February 2019
How Sweet It Is!
Hope you shared some Valentine treats with your sweethearts!
We sure did!
"Stories That Need to be Shared"
Black History Month in District 7
District 7 Superintendent, Dr. Russell Booker said it best this month when he spoke to students at Spartanburg High School about the importance of Black History Month. “It should matter to all of us that there are untold stories that need to be told. It should matter that our collective journey, our mutual story is incomplete.” Invited to be the featured speaker at the High School’s annual Black History Assembly, Booker took students through a timeline of the District’s history, from the first school built for public education in 1884, to slides of the new Spartanburg High School scheduled to open in August 2019. Moving through the decades of progress, Booker also noted the gaps in our archives – missing pieces that are no less important to the District’s history. “My being here today,” said Booker, “is an opportunity to help you understand the need for all of us to care about our stories. It’s not the black story, it’s not the white story, it’s not the Hispanic story… It’s not a man’s story or a woman’s story. It’s not a Northside story, an Eastside, or a Southside story. It’s our story.”

In schools throughout the District, African American role models and mentors shared similar messages. From Drayton Mills Elementary School where the theme for the month was “Legends of Black History, Inspiring Young Role Models of Today” to McCracken and Carver Middle Schools, there were inspiring words of wisdom. SHS Track Coach and District 7 alumna, Audril Jones told kindergartners that in the race of life – catching the baton (and holding on to it) is a must to win the race. “When you don’t do your homework or listen to your parents, you can drop that baton. But I want all of you to catch it and pass it on.” At Carver Middle School, another D7 alum told students about integration in the District and the book she wrote to chronicle that time in her life. "I was born 11 days after the May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said school segregation was unconstitutional,” said Cynthia Reid Wills. "Public integration of schools, water fountains and such is only about as old as I am." Wills’ memoir, Content of Character, Diary of a Young Black Girl, was recently made into a movie and premiered at the Chapman Cultural Center in June, 2018. 
Author and District 7 Alumna, Cynthia Reid Wills with Students at Carver Middle School
Students Win Big at Annual Black History Bowl
Students from across the county competed in the 4th annual Black History Bowl and proved their mettle answering a variety of questions during several rounds of competition held at the University of South Carolina Upstate on February 23. Nineteen teams in the junior and senior divisions squared off, hoping to make it to the championship. In the end, McCracken, Team One earned 2nd place in the junior championship and the I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream Team from Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, made up of Spartanburg High School students, claimed the senior championship title.
I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream team from Mt. Moriah Baptist Church made up of Spartanburg High School students - McClain, Cameran Gist, Joseph Broadus III, Mikiya Fowler, and Enicci Gist - claimed the top spot for the senior division. 
The McCracken Team One of Dalia Garcia, Esmeraldo Rodriguez, Nyia Girdner, and Nathan Fernanderz earned 2nd place. 
This Success Story Speaks Louder Than Words
The McCarthy Teszler School thinks outside of the box to create waves of change for children with special needs.
What teenager doesn't love a pizza party!? Thanks to the use of a voice output device and a new initiative at McCarthy Teszler dubbed the #Chatterbox Challenge - 16 year old Madison Wood recently let her teachers know she'd like to be rewarded for speaking up, with a pizza party for all! Teacher, Bliss Harley and Autism Specialist, Emily Cook introduced the Chatterbox concept at McCarthy Teszler to promote the use of communication skills.

#Chatterbox encourages students to use their mode of communication to express their wants and needs. School s taff acknowledge and reward students when they: verbally speak, utilize high or low tech devices, or demonstrate communication through facial expressions. Each week, students’ who rise to the #Chatterbox Challenge are entered into a drawing to pick a prize. Cook, who says it's exciting to see students becoming more verbal, is proud of the gains the children are making. "Madison's eagerness to choose a pizza party would not have been possible without the hard work of her teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists and most importantly herself. It is a true team effort with such a high reward. Our students are excelling and sharing their knowledge and opinions."
New Spartanburg High School will Feature
Outdoor Environmental Classroom
When the campus of the new Spartanburg High School opens its doors in August 2019, students and staff will be met by a modern-day facility comparable to the best in the nation. The expansive property includes more than 180 acres of land and is dotted with outdoor athletic facilities, a stadium, cross country trails and more than 30 species of trees – including some of the oldest Dawn Redwood trees in Spartanburg county. For students in Rob Wilder’s environmental science classes, one of the most exciting features of the new campus is the development of an outdoor classroom that will serve as a learning laboratory, complete with walking trails, wetlands, a small pond and creek and an amphitheater. The outdoor education center located near the front of the campus will allow students and teachers to more closely study environmental topics such as conservation, sustainability, and the eco systems tied to water and wetland sources. The hands-on learning center will broaden environmental education for students throughout the District. Already, students in Wilder’s classes have waded into the pond to study all kinds of wet and crawly things. In what will be an annual report called, The State of the Pond , Wilder says students from one year to the next will be linked by virtue of the assessment as they follow the ecosystem changes over time. The beautifully landscaped green space will also be a welcome amenity for neighbors in the community who wish to use the trails for walking, jogging and outdoor activity. Thanks to a generous lead gift from The Balmer Foundation, work on the site is well underway.
All In the Family
Jesse Boyd Doubles the Fun with Twins and Triplets
Jesse Boyd Elementary School's eight pairs of twins and one set of triplets celebrate togetherness.
These kids will make you do a double take — or nine of them. Jesse Boyd Elementary School's eight pair of twins and one set of triplets recently gathered for some Valentine Day fun. According to Jesse Boyd Principal, Dr. Meredith Rose, a sense of love and family on campus happens every day, not just on Valentine's Day, but the strong bond of family at JBE is further enhanced by these special siblings.
Rose, who has a twin brother herself, said “At JBE, when we talk about celebrating love, we are talking about that love for your community and love for your family."

According to official record, the District has never had this many twins in the same school before. When it comes to telling them apart, only three of the nine sets are identical. Regardless, they all say they like being a part of the record books!
Eric and Cecilia Battocchio, first-graders and fraternal twins (above), say being with each other is more fun. The duo donned red and shared a special glance to celebrate the love of their school and each other on Valentine's Day. Ceclila says it's just one more reason she loves JBE, "It’s pretty cool to be surrounded by others like us."
It's Time to Register for Fall Enrollment
Kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year begins on March 18!
With an emphasis on early learning, District 7 offers, 4-year-old kindergarten programs at the Early Learning Center, Cleveland Academy of Leadership, and The Franklin School; and both 3- and 4-year-old programs at Meeting Street Academy. Eligibility screening is required and class sizes are limited. Families residing in the District with children who will turn 3 or 4 on, or before September 1, 2019, are also eligible to register for the Montessori Program at E.P. Todd School. A tuition fee is charged for the Montessori program and class sizes are limited. For preschool information, visit our website or stop by your neighborhood elementary school, Monday-Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

For additional more information, call:
  • Early Learning Center (864) 594-4465
  • The Franklin School (864) 327-4913
  • Meeting Street Academy (864) 253-1800
  • Cleveland Academy (864) 594-4444
Seen Around Seven
Love was in the air during Cleveland Academy of Leadership's Princess Dance.
Fifth graders at Pine Street held their annual Grandparents Day event on Valentine’s Day this year. Hundreds of grandparents and loved ones were in attendance.
Congratulations to McCracken's Tashma Glymph for capturing the cover of this month's Scouting Magazine. So proud of her work and her leadership!
This winning smile is compliments of the McCarthy Teszler School and the #Chatterbox Challenge!
Sean Jenkins, a senior on the Vikings boys basketball team, was selected as a member of the 5A All-State Boys Basketball Team. Sean was also selected to play in the North/South All-Star Basketball Game in March.
McCracken 7th graders took an amazing field trip trip to Charleston where they enjoyed phenomenal explorations of our diverse ecosystems and also served as great ambassadors for the school and the District.
Viking Early College students visited the Spartanburg County Public Library to view the Black History Month Exhibits. Todd Stephens, County Librarian, led the tour that highlighted select images, artifacts, and documents. The historical items help tell the story of Spartanburg's African American community. 
Malik Shuler, senior wrestler, competed in the 5A State Championship and was named the runner up. Malik is the current Upper State Champion in the 285 lb. weight class and he was selected to participate in the North/South All-Star Wrestling Event in Myrtle Beach, which
selects the best senior wrestlers from the upper part of the state to compete against the best senior wrestlers from the lower part of the state.
SHS's Tyeire Jones-Rookard was the winner of the Gaming Frenzy that was held at Daniel Morgan Technology Center on February 19. He went 6-0 undefeated and received a gift card from Game Stop.
As yet another reminder and a lesson that there is no American history without African American history. Spartanburg native, author Cynthia Reid Wills shared with SHS students, “Integration in America is only as old as I am. It happened in my lifetime.”
Nia Peak, daughter of Drayton Mills Elementary's own Althea Peak, met with students to share her journey from Claflin University to medical school.
T he Lady Pioneers from Spartanburg Methodist College  embraced the E.P. Todd Lady Tigers and offered up a little advice and encouragement for the season!
Former Vikings basketball players and coaches were honored during halftime of the final game held in the Dobson Gym at Spartanburg High School.
Orchestra students from Carver Middle School preform for the school's Black History Month Assembly.
Carver dancers performed at Pine Street during their Black History Assembly.
Mary H. Wright 4th grader Ky' Mani Fitzgerald picked up 2nd place for his winning poster in the City's MLK Unity Week Poster Contest.
Thank you Carter Johnson and Elizabeth Hayes for buzzing by Mary H. Wright to bring Valentine treats. There's nothing sweeter than the gift of your time!
The spirit of volunteerism runs deep and wide at Mary H. Wright. These 5th graders in the Leadership Club took handmade Valentines to the residents of Mountain View Nursing Home!
Students at Meeting Street Academy give us a look at their inspiring projects for Black History Month.
We think "Miss Lady Day," would have loved this beautiful little lady from Meeting Street.
We see signs of leadership in District 7 all the time! Love this one from Meeting Street.
The talented students in the SHS Chamber Orchestra wowed the audience at the Chapman Cultural Center as they performed the Bavarian Summer Tour Preview.
The talented students in the SHS Chamber Orchestra wowed the audience at the Chapman Cultural Center as they performed the Bavarian Summer Tour Preview.
All State Orchestra participants from SHS and McCracken (l to r) Drew Lawton (10), Hayden Green (10), Ilan Falcon (10), Jalen Byrd (12), Ezra Anderson (8), and Trevor Reininger (11) took their audience by storm with their wonderful performance this month.
Cameron Collier, Freshman Academy director, along with 300 other daddies and daughters
danced the night away at E.P. Todd's Inaugural Ties and Tiaras Dance
Save the Dates - March 2019
March 29, 2019
Student and Staff Holiday leading into Spring Break

March is:
Music In our Schools Month
Youth Art Month
National Nutrition Month 
March 2
Read Across America Day
Dr. Suess's Birthday

March 4-8
National School Breakfast Week

March 5
School Board Meeting

March 6
Ash Wednesday

March 9
Pine Street School Fun Run

March 10
Daylight Saving Time

March 17
St. Patrick's Day
March 18
7Reads Day
Kindergarten Registration Begins

March 26
Parent/Teacher Conferences until 6pm

March 27
Report Cards

March 28
Parent/Teacher Conferences until 6pm

March 29
Student Holiday/Teacher Exchange Day

April 1-5
Spring Break
Are you ready to run?! 
Pine Street Elementary School 's 6th Annual  5k  and Fun Run is March 9!
Learn more about the  PSS 5k and One Mile Fun Run  and how to register here .

Join us May 23 for the opening night of the smash hit musical, MAMMA MIA. Set in a Greek island paradise, a tale of love, identity, and friendship is told through the timeless hits of ABBA. Tickets go on sale in April at the Chapman Cultural Center box office.
Alumni Spotlight
Stephen Davis and Steve Fuller
Two more Spartanburg High School grads are headed to the South Carolina Hall of Fame. Super Bowl High School Honor Roll Golden Football recipients and former Vikings Stephen Davis (left) and Steve Fuller (right) are two of five athletes who will be inducted into the S.C. Football Hall of Fame in April.
Davis was the number. 1 high school football recruit in the nation his senior year at Spartanburg High. After three years at Auburn, the star running back played 11 seasons in the NFL — seven with the Washington Redskins, three with the Carolina Panthers, and his final year in 2006, with the St. Louis Rams. He finished his career as a three-time Pro Bowler, including his 1999 campaign when he led the league with 17 rushing touchdowns.

Fuller was Spartanburg High School's valedictorian and a graduate before becoming Clemson’s quarterback from 1975-1978. He led the Tigers to consecutive bowl games and was named ACC Player of the Year both seasons.
Fuller was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979 and played four seasons before finishing his NFL career with a three-year stint with the Chicago Bears. He won a Super Bowl as a backup in his final season with the Bears. 

Fuller and Davis will be honored on April 23 at the Hilton Hotel in Greenville.
A Pretty Catchy Beat!
Spartanburg High School's Percussion Ensemble drew music and rhythm from a wide range of instruments during their recent concert. Kudos to our kids for following the beat of their own drums.
As a reminder, car lines in our schools are no cell phone zones. Please refrain from using cell phones while in our car lines. We kindly request that full concentration and attention be focused on the safety of all students during drop-off and pick-up times.

Also out of safety for our students, please do not pass cars in the car line unless instructed to do so by a police officer or staff member.
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610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400