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February 2016


In This Edition: Food Service Manager Gets Second Chance at Life; First-Year Teachers Survive First Semester; Staff and School Awards; Healthy Living Tips; Golden Apple Rewards; GFCU Quiz


Paris Elementary Cafeteria Manager Jacque Holliday  
"I had such a peace because I knew people were praying and caring for me," said cancer survivor Jacque Holliday.  

A Second Chance at Life


     Paris Elementary Cafeteria Manager Jacque Holliday went to the doctor three years ago thinking she had had an allergic reaction. She was treated with histamines, but four weeks later she felt worse than ever. Then her skin turned yellow, which led to more doctors’ visits. A biopsy revealed the sobering truth that Jacque had malignant ampullary cancer.  

     “I ended up having the Whipple Procedure, one of the most severe surgeries you can have,” she explained. “The doctor showed me what he was going to remove and how he was going to reconnect everything. It was scary. I had never been through a process like this, and I had never been that close to death before.”

     Jacque’s family, friends and coworkers became her prayer warriors. One of her family members came up with the mantra, Pray. Fight. Win. “We needed something to hold on to. We were praying for a miracle, and fighting to beat cancer, and we were fighting to win,” she said.

     Jacque has served as the school’s cafeteria manager for 18 years, following in her mother’s footsteps as cafeteria manager for 11 years. Jacque, her mother, and her daughter, Haley (a teacher at Duncan Chapel Elementary) live near the school and all attended Paris. Jacque’s mom graduated from the school in 1957, which at that time served students in first through twelfth grades.

  Jacque Holliday with female student
  Jacque Holliday is fighting to win.

     “When I was going through recovery, I would drive by the school and it would break my heart to know I wasn’t there with them. Who would open their milk and string cheese or tie their shoes?” she said. “The students sent me hundreds of cards and letters, and some even texted me. It made my recovery a lot more bearable.”

     Principal David Wise sings Jacque’s high praises. “With all that she has been through, she continues to have such a positive attitude.  She looks at the cafeteria as her cafeteria and the students as her children,” he said. “This is where she belongs and what she was made to do. The smile that is always on her face shines from the light inside.”

     Today, Jacque’s prognosis is very positive. She still goes for frequent blood work and steady visits to her oncologist. “I don’t know why I’m still here, but I know the Lord has something more for me to do,” she said with a grateful smile.




First-Year Teachers Survive First Semester!


We are following four first-year teachers and telling their stories throughout the year. We visited their classrooms again in January for a mid-year update. Read how they are adapting to the fast-paced world of being a teacher.


Lindsay Baber, PE Teacher at Travelers Rest High. Augusta Circle Kindergarten Teacher Leslie Deneen Patrick Preacher, 4K Teacher at Riley CDC Sevier Middle's Marion Reeves

“I was surprised at how on-task behavior increased with music. There was a new energy level that was brought into the PE environment. I had no idea that music could be such an inspiration for students,” said Lindsay Baber, PE Teacher at Travelers Rest High.

Watch Lindsay's Video

Augusta Circle Kindergarten Teacher Leslie Deneen has been overwhelmed with the support she’s received as a beginning teacher. “Parents have been so wonderful. The whole school has been so kind and it really blew me out of the water to be so accepted and cared for,” she said.

Watch Leslie's Video

“If I could do my first day over again, I would slow everything down and take a million more breaths,” said Patrick Preacher, 4K Teacher at Riley CDC. "They needed  a calmer day than I provided them."

Watch Patrick's Video

Sevier Middle's Marion Reeves said she had to learn that her Type A behavior is not always the best teaching style. “I’m very organized, and I like things planned to the minute. I had to let go and adjust when a plan didn’t work, like when the power goes out."


Watch Marion's video


Success On and Off the Field!


The South Carolina High School League and National Coaches Association for Track and Cross Country have recognized some outstanding staff members for their accomplishments.


Greer High Principal Marion Waters Travelers Rest High Athletic Director and PE Teacher Erin Keen Steve Frady, Mauldin High physics teacher and athletic director Riverside High Track and Cross Country Coach Eric Cummings
Greer High Principal Marion Waters has been named AAA Principal of the Year for Region 2 by the SC High School League. “I have seen first-hand the value and benefits of a school-based interscholastic athletics and activities program. Our community believes that participation in these programs is part of a student’s overall education,” he said. Travelers Rest High Athletic Director and PE Teacher Erin Keen has been recognized as Region 2 AAA Athletic Director of the Year by the SC High School League. Keen says one program that has been beneficial for TR High student athletes is Power Hour, an hour-long lunch period where students who need extra help can get tutoring.

Steve Frady, Mauldin High physics teacher and athletic director, has been named Region 2 AAAA Athletic Director of the Year by the SC High School League. “Our athletes have an average GPA that is a half-point higher than the student body as a whole. Studies show that when students are involved in activities they do better in school,” he said. 


Congratulations to Riverside High Track and Cross Country Coach Eric Cummings for being named the United States Track & Field-Cross Country Coaches Association Girls South Carolina Coach of the Year by the National Coaches Association for Track & Cross Country.


Cathie Storey Named SC Nurse Administrator of the Year

  Cathie Storey
  Nurse Cathie Storey

     Cathie Storey, GCS Coordinator of Health Services, has been named South Carolina Nurse Administrator of the Year by SCDHEC and the State Department of Education. Nurse Storey coordinates health services for more than 90 schools and supervises 150 school nurses who provide services to Greenville County Schools’ 76,000 students.  Under her leadership, the district has achieved the national average of one nurse for every 750 students. She played an integral role in securing a much-needed pay increase for nurses, and two years ago she hired four float nurses to help cover schools when nurses are absent. “Our nurses work in an environment that’s like an emergency room with no doctor,” she said. “That is why we look for someone who can react quickly and calmly in a serious situation.”





GCS Schools, Departments Recognized by United Way



United way logo


Thank you!

     Did you know that 68 schools, 10 departments, and the district were recognized by The United Way of Greenville County for increased participation in and contributions to the 2015 campaign? With more than $621,000 in donations, we are among the top five companies in Greenville County and are ranked number nine among the nation's 13,500 school districts for giving. Congratulations!


SC State Health System Benefits


New Options for State Health Plan Members. BlueCross BlueShield has expanded its health management programs to include coaching services in the areas of metabolic health, severe back pain, behavioral health, and other areas. You can find more information about the health management programs available to State Health Plan members online at http://www.peba.sc.gov/healthmanagement.html.

Tobacco Cessation Program for State Health Plan
Members. Did you know State Health Plan primary members can get nicotine gum and patches at no cost? For eligible members, there is also a $0 copayment for tobacco cessation medication filled at a participating network pharmacy. You can also call on your very own “Quit Coach” through the Quit for Life® Program to help you decide on a plan of action and boost your resolve when you’re feeling weak. Take the first step toward better health by calling your confidential quit coach today at no charge at 866.784.8454 (866.QUIT.4.LIFE). For more details about this benefit and other PEBA Perks, visit

Heart Health Information for State Health Plan Members. February is American Heart Month. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be a silent, symptomless killer. People can live with hypertension for years and not be aware that it is damaging their organs and blood vessels. The good news is that exercise, good nutrition, regular cholesterol checks, and regular blood pressure checks can help you reduce your risks for heart disease. If you’re struggling with high blood pressure, learn more about your heart health and get information on heart-related screenings by visiting www.StateSC.SouthCarolinaBlues.com.  Click on Health & Wellness, then Live Healthy, then check out the Live Healthy Archives. State Health Plan members can also get on-the-go health information sent to your mobile  phone through Member Messaging by dialing 844-284-5417.


Scholarship Golf Tournament Applications Available


Proceeds from Greenville County Schools’ 2015 Scholarship Golf Tournament will fund 2016-17 post-secondary scholarships for this year’s high school seniors attending GCS high schools and charter schools that participated in this school year’s tournament. Half of the scholarships are designated for children of permanent full- or part-time district employees. Both $1,500 and $900 scholarships will be awarded.  Applications must be completed and returned by Friday, March 4, 2016 to the student’s guidance counselor. Please click HERE (PDF format) for student eligibility guidelines and application.

Grants for Classrooms


Captain Planet Foundation. Grants of $2,500 are available for the purpose of engaging children in inquiry-based projects in the STEM field. Projects should use innovation, biomimicry/nature-based design, or new uses for technology to address community environmental issues. Applicant must create an online account to apply. To access the online application, click here. Deadline: March 15, 2016. Contact: Lisa Finley, Grant Writer, 355-3113.

Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants
. Grants of up to $4,000 are offered by Dollar General for literacy programs designed to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grants can be used to implement or expand literacy programs or purchase technology, equipment, books, materials or software to support literacy initiatives. The online application and grant criteria are available
here. Deadline: May 19, 2016.  Contact: Lisa Finley, Grant Writer, 355-3113.


Healthy Living Tips graphic

Healthy Living Tips  

You Are What You Diet. With your goal established, it is time to build a plan to eat better, lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. So what's the most important part of the plan? The most important part of it is the food. People powerfully overrate the impact of fitness and underrate the importance of the diet.

Make a Plan...and Be Realistic.
Once you've settled on the diet that's right for you, put together a meal plan revolving around that diet. Find recipes that you will not only enjoy, but ones that you will have time to prepare. Consider not only the ingredients in the recipes, making sure to find dishes that excite and appropriate calorie counts as well.


GCSD golden apple graphic

Golden Apple Rewards Discount Program

     GCS employees can use your school/district photo ID to receive discounts from local businesses through the Golden Apple Rewards Employee Discount Program and for free admittance to school-sponsored events. Discounts with local businesses are listed in the Employee Discount booklet that is distributed in January.  The booklet is also posted in the Employee section of the GCS website and is online at www.goldenapplerewards.com. Access discounts on the go from your Smartphone or tablet by visiting www.goldenapplerewards.com. If you want to stay informed about new businesses being added to the program, be sure to click "Subscribe for Updates" on the website.


Dates to Remember



College Financial Aid Workshops

 - Thursday, February 18 - 6:00 PM - Greer High

 - Thursday, February 25 - 6:00 PM - Travelers Rest High


Monday, February 29 - Leap Day



Sunday, March 13 - Daylight Savings Time Starts (Spring Forward)

Monday, March 28 - Friday, April 1 - Spring Break



Friday, April 22 and Monday, April 25 are makeup dates for the days missed in January.



Earn Extra Credit! Take the Greenville Federal Credit Union Quiz


"click here to submit your entry" graphic


Deadline: Friday, February 26


Take the Quiz for A Chance to Win!
Two names will be drawn for two tickets to Biltmore House or two Regal Cinemas movie tickets and a $25 gift card from Greenville Federal Credit Union. Please submit your entry only one time. The deadline to enter is Friday, February 26. 


December 2015 Winners


Martha Lindsey, School Secretary at Slater-Marietta Elementary, and Janet Sijon, School Nurse at Eastside High, were our lucky winners in December. Thank you for reading Enlighten and submitting your entry!

Question #1:

The deadline to submit an application for a GCS Scholarship Golf Scholarship is:

A) Friday, March 4

B) Saturday, March 5

C) Sunday, March 6


Question #2:

As part of Heart Health Month in February, BCBS members can get information on heart-related screenings by visiting:

A) Publix Supermarkets

B) Atlanta, Georgia

C) www.StateSC.SouthCarolinaBlues.com


Question #3:

Makeup dates for days missed in January are:

A) Friday, April 22

B) Monday, April 25

C) Both A and B


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