By Abby Gibbs
While backpacks were filled and students were preparing for their return to school. Mauldin’s four Principals were leading in preparations, necessary to be ready for the new school year.
It has become tradition to officially welcome back leadership for schools in the City Council of Mauldin during the September Council Meeting. The presentations of those leaders held opportunities and challenges for the students of the community.
Dr. Jamie Spinks is the Principal of Mauldin Elementary School. Dr. Spinks shared many ways our elementary students are being prepared and challenged academically to be ready for middle and high school. There are 1,000 students presently enrolled at Mauldin Elementary School. Testing scores have improved dramatically over the past 2-4 years. Mauldin Elementary School has adopted the slogan “Becoming a Leader In My School” for 2017-2018 school year. As part of the Leader In Me emphasis the students will be learning the “7 Habits of Happy Kids” comparable to the Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Dr. Spinks has an enthusiastic approach in his leadership of the children and staff. The Leader In Me Concept transitions into the mission of the District’s “Build a Better Graduate” ideal. An ongoing partnership with Mentor Upstate allows 40 children to enjoy a special lunchtime with a Mentor every week. In 2017, a partnership was established with “Real Men Read and Lead” which allows 14 boys to come and enjoy lunch once a month with a successful community member to talk about the importance of reading and being an effective leader.
Principal Narissa Lewis of Bethel Elementary was unable to attend the council meeting in due to a death in the family. However, Dr. Spinks shared some interesting facts about Bethel’s Cardinals. Enrollment is nearing 1,000 students. This year, they have chosen to use the Cardinal as their acronym for the values of their student body:
C-Courageous, A-Aim High, R-Respectful, D-Diligent, I-Integrity, N-Number One, A-Attitude, L-Legendary, S-Studious.
Their academic and related arts emphasis continues to improve each year as they prepare their students for advancement.
Mauldin Middle School was represented by Principal Chris Killian. Mauldin is one of the largest Middle Schools in Greenville County with 1,000 students and is a highly sought-after middle school in the county. Mauldin is in their second year of Personalized Learning with one-to-one Chrome Books, a successful endeaver from the previous school year. Now offering six high school credit courses including Algebra I, Geometry, Spanish, Keyboarding, English, and Google Basics. More virtual classes were offered this year providing students with more opportunities for high school credit. All of this to better prepares the students for the next step in their education.
The newest Principal in Mauldin, John Michael“Mike” Peake is Principal of Mauldin High School. Mr. Peake came to Mauldin in February of 2017. Current enrollment is 2,374 making it the largest high school in Greenville County and the 8th largest in the state. Mauldin’s graduation rate is 94.7% which places them in the top 10 among public high schools and for the fifth year Mauldin High has had graduation rates above 90%. The Senior Class of 2017 had more than $14.5 million in scholarship monies. The Class of 2018 will be the largest graduating class school history, currently at 660.
Not only does the school excel in academics but also in related arts. The Mauldin High School Band is hosting a competition for Greenville County along with chorus holiday presentations. The athletic programs: football, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse continue to demonstrate success. More qualifiers are expected this Fall for cross country, swimming, tennis, and golf and the volleyball team is expected to make state playoffs. Faculty and staff will be looking at ways to be more intentional in focus of establishing and building relationships with their students.
The common ideal in each presentation was community involvement. The successes of students and schools depends on a daily comprehensive effort by parents, school faculty, students, safety officers from the Mauldin Police Department, and city leaders to continue to give our community the best schools possible for over 5,500 students who come and go daily. Imagine that, 5,500 students being influenced in positive ways to build the future of Mauldin.