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Student Achievements

  • All-County Band - The SMS band program had a fabulous showing this fall for the All-County Band.  The following students earned a place in this band through audition: Sophie St James - 3rd chair flute, Kaileigh Brinkley - 7th chair flute, Ruby Sam Prosser - 2nd chair clarinet, Brooke Lindsey - 3rd chair clarinet, Chloe Simmons - 4th chair clarinet, Mia Burress - 5th chair clarinet, Nora Day - 7th chair clarinet, Hazael Carrera - 11th chair clarinet, Beca Barrios - 2nd chair bass clarinet, Brianna Thomason - 1st chair alto sax, Tyler Brown - 5th chair alto sax, Sam Gilmer - 1st chair tenor sax, Arwen Orren - 2nd chair trumpet, Dillon Wilson - 5th chair trumpet, Parker Glenn - 6th chair trumpet, Grace Henry - 8th chair trumpet, Elise Halbig - 2nd chair horn, Brandon Nixon - 2nd chair trombone, Christopher Duran - 1st chair baritone, Kamryn Speed - 2nd chair baritone, Anika Putman - 3rd chair baritone, Kaidence Hamm - 1st chair tuba, Shelby Orren - 3rd chair tuba, Elinor Owenby - 4th chair tuba, Brady Bowen - 1st chair percussion, Max Hill - 2nd chair percussion, Justin Rochester - 4th chair percussion, Landon Moseley - 5th chair percussion, Elliott Moulder - 6th chair percussion, Noelle Moore - 7th chair percussion, Luke Cannon - 8th chair percussion.
  • Region Band - SMS also had four students chosen for Region Band.  In order to be named to this select band, the students competed with hundreds of students from Oconee, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Pickens counties.  The SMS Region Band participants are: Hazael Carrera - 23rd chair clarinet, Brooke Lindsey - 1st alternate clarinet, Arwen Orren - 10th chair trumpet, Elise Halbig - 7th chair french horn.
  • All-State Band - Based on their All-Region auditions, several SMS students were called back for further auditions for All-State Band with Ruby Sam Prosser earning a spot as a seventh grader.  She was named 24th chair clarinet in the state.
  • Marching Band - Nine SMS students participated in the Seneca High School Marching Band this fall.  These students are: Gunnison Alexander, Meredith Carpenter, Nora Day, Kaitlyn Halliwell, Garrick Reeder, Shreya Santhanam, Kolby Scruggs, Bailey Walters, Molly Williams, and Rylee Williams.
  • Solo & Ensemble - Twenty-four students/groups received a Superior rating for their solo and/or ensemble performances with two earning an Excellent rating.  6th Grade: Lucy Puffer and JaKayla Graham - Excellent Rating, Thatcher Wittrock and Ian Brock - Superior Rating, Haylinn Whitesel - Superior Rating, Liv St James and Makayla Brewer - Superior Rating, Claire Lindsey - Superior Rating, Logan Neal, Wesley Underwood, and Thatcher Cadman - Superior Rating, Ava Nimmons - Superior Rating, Sidney Doyle - Superior Rating. 7th Grade: Elliott Moulder and Brady Bowen - Superior Rating, Hazael Carrera - Superior Rating, Shelby Cribb, Hannah Brinkley, Ruby Prosser - Superior Rating, Wesley Saylors, Jaden Morris, and Nathaniel Underwood - Superior Rating, Kendall Willis and Sydney Sorber - Superior Rating, Thomas Hanewald, Kamryn Speed, and Christopher Duran - Superior Rating, Paul Hainisch - Superior Rating, Anna Stodieck, Grace Cubias, and Maceo Grace Henry - Superior Rating, 8th Grade: Brianna Thomason - Superior Rating, Nora Day and Grace Nimmons - Excellent Rating, Arwen Orren, Sam Gilmer, and Shelby Orren (7th grade) - Superior Rating, Noelle Moore, Elizabeth Day, and Connor Sluder - Superior Rating, Parker Glenn - Superior Rating, Elise Halbig - Superior Rating, Brooke Lindsey - Superior Rating
  • SMS Symphonic Band
    Orlandofest- The SMS Symphonic Band travelled to Orlando in the spring to perform at this well-known festival. And did they ever perform! After performing before nationally renowned adjudicators, the Symphonic Band were awarded first place in their division.
  • SCBDA Outstanding Performance Award - based on several criteria, the Seneca Middle School band program earned this prestigious distinction for the fourth year in a row.
Biology Merit Exam
Being located in the upstate of South Carolina carries additional benefits aside from the beautiful scenery that surrounds us.  We are also located close to Clemson University and all of the enrichment opportunities available to our students.  One of these opportunities is the Biology Merit Exam.  This extremely difficult college-level exam is open to middle and high school students who have already or are already taking a biological science.  SMS traditionally takes promising science students to the university to participate in this exam each spring. 
This year in the middle school division, there were 504 students from all across the state who took the exam. Seneca Middle School had 256 7th and 8th grade students take on this difficult challenge.  We were pleased to have several students perform quite well.  Placing 3rd place overall was Liam Durham while Anna Brewer, Ella Grace Cody, Brooke Lindsey and Landen Pitts earned an Honorable Mention award based upon their high scores with Drake Denney and Ruby Sam Prosser earning a 2nd Honorable Mention award.

  • SC Music Educator's Conference - Our Honors Chorus earned a huge honor when they were selected by audition to present a concert at this concert in February 2018.
  • SMS Honors Chorus
    State Festival (Concert Performance Assessment) - This spring the school’s Honors Chorus performed at the state Concert Performance Assessment where they earned their customary Superior rating while competing in the Advanced Choir Division (the highest division available). Their high performance and sight-reading scores elevated their rating to Superior with Distinction and had them place second in the state overall with their sight-reading score placing first in the state.
  • Orlandofest - At this prestigious festival, not only did the SMS Honors Chorus earn first place in their division but also was named Overall Grand Champions.
  • SMS All-County Chorus participants
    All-County Chorus - SMS had 42 of its chorus students named to the 2017-2018 All-County Chorus.  They spent an entire day receiving instruction from a guest conductor followed by an impressive concert for the community.  This year's SMS participants were: Nadia Alexander, Amanda Blackwell, Luke Bleuel, Kirsten Brown, Payton Burkett, Blake Crawford, Mason Crenshaw, Drake Denney, Camille Ellenburg, Nicole Feagan, Elise Halbig, Kaidence Hamm, Marett Hart, Layne Herron, Jackson Lee, Madelyn LeRoy, Brooke Lindsey, Amy Long, Nick Mack, Austin Mauldin, Amari McCalope, Megan McConnell, Elliott Moulder, Grace Orrey, Mattie Padgett, Lenae Ridge, Precious Robinson, Edward Delane Rosemond, Corbin Shirley, Chloe Simmons, Olivia Sires, Taylor Sires, Connor Sluder, Emma Smith, Stella Smith, Sophie St. James, Aiden Sullivan, Olivia Tippett, Ryan Wallace, Nayelli Washington, Donovan Williams, and Tristan Wood.
  • All-State Chorus - In middle school, chorus students audition for All-State Chorus in the spring; however, the All-State Chorus clinic and concert so not occur until the following October.  Therefore, each year some students who qualified for All-State Chorus have moved on to the ninth grade at Seneca High School.  This year's All-State Chorus students are: Drake Denney, Madelyn LeRoy, Payton Burkett, Nicole Feagan, Corbin Shirley, Chloe Simmons, Connor Sluder and Sophie St. James.
  • Kaidence Hamm, Corbin Shirley, Sophie St. James and Drake Denney
    American Choral Directors Association Southern Region Honor Choirs - Five SMS students, following and audition process, were selected to two of the association's elite choirs.  
    Kaidence Hamm, Sophie St. James and Ansley Brock (currently a ninth grader at Seneca High School) were selected for the 7th-9th Grade Treble Honor Choir (Girls Choir). Drake Denney and Corbin Shirley were named to the 7th-9th Grade Boys Choir. They were among over 2000 students from 11 southern states (SC, NC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, VA, WV, TN, and KY) who auditioned for the choirs. Of those, only 260 girls were admitted to the Treble Choir and 140 students to the Boys Choir.
Duke TIP Scholars
Each year, select seventh grade students are invited by the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) to take either the SAT or ACT college entrance exam alongside high school juniors and seniors.  Based on their ACT or SAT scores, students may then be further recognized by Duke TIP at the State (scores that are approximately are approximately equal to the 50th national percentile rank for college-bound seniors) or Grand (scores that are approximately are approximately equal to the 50th national percentile rank for college-bound seniors) level.  Participation in Duke TIP also brings summer enrichment opportunities at various colleges and universities in the Southeast.  In 2017-2018 SMS had two students - Riley Schrader and Collin O'Donnell earn Grand Recognition with Luke Bleuel, Angie Diaz-Hernandez, Logan Dover, Brandon Nixon and Lillianna Taft earning State Recognition.  In addition, Joseph Crane, Hannah Durham, Madi Duvall, Grace Orrey, Mattie Padgett, Reese Robinson, Abigail Romero and Sydney Sorber qualified for summer study opportunities.

Essay Contests
Brianne Argo, Mrs. Stephanie Necessary and Ava Kelly
Atlantic Institute Essay Contest - Two SMS eighth grade students, Brianne Argo and Ava Kelly wrote essay contest submissions that placed in the top five in the state of South Carolina.  
The theme for this year’s contest was “Looking Past Stereotypes: Accepting Others in Today's World.” Argo wrote a fictional story and won 4th place in the state along with a $50 gift card. Kelly wrote a first-person narrative essay and won 1st place in the state. She was awarded a 7-day trip to Peru for her and her teacher, Mrs. Stephanie Necessary.

Scott Sullivan
Halloween Ghost Story Contest - Each year thousands of entries from all over the country and even from a variety of other nations are submitted for the Saugus.net Halloween Ghost Story Contest.  This year, first place was awarded to SMS eighth grader Scott Sullivan.  His story, “S.A.G.E.,” features a military unit tasked with guarding and escorting “supernatural anomalies” and may be read in full at

Honor Roll
Students earn a place on the Honor Roll by maintaining good grades.  We recognize three levels of performance - all As and Bs, All As and Principal's List.  Principal's List students are those who earned an average of 96 or higher in each class for that grading period.  The Principal's List students are also treated to a lunch with our principal at a local restaurant.
  • All-County Orchestra - The SMS Orchestra students once again performed well at the All-County auditions this year.  Twenty-three SMS students earned a place in this orchestra: Violin I - Luke Bleuel, Liam Durham, Camryn Bay, Elizabeth Sharpe, Veronica Cabanero, Kirsten Brown; Violin II - Nayelli Washington, Ruby Same Prosser, McKinley Parson, Savannah Grogan, Abby Romero, Nate Thorsland; Viola - Christopher Duran, Alexandria Winkler; Cello - Brandon Nixon, Scott Sullivan, Payton Burkett, Lyssi Jesmer, Alexis Beatriz; Bass - Sam Gilmer, Shelby Orren, Kylie Barton, Elinor Owenby.
  • Brandon Nixon, Liam Durham and Luke Bleuel
    All-Region Orchestra - SMS had three students earn a place in the Region 2 All-Region Orchestra based on their auditions. 
    Luke Bleuel placed 9th and Liam Durham placed 19th among violinists while Brandon Nixon placed 6th among cellists in the region.
  • All-State Orchestra - Earning a spot in the All-State Orchestra was Luke Bleuel.  He scored 9th overall and was named 9th chair 1st Violin in this elite group.
  • Solo & Ensemble - Twenty students received a Superior rating for their solo and/or ensemble performances. An additional two students earned an Excellent rating. Earning a Superior Rating were: Luke Bleuel, Leah Broome, Veronica Cabanero, Thatcher Cadman, Hunter Coonce, Dylan Donald, Liam Durham, Emily Edgemon, Riley Laye, Hannah Leach, Zoe Liedlich, Kara Lyle, Logan Neal, Brandon Nixon, Elinor Owenby, McKinley Parson, Frank Patton, Annalise Rogers, Nayelli Washington and Alexandria Winkler. Excellent Ratings were awarded to: Kamryn Speed and Christopher Duran.
Poster Contests
SMS Lions Club Peace Poster Contest Winners
Lions Club Peace Poster Contest - The Seneca chapter of the Lions Club graciously sponsors the local competition for the International Lions Club Peace Poster Contest each year.  They give monetary awards for the top places and then forward the 1st place winner to the regional phase of the contest.  This year the top places went to: 1st place - Katlynn Shepherd, 2nd place - Omari Mayfield, 3rd place - Megan Koehler, 4th place - Isaiah Earl.  The theme for this year's contest was "The Future of Peace."

  • Student of the Month - Each month the Seneca Rotary Club recognizes a student from each of the Seneca area schools who shows special effort and/or talent in academic achievements, demonstrates self-discipline, positive team/group concept, contributions in extra- curricular activities, respects and abides by school rules/policies, and models good citizenship through a positive attitude.  The SMS Rotary Students of the Month are:
 October - Walter Morris
November - Jessica Zenteno
 December - Heather Gibson
January - Ally Coutu
 February - Owen Pruitt
  • Rotary Scholars - Each May the Seneca Rotary Club recognizes and rewards the top five (sometimes more if there is a tie) academic achievers based on GPA in each grade level for that school year.  Not only are they given a luncheon in their honor but scholarship money is set aside for them for each year in middle and high school that they earn this highest of achievements.  Upon graduation from Seneca High school each Rotary Scholar is given a check for this accumulated amount which could total as much as $1500.00.  For the 2017-2018 school year the Rotary Scholars in each grade were: 6th grade - Sidney Doyle, Claire Lindsey, Cesar Vite, Turner Wilson and Thatcher Wittrock; 7th grade - Brady Bowen, Angie Diaz-Hernandez, Logan Dover, Megan McConnell and Brandon Nixon; and 8th grade - Michael Davis, Elise Halbig, Ava Kelly, Anika Putman and Scott Sullivan.
SC Junior Scholars
Each year, based on their standardized test scores, select eighth grade students are invited to take the PSAT test; the same test that high school sophomores and juniors take and is used to determine National Merit Scholars.  Based on their scores as eighth graders, however, these students may be named as SC Junior Scholars.  For the 2017-2018 school year SMS had 24 students score well enough to earn this distinction which also allowed them to receive summer academic opportunities from various colleges and universities throughout the state.  The 2017-2018 SMS Junior Scholars are: Alexis Beatriz, Kaileigh Brinkley, Mia Burress, Kaitlyn Cole, Michael Davis, Camille Ellenburg, Sam Gilmer, Brooklyn Haddad, Elise Halbig, Layne Herron, Max Hill, Jason Hudson, Ava Kelly, Brooke Lindsey, Shanda Lusk, Micah Machen, Samantha Moore, Arwen Orren, Anika Putman, Chloe Simmons, Connor Stewart, Scott Sullivan, Elijah Tipton, and Ryan Wallace.