Dr. Booker Talks About the Future During District Address

On the stage at the Chapman Cultural Center Superintendent Russell Booker said the state of the district is strong as teachers, students and administration leaders look toward the future.
During his sixth State of the District address on March 30, 2017 to nearly 200 business leaders, educators, parents and key stakeholders, Dr. Booker underscored the successes of the District and highlighted the exciting plans underway. “There is such momentum now,” he said. “I think the best way to really let the community know what’s going on is to get in front of them. It’s a whole lot more effective than sending some paper home.”
Dr. Booker took key stakeholders and friends of the District through an informative update underscoring accomplishments throughout the academic year, along with test scores, and updates on the new Spartanburg High School and elementary school.
Pointing to the tremendous gains in the District’s push to promote early college programs, Dr. Booker noted that students have earned close to 1600 total college credit hours through such programs as The Viking Early College, The Scholars Academy, Spartanburg County’s Early College High School and onsite dual credit at Spartanburg High School. Established in 2013, the Viking Early College in partnership with Spartanburg Community College has been a resounding success and will see it’s first cohort of graduating seniors this spring.

Viking Early College Promo

Using 3-D virtual technology, Booker shared the latest images from the new elementary school currently under construction and the new high school which is slated to open in fall 2020.

Spartanburg High School Animation

Elementary School Animation

Dr. Booker also spoke to the District’s Mission to inspire and equip. To inspire and equip - those are two words taken from the statement that succinctly capture the spirit of the District’s commitment to children: inspire and equip. He shared a recent story about Evie Tate, SHS graduate and Clemson Cross Country team leader. This past fall at the ACC Women’s Cross Country Championship, Evie stopped 20 yards short of the finish line to assist a fallen runner – a competitor from Boston College. Joined later by another runner following Evie’s lead, the three competing athletes finished the race, arm-in-arm, together. It was the last run of Evie’s college career. Much has been said about the decision Evie made….in our eyes she did more than finish strong. She gave up her own goal for the good of another in a most poignant illustration of sportsmanship. At the end of the day, said Booker, “That is what we are striving to do as a school district, that when young people leave us, that they are truly prepared for life, not to go out and make a bunch of money, but to live a meaningful life, a meaningful life of leadership and a meaningful life of service.”

Dr. Booker Shares a Moment for Mission - Evie Tate

Dr. Booker concluded his remarks by saying at the end of the day our children need a sense of hope, that they need a sense of optimism and that we don’t have near enough of it in our community. He asked the attendees to help give our children hope. He asked them to “get up” - that we all have a role in educating our children and making sure our community is strong; to “get out” - we can’t live in a bubble; to “get over it” - that while so much continues to divide us as a nation if we’re going to do what we need to do we have to “get over it”; and to “get it on”. He said we need to do all of those things “to be strong.” The Cleveland Academy of Leadership Choir said it best and stole the show with their upbeat musical performance entitled, Tomorrow.

Cleveland Academy Choir Performs, Tomorrow under the leadership of Barbara Wilson

Spartanburg Herald Journal Article

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