confetti popper at the dedication of the new Drayton Mills Elementary School. The Dalmatian is the mascot for the new school.
Ms. Sharon Porter, Chair of the District 7 Board of Trustees welcomed students, staff and local residents to the dedication of Drayton Mills Elementary School.
Carver Middle School's Homecoming king and queen are Cameron Jackson and Taniya Fowler.
In wearing red, children from Pine Street pledge to live a drug-free life.
For more pictures from the month of October, be sure to visit our website and check out the gallery of images on the homepage!
October Events Raise Awareness
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.
Cheerleaders take pride in their philanthropic efforts on behalf of the NFL and the American Cancer Society's  Crucial Catch  program.
Don't Forget - We're Looking For Your Best Shots for the Homepage of the D7 Website!
"All you have to do is send us a picture via the “Submit Your Photos" button, at the bottom of the D7 homepage. As soon as your image is approved, we’ll post it for all the world to see!" So, have some fun and hit us with your best shots!
Alumni Spotlight - Bob Spieth
You might not see him on TV, but Spartanburg High grad Bob Spieth is busy behind the scenes helping to bring QVC shopping bargains into an estimated 360 million homes worldwide. Spieth is the Chief Operating Officer of Qurate Retail Group and in his role, he leads the customer and business service operations for QVC, HSN, Zulily, and Cornerstone Brands. 
Spieth returns to Spartanburg from time to time to visit and stays in touch with fellow Spartanburg High Schoolers via Facebook. “Looking back, I really appreciate the great foundation that Spartanburg teachers and schools provided for my career,” he said. “The teachers were challenging and outstanding throughout.”
Mark Your Calendar
Election Day Holiday
Be sure to Vote on November 6
Tues Nov 6, 2018
Election Day
District 7 Schools and Offices Closed

Fri, Nov 9, 2018
Vikings at T.L.Hanna football playoffs

Sun, Nov 11
Veterans Day

Tues Nov 13, 2018
District Board Meeting, rescheduled due to Election Day

Wed Nov 14, 2018
Early Release Day
Tues Nov 20, 2018
Progress Reports

Nov 21-23, 2018
Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov 29, 2018
7Cares Employee Wellness Fair

Help promote our good news by sharing and forwarding 7Headlines and Follow Dr. Booker on Twitter: @rwbookerrussell

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