7Shares, 7Cares, 7Dares
If you think 1200 kids in a high school gymnasium can make a little noise – you should hear their teachers! Primed with excitement and sporting their respective school colors – the entire District 7 team of teachers and staff celebrated the start of a new academic year on Wednesday, August 12 with the annual back-to-school program called 7Shares. Greeted with a rousing welcome from Superintendent Russell Booker and a shout-out for every school in the District, the crowd was also treated to a fabulous performance by four of their own. Taking the stage the Tiger Tones from Todd - Emily Vanderlip, Liz Smith, Wendy Rollins and Pamela Garrett - wowed their peers with a couple of songs to set the mood for a new academic year.
The featured speaker for 7Shares saluted the animated audience and applauded the entire team for inspiring hope in the lives of their students. Mr. Brandon Busteed from Gallup Education pointed to District 7’s recent survey of 3,000 children in grades 5-12, and said it’s time for schools across the country to make a paradigm shift – to focus on what’s strong with our kids and not what’s wrong. ” Known for conducting a vast amount of research on education, Busteed says Gallup’s findings show that students are better prepared to learn when we elevate their sense of hope for the future and increase their emotional investment in the education process.” Encouraged by the results of the District 7 survey, Busteed said, “your children are above the national average in hope and engagement and right on par with the statistics on well-being - and that’s a very good report card!” Thanking Busteed for his comments was the 2014–2015 District 7 Teacher of the Year, Marquice Clark. A 2nd grade teacher at The Cleveland Academy of Leadership, Clark said it was hope that inspired his calling to teach. “I’m the first in my family to graduate from college, and all because one teacher believed in me.”
With accolades for the 2015 Support Staff of the Year and those in the District who recently earned masters and doctorate degrees, the District also recognized 7 new induction teachers with the Crystal Apple Award and 14 outstanding teachers from each school with Teacher of the Year Awards. The award for the top District Teacher of the Year was presented to Jeremy Pruett, a veteran science teacher at Spartanburg High School.
Also honored were all the individual school winners for teacher of the year - Kevin Brabham, Jesse Boyd Elementary; Carla Cato, Chapman Elementary; Rosalind Fowler, Cleveland Academy of Leadership; Bailey Taylor, Houston Elementary; Melissa Buxton, Mary H. Wright Elementary; Wendy Cont, Pine Street Elementary; Alysha Decken, E.P. Todd School; Kelly Petty, Carver Middle; John McAllister, McCracken Middle; Kimberly Jordan, SHS Freshman Academy; Angela Truett, Early Learning Center at Park Hills; Amanda Obermeyer, McCarthy Teszler School; and Anna Brown, Whitlock Flexible Learning Center. All of them will represent their schools, motivate and inspire fellow educators, and champion the positive contributions of the teaching profession.
Thanks to John Wolfe, SHS Guidance Counselor, and photographer extraordinaire, all the excitement of 7Shares was captured in the photo gallery below!