Walhalla Elementary Celebrates International Literacy

posted Sep 12, 2019, 10:05 AM by Oconee Google

Walhalla Elementary celebrated International Literacy during the week of September 9-13, 2019.  The students were able to see traditional foods from India, Russia, Poland, Mexico, England and El Salvador on display.  They read the labels and talked about which items looked similar to what they normally eat and which ones looked very different.

Each day Mrs. Hartsock shared interesting facts about schools in other countries on the morning news show.  Ten guest readers came to school to read aloud to students in different languages.  Classes heard Portuguese, German, Spanish, Russian, French, and Gujarati (an Indian language).  Many of the stories shared were familiar stories like Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Miss Nelson is Missing.

All of the students, faculty and staff enjoyed learning about literacy in other countries and hearing other languages.      

Artist/Illustrator Visits Seneca Middle School

posted Sep 9, 2019, 12:31 PM by Oconee Google

Michael P. White, Artist and Illustrator
Quality education can take place in many ways and in many forms - some traditional and some not.  A recent guest to Seneca Middle School certainly facilitated art education in a most innovative, entertaining, and non-traditional way.  Artist and children's book illustrator Michael P. White worked with the school's media specialist, Sydney Jones, and art teacher Mara Diaz to introduce Diaz's art students to a different and fun way of approaching art and illustration through imagination and ideas inspired through stories.  The students knew they were in for a masterful class as soon s they entered the Media Center where they saw a dazzling display of a selected of White's completed artwork.  

White is best known for his illustrations for the books The Library Dragon, Return of the Library Dragon, The Secret of Old Zeb, and Harriet's Horrible Hair Day.  He is currently at work on his own book, Beau's Bayou Treasure.  He also produces original artwork available for purchase at galleries in the Atlanta area and online at his website

Girls Camp 2019

posted Jun 27, 2019, 4:45 AM by Oconee Google

The Girls Leadership Camp is sponsored by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office and the School District of Oconee County.  The purpose of the camp is to reach students at-risk for dropping out of school and help young ladies develop skills they would need to change some habits of the past and plot a more positive future.  Highlights of this year's camp are in the video below.

Girls Camp 2019

Boys Camp 2019

posted Jun 27, 2019, 4:35 AM by Oconee Google   [ updated Jun 27, 2019, 4:40 AM ]

The Boys Leadership Camp is sponsored by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office and the School District of Oconee County.  The purpose of the camp is to reach students at-risk for dropping out of school and help young men develop skills they would need to change some habits of the past and plot a more positive future.  Highlights of this year's camp are in the video below.

Boys Camp 2019

Sheriff's Newest K9 Named and Partner Announced

posted May 31, 2019, 12:34 PM by Oconee Google

Cam Hendrix, a fourth grade student at Westminster Elementary, was the winner of the "Name the Dog" contest sponsored by the Oconee County SC Sheriff's Foundation.  Cam chose the name "Thor" after his favorite character from the Avengers movies.  He was presented a cash prize of $100 from the Foundation.  The canine was brought to Westminster Elementary on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, to meet with the student who picked out his new name.

Deputy Justin Stokes, the canine's new handler, was also present to meet with Thor for the first time.  Deputy Stokes will be going through several weeks of training with Thor.  The Sheriff's Office is hoping to have Thor ready for service by late July.

The Foundation raised the funds through donations to purchase the explosives canine.  The Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and contributions are tax deductible.  Currently, the Foundation is raising money to help Sheriff's Office employees further their education, purchase other canines, and fund an annual dinner to recognize achievements of the Sheriff's Office employees.  Donations may be made to the Foundation by contacting a board member or mailing the donations to the Oconee County SC Sheriff's Office Foundation, 415 South Pine Street, County Mail Room, Walhalla, SC  29691.

New Hamilton Career Center & Technology Center Renderings

posted May 17, 2019, 10:05 AM by Oconee Google

New Hamilton Career Center Aerial View
Aerial View
New Hamilton Career Center Front Entrance
Front Entrance
New Hamilton Career Center Side Entrance
Side Entrance

Blue Ridge Elementary School Gardening Assistance Program

posted Apr 23, 2019, 12:21 PM by Oconee Google

The School Garden and Education Instruction Assistance Program is administered by Clemson Extension's School Gardening for South Carolina Educators.  Clemson Extension offers the School Gardening program through a partnership with the College of Charleston's Food Systems Change Initiative with funding provided by Boeing South Carolina.

The goal of the program is to introduce children to hands-on agriculture and nutrition education as well as encourage public schools to use locally grown South Carolina produce in their school menus.  

After completing a competitive application process, representatives from the twenty awarded schools were required to participate in both online and hands on training sessions before receiving an all-inclusive gardening kit, The Garden STEM curriculum, and other materials used to grow their own vegetables at their schools.  Congratulations to Blue Ridge Elementary on being named a 2019 School Garden and Education Instruction awardee!

WOMS - Warehouse Theatre

posted Apr 1, 2019, 10:58 AM by Oconee Google

The English I students at West-Oak Middle School are practicing their "thous" and taking punctuation walks.  They are evaluating social atoms and determining stock character traits.  The students are dissecting a speech into "meat and potatoes" and practicing gestures to fit a scene.

What exactly are they doing?  They are studying Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet under the guidance of teaching artists, Katie Halstensgard and Libby Hawkins, from The Warehouse Theatre's This Wooden O program, which brings the actor's approach to Shakespeare into English Language Arts classrooms across the Upstate.

West-Oak Middle School teachers, Melissa Higgs and Kristen Gray, arranged for the March workshop.  The Warehouse Theatre has been visiting Higgs' English I classes for several years.  This year, the schedule allowed for two eighth grade ELA classes to be exposed to the program.

Higgs says, "It is always fascinating to see the students begin to understand the complex language of Shakespeare.  They grow to appreciate the rhythm and structure of his work."  The students enjoy the opportunity to be fully engaged in a text.  They move and speak throughout the workshop and realize their own acting abilities.

Thanks to generous support from The TD Charitable Foundation, The Warehouse Theatre is able to offer these Shakespeare workshops at a reduced cost to schools.  

Students Admitted to Governor's School Summer Arts Program

posted Mar 22, 2019, 6:27 AM by Oconee Google

Seneca Middle School students accepted to Governor's School
Following a rigorous and very competitive application process, six Seneca Middle School eighth grade students recently learned that they have been accepted to one of several South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts and Humanities Summer Programs.  Each student will spend a week at the school in Greenville this June where they will participate in intensive work in their area of art.  They will also be exposed to other art areas and will be able to attend performances and hear guest speakers.  The six Seneca Middle School attendees and their area of art are:  Luke Bleuel (Violin), Keagan Hendrix (Creative Writing), Brandon Nixon (Cello), Ruby "Sam" Prosser (Clarinet), Kendall Willis (Creative Writing), and Bella Winkler (Viola).

Seneca area elementary schools learning about STEAM at Hamilton Career Center

posted Feb 25, 2019, 8:09 AM by Oconee Google

One Seneca
Seneca area elementary schools, in conjunction with EMAG!NE at Clemson University, enjoyed a night of learning about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) at the Hamilton Career Center.  Students and their parents had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and learn how those related to the STEAM subjects and career interests.  Students and instructors from the Hamilton Career Center also showcased programs available to students once they reach high school to further learn about STEAM skills and careers.  Activities included Virtual Reality Simulations, Makerspace activities including 3D printing and button making, painting with rocks, making a model of an animal cell, learning about wound care from health science students, playing with robots built by high school students, making boats and testing them for buoyancy, working in the welding lab to weld their initials on metal, as well as many other activities.  

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