By: Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer
Spartanburg County School District Four Board of Trustees members recognized the winners of the 2021 Dr. William L. Howell Art Purchase Awards across all four schools and approved the purchase of a new activity bus and support for a resolution to incorporate the McCarthy-Teszler school.
The May board meeting opened with the presentation of four paintings by the student winners of the art purchase awards. The four winning students and their parents attended the meeting to be recognized by the board for their winning paintings. The students all received a cash prize for their artworks and told board members about their inspiration for their paintings.
“I’m always amazed when I see the product that our students produce,” Superintendent Dr. Rallie Liston said of the winners. “There are people who have a gift for art, and we have a lot of talent in our district.”
The winners were James Cole from Woodruff Primary School, Haley Sprouse from Woodruff Elementary School, Leah Brown from Woodruff Middle School, and Grace Cooper from Woodruff High School.
In the business portion of their agenda, trustees approved the purchase of a new activity bus for the district, replacing an aging bus. The $107,940 purchase, with a $4,500 trade-in credit for the old bus, will be covered by a portion of the federal funds the district received as part of the COVID-19 relief funds.
The trustees also approved the district’s participation in a resolution to grant permission for the McCarthy-Teszler school to incorporate, which would allow the program to raise millage for the renovation and upgrade of the school.
The school provides programs for physically and mentally disabled individuals that the district is not able to provide. Similar to the R.D. Anderson school for trades, McCarthy-Teszler, provides a resource for students from Woodruff.
“We’ve had a number of our District 4 students who have benefited tremendously from this program,” said Rachel Traynham, director of special services.
Trustees unanimously approved supporting the resolution.
In school reports, Woodruff Primary School reported a successful storytelling program with the Stone Soup Storytellers and storybook character day, where students dressed as their favorite characters and paraded for the other students in their costumes. Principal Casey Dover also reported that students met their reading challenge, reading 2,118 books in four days and were rewarded by the top classes’ teacher Mrs. Abbott and Principals Dover, Hinson, and Parris roller skating through the halls to celebrate.
Principal Ann Hodge, of Woodruff Elementary School, reported that fifth-grader Landon Knighten was selected Terrific Kid of the Year. The students also enjoyed a presentation from the Stone Soup Storytellers.
Dr. Aaron Fulmer, Woodruff High School principal, provided trustees an update on plans for graduation and prom. Both programs were scheduled to be held in person, with students allowed six guests each for graduation on May 28.
Business Manager Chris Benfield informed board members that a preliminary budget figure had been developed, although the state school system’s budget was still waiting for approval by the Legislature. The district’s budget for the coming year is expected to include two-step increases for employees, one that state approved the current year and one for the coming year. Dr. Liston also indicated the budget consists of a $500 bonus for all faculty and staff and a $1,000 bonus for teachers approved by the state.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 7, at 6 p.m. in the Woodruff Elementary School media center. Anyone wishing to address the Board must submit their request in writing to the chairman or superintendent five business days before the scheduled meeting.