Communications



Seneca Lions Club Chooses Peace Poster Contest Winners

posted Oct 29, 2018, 4:51 AM by Oconee Google

Peace and kindness.  It doesn't take much to understand that you can't achieve one without the other.  For more than 25 years, Lions Club International has sponsored a Peace Poster Contest for children ages 11-13 in an effort to encourage "young people worldwide to express their visions of peace."  Sponsored locally by the Seneca Lions Club, art students at Seneca Middle School worked hard over the course of several weeks to create posters that portrayed this year's contest them of "Kindness Matters."  After a thorough review, five works were judged to be the best.  Seneca Lions Club member Nancy Bock came to the school to award the top five.  They were:  1st place - Aurora Negro, 2nd place - Leah Broome, 3rd place - Lily Foster-Kyle, 4th place - Caroline McElroy, and Honorable Mention - Brianna Bates.  Aurora's artwork will now move on to district-level judging and then hopefully further to the International level.  All of their artwork may be seen hanging in Ye Olde Sandwich Shoppe over the next few weeks.

SMS Students Earns Place in All-State Chorus

posted Oct 23, 2018, 4:57 AM by Oconee Google

In the life of a teenager, the passage of just a few months can seem like a lifetime.  For a very talented group of Seneca Middle School students, the months between learning they had been selected for the elite All-State Chorus and the actual All-State event not only seemed lengthy but also saw roughly half complete their last year at Seneca Middle and move on to the ninth grade at Seneca High School.  The All-State Chorus audition and selection process starts in the spring yet the clinic and concert don't take place until October; thus the departure of those moving on to high school.  For Seneca Middle School Chorus Director Carla Brock, they will always be "her" students.  She gladly still oversaw the travel and participation of both the Seneca Middle and Seneca High School delegations to Charleston for the All-State clinic and concert in early October.  She said of the event, "This year's All-State conductors were extremely inspiring and gave our students an extraordinary experience.  Our kids worked very hard and had a blast."

The large number who qualified from Seneca Middle School tied for the second most from any school in the state only trailing a magnet school for the arts.  The current Seneca Middle School students who qualified for All-State Chorus are:  Luke Bleuel, Drake Denney, Isaiah Glenn, Mary Alice Harben, Sean Hoffman, Dalton Land, Jack Lee, Madelyn LeRoy, Megan McConnell, Emma Padgett, Delane Rosemond, Olivia Sires, and Stella Smith.  The group now at Seneca High School are:  Kristen Brown, Payton Burkett, Camille Ellenburg, Nicole Feagan, Kaidence Hamm, Brooke Lindsey, Nick Mack, Amari McCalope, Anais Puffer, Corbin Shirley, Connor Sluder, and Donovan Williams.  Two additional students also qualified while at Seneca Middle School but have since moved to a new school district.

Back row:  Luke Bleuel, Madelyn LeRoy, Jack Lee, Dalton Land, Olivia Sires, Stella Smith and Isaiah Glenn; Front row:  Delane Rosemond, Sean Hoffman, Megan McConnell, Drake Denney, Emma Padgett and Mary Alice Harben

SMS Students Named to All-Region Orchestra

posted Oct 15, 2018, 6:34 AM by Oconee Google

Competing against musicians from all over Anderson, Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties, four Seneca Middle School students recently learned that they have made the cut and earned spots in the Region 2 Orchestra.  In fact, one - Luke Bleuel - performed so well that he was named 1st chair violin, an amazing accomplishment.  Also named to the Region 2 Orchestra were Ruby "Sam" Prosser - 2nd violin, Alexandria Winkler - viola and Brandon Nixon - cello.  These outstanding musicians are taught at Seneca Middle School by Orchestra Director David Warlick.  They will participate in the Region 2 clinic and concert in November at Furman University.  Warlick said of his All-Region students, "I am extremely proud of these students.  They have worked hard outside of class time and their dedication has paid off.  I would like to credit three private teachers as well - Luke studies with Jennifer John; Alexandria with Carla Rogers; Brandon with Laura Koelle."

Pictured L to R:  Alexandria Winkler, Brandon Nixon, Ruby "Sam" Prosser, Luke Bleuel

Local Educator Wins Belk Gift Card

posted Oct 15, 2018, 6:16 AM by Oconee Google

The world is full of surprises, some pleasant and some not.  Thankfully, a recent surprise for Seneca Middle School teacher Delaine Childress was most definitely a pleasant one.  Two representatives from the Seneca Belk store - store manager Chip Forester and human resources manager Carolynne Nix - came to the school to award her a $500.00 gift card as the winner of their Educator Charity Day event.  Childress, who is also the current Teacher of the Year for her school, was entered into the contest by her school's principal, Dr. Darrell McDowell.  The nomination letter said, in part, that "Delaine exemplifies all that is good about the education profession:  a true passion and love for children, devoted and innovative instruction, committed practice and advocacy of her school and community, and willingness to do whatever necessary to foster home/school relations."  It was this evidence of her superior and inspired teaching that led to her being selected from among all entrants in Oconee County and to one of the most pleasant surprises she has had in some time.

Belk HR Manager Carolynne Nix, left, and Store Manager Chip Forester, right; Delaine Childress, center

Seneca Middle School Students Named to All-County Chorus

posted Oct 4, 2018, 1:02 PM by Oconee Google

To be the best of the best - most musicians and musical groups harbor such aspirations.  The choral program at Seneca Middle School is no exception.  Recently, a large number of its members were named to the All-County middle school choir following a competitive audition process.  In fact, 38 of the 66 middle school students named to the choir are from Seneca Middle where they are led by Choral Director Carla Brock.  As members of the All-County Choir, these students spent an entire day together with a renowned choral clinician and then performed in a joint concert with the All-County high school choral group showing all in attendance just why these students are the best of the best.  As eighth grader Lindsey Rackley put it, "It was an amazing experience and singing with other people is pure joy."

The Seneca Middle School students who were named to the All-County middle school choir are:  Nadia Alexander, Luke Bleuel, Vanessa Bravo, Makayla Brewer, Ian Brock, Savannah Burress, Campbell Crenshaw, Drake Denney, Lacey Edwards, Isaiah Glenn, Mary Alice Harben, Marett Hart, Rhiannon Hicks, Sean Hoffman, Dalton Land, Jack Lee, Madelyn LeRoy, Devon Lewis, Amy Long, Megan McConnell, Madison McNair, Mallie Merck, Reid Merck, Ally Moore, Elliott Moulder, Grace Orrey, Emma Padgett, Mattie Padgett, Lindsey Rackley, Reese Robinson, Delane Rosemond, Carolina Ross, Olivia Sires, Taylor Sires, McKenzie Sluder, Stella Smith, Kaydee Stanton, Turner Wilson.

Metal Detectors to be used at Walhalla vs. Pickens Game

posted Oct 3, 2018, 4:38 AM by Oconee Google

The Oconee County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the School District of Oconee County has made a decision to use metal detectors at Friday night's football game between Walhalla and Pickens.  This does have the potential to slow the process of entering the stadium.  Gates will open at 6:00 and fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Pocketbooks and diaper bags will be allowed but will be subject to inspection.  Book bags and other large bags will not be allowed and should be left in vehicles.

CWP holders are reminded that weapons must remain locked in a vehicle while on school property.  South Carolina law does not allow CWP holders to carry weapons on their person while on school grounds.

School and law enforcement officials want everyone to enjoy the rivalry game Friday night, but encourage fans to arrive early, be patient, and carry as little as possible into the stadium.

Choral Clinic

posted Sep 26, 2018, 5:10 AM by Oconee Google   [ updated Sep 26, 2018, 5:12 AM ]

The School District of Oconee County will present its fifteenth All-County Choral Concert on Tuesday, October 2 at 7:30 pm at Seneca Baptist Church in Seneca, South Carolina.

Again this year, the students auditioned and were selected by music teachers making this the second annual School District of Oconee County Select All-County Chorus.  Dr. Jeremy Mims, Professor at Winthrop University, will be conducting the middle and high school groups.  Mrs. Masheila Cobb and Ms. Diane McFarlane, will be his accompanists.

Middle school choral directors are Mrs. Carla Brock, Mr. Christopher Hulsey, and Mrs. Kara Taylor.  High school choral directors include Mrs. Sherry Collins, Ms. Diane McFarlane, and Mrs. Erin Phillips.

Mrs. Lisa Simmons, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for the School District of Oconee County, will provide the welcome.  The public is invited to attend and support the school district's fine arts programs.  Admission is free.

Metal Detectors to be used at Seneca vs. Daniel football game

posted Aug 29, 2018, 7:06 AM by Oconee Google

The Oconee County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the School District of Oconee County has made a decision to use metal detectors at Friday night's football game between Seneca and Daniel.  This does have the potential to slow the process of entering the stadium.  Gates will open at 6:00 and fans are encouraged to arrive early.

Pocketbooks and diaper bags will be allowed but will be subject to inspection.  Book bags and other large bags will not be allowed and should be left in vehicles.

CWP holders are reminded that weapons must remain locked in a vehicle while on school property.  South Carolina law does not allow CWP holders to carry weapons on their person while on school grounds.

School and law enforcement officials want everyone to enjoy the rivalry game Friday night, but encourage fans to arrive early, be patient, and carry as little as possible into the stadium.

SMS Teacher One of 60 in U.S. and Canada to win grant

posted Aug 22, 2018, 4:52 AM by Oconee Google

Cassie Moore loves reading.  More than that, she loves inspiring young people to enjoy reading as much as she does.  Luckily for Seneca Middle School students, she focuses that passion on them.  As a seventh grade ELA teacher, she could limit her outreach to those students assigned to her classes but that is not enough for her.  Last year, in her first year at the school, she organized and led a school-wide book club - Books and Biscuits - each Tuesday morning before school started.  Approximately 25 students across all grade levels joined her in the Media Center each week to talk about the current selection.  She also blogged about books and invited students to participate in that forum as well.  Also, those students fortunate enough to have her as a teacher benefited on a daily basis from her gift of teaching and inspiring students to develop their own appreciation of reading.

Stocking her classroom with books and providing the book club with reading material costs money, however.  While Moore has taken on a part-time job to fund her passion, the cost of books adds up quickly and there never seems to be enough to satisfy the insatiable readers she has helped develop.  Thus, she applied for a grant to the Book Love Foundation, a group "dedicated to teachers who inspire a love of reading."  Recently, Moore learned she is one of just 60 teachers in the United States and Canada to be awarded a $2,000 classroom library grant from the foundation.  Moore said of the grant, "I am so excited and appreciative of this grant.  I am already eagerly awaiting a shipment of books funded by the grant and can't wait to put them in my students' hands and spread the joy of reading."

With the new school year just started, given the impact Moore had in her first year at SMS, who knows what she can do in year two.  Stay tuned to see where the Moore reading whirlwind leads in 2018-2019.

Athletic Passes for Senior Citizens

posted Aug 9, 2018, 8:07 AM by Oconee Google

The School District of Oconee County, Pickens County, and Greenville County have agreed to honor each other's senior citizen resident passes allowing free admission at athletic events.

Senior citizen passes allow county residents 65 years old or older to attend athletic events for free.  Under the agreement, seniors will be able to support their teams at away games in Greenville or Pickens counties for free as well.  The pass will continue to operate with the following restrictions:
  • The pass may not be used for pre-season jamborees or post-season playoffs
  • The pass may only be used by the person to whom it is issued and is non-transferrable
  • In rare cases, a school may limit the use of a pass for cost-effectiveness reasons
  • The pass may be revoked if used improperly
Oconee County senior citizens can acquire a Gold Card at the school district office at 414 South Pine Street, Walhalla, SC  29691.  They must show a photo ID indicating their residence and date of birth to receive a card.

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