"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 Tammy Day, Principal
East End Elementary is truly a great place to work! East End's origins began when families in the area saw the need for an elementary school and petitioned the Board of Trustees in the late 1940's for a local school for the neighborhood. The Board of Trustees then asked the families to conduct a survey of the families in the community. Mothers went door-to-door carrying their babies in their strollers as they polled the entire neighborhood to determine the need for a school. Their persistence resulted in East End Elementary School being built on the "east" side of town and the doors were opened to welcome students in 1950. Various additions and renovations have occurred over the years that now result in the wonderful school we all call home. It was families that began our story and the family that works and learns within the walls of East End each day that continue to give East End the feeling of home, love, care, and community.
One such story is of a young girl who was a transfer student to East End years ago as a fourth grader when her parents built a home "out in the country" in the East End attendance zone, resulting in the need for her to transfer to a new school. Her mother was expecting a child in what was considered at that time a very high-risk pregnancy that was not predicted to have a good outcome. This young family was at a very stressful time in their lives. The young girl left the school she had called home and began her time as a student at East End. The faculty of East End, led by Mr. B. B. McKelvey, principal, welcomed her with open arms. It wasn't long before that young girl and her family realized the "magic" that was in the walls of the school. The faculty immediately wrapped their arms around her and made her a part of the East End family. That year was Mr. McKelvey's last year to serve as principal and he was followed the next school year by Mr. Don Batson, who began his first year as principal serving East End Elementary.
The little girl was me. I will never forget the warmth and kindness that was given to me and my family. This outreach is one of the reasons I became an educator. It is a privilege to serve as the principal of the school that I loved so dearly as a child. My own children are now "graduates" of East End and are both students at Easley High School. They have received the same sense of family and outreach at East End, before I joined the East End team as principal. They received the same sense of family at Gettys Middle School and at Easley High. This story could be told over and over throughout the years at East End and throughout this school district. This is what makes the School District of Pickens County the best. The high risk pregnancy for my mother that I shared about earlier resulted in the healthiest baby of all for our family. She, too, is an educator in the School District of Pickens County at Gettys Middle School.
East End is steeped in history and traditions, but also a school that is committed to excellence. While, as a school family and team, we have achieved honors and recognitions, we continue to strive to help each and every child reach his or her full potential. Students arrive to our doors from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and our school team is committed to making their experience at East End the best possible. Our goal is to take them from where they are and help them show growth in their learning as they develop in becoming the very best that they can be.
Two of the many examples of the dedicated faculty members at East End Elementary are Mrs. Kitty Adams, our art teacher, who is our 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year, and Mrs. Tricia Wiles, 5K teaching assistant, who serves as our 2014-2015 Support Employee of the Year. Both of these dedicated team members care about our students and want the very best for them. We are honored to have them represent our school family.
I love quotes and share them often with our school family as we focus on what we do each day in making a difference in the lives of the precious children who enter our doors. One that I have in several forms posted in my office is "Love what you do, do what you love." Our East End team shows this love in all that they do and they do a phenomenal job each day. A.A. Milne shares a conversation between Pooh and Piglet.
"How do you spell love?" - Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh This love is felt by our precious and wonderful students each day from the EEE team.
Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." I love my school family more than words can express. They make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students. Our focus remains on our school's mission:
Excelling in Academics
Embracing the Community
Seeking Success for all Students
East End Elementary is a school that works as a team and has the heart of a family as we seek to serve the children each day. I am so thankful to have this opportunity of serving alongside some fantastic and phenomenal people. This year and the years to come are filled with challenges, but I know the East End team is doing their very best to meet the challenges. As I visit classrooms and see the work of the team at East End, I am thankful for all that I see happening to make a difference. We look back to our heritage and set our vision on the future for the children that are our focus and priority. East End Elementary is indeed a "Great Place To Work."