"GP2W" stands for Great Place To Work. The four characters serve as a reminder in communication among our staff of the culture of our district. Each week through the school year, our website will feature an article on one of our schools, departments, or people explaining how they make SDPC a Great Place To Work!
by Cissy Floyd, Principal
Central Elementary School is Wild about Learning and Leading in every sense of the phrase! A rich heritage in history, culture, and tradition is alive and well within our school and the community we serve. Our vision at Central Elementary School can be characterized by the adage, "the whole is greater than the sum of our parts." I believe it is crucial for our parts to work in lockstep so the CES faculty and staff can provide the very best for our students.
As a Leader in Me school, we believe modeling the 7 Habits is paramount to the development of our future leaders of Pickens County and beyond. The concepts of teamwork, positive climate, academic achievement, and synergy is exemplified by our staff and students' commitment to the Covey model. Most importantly, we desire to build and maintain meaningful relationships with our students, their families, and our community. I am honored to have the opportunity to highlight the amazing people and their commitment that makes Central Elementary a great place to work!
Our staff has created a remarkable family-like, supportive culture for each other and their students. As our current Teacher of the Year, Donna Williams, reflects upon her teaching practice she speaks fondly of her students, "I love them and offer motherly love; tough love for some and acceptance and grace for all." Mrs. Williams' peers honored her with the award because of the time she takes to show each child that she cares. Mrs. Williams believes, "It is my first priority to create a positive relationship with each one of my students so that they feel loved, safe, respected, and valued in my classroom. A nurturing classroom environment is one that encourages students to take risks, ask questions, and to feel successful at the end of the day."
Central Elementary staff also honored Mrs. Lisa Keyes as our current Support Employee of the Year. Mrs. Keyes reciprocated her respect, "I love working with the people at Central. They are all willing to help anyone at any time with anything." She loves seeing that I did it or I get it now look on children's happy faces. "That makes all the long hours and challenging days worth it," Mrs. Keyes shares.
Project-Based Learning is taking off at Central Elementary this year in conjunction with our focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Our fifth grade team has literally taken down walls between their classrooms to create a fluid learning experience within a flexible learning environment for students.
At Central Elementary, we are honored to offer the only public Montessori Program in Pickens County. Our class consists of multi-age students (first through third grade) actively engaged in developmentally appropriate lessons that are driven by the students' natural curiosity to learn. Our Montessori classroom allows students to participate in project-based and research-based activities through a diverse collection of materials using manipulatives to guide students from concrete to abstract. Given the freedom and support to question, explore, research and to make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act independently—certainly making them 21st Century ready!
As a school community, Central Elementary School strives to empower students and staff to be leaders in the school and surrounding community. It is an honor to lead Central Elementary School into its next era of success. As we celebrate our past as a National Distinguished Title One School, we continue to seek excellence while serving as a model of innovation and excitement for teaching and learning. We are Central--a place where leadership is not only celebrated, but cultivated throughout each and every school day. We invite you to come and explore the place that we are proud to call our Great Place to Work.