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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: Rylee Williams (1st chair flute), Shreya Santhanam (2nd chair flute), Jadiss Nicholson (4th chair flute), Ansley Brock (3rd chair clarinet), Briana Epps (7th chair clarinet), Brooke Lindsey (9th chair clarinet), Chloe Simmons (10th chair clarinet), Mia Burress (11th chair clarinet), Nora Day (13th chair clarinet), Sydney Moore (16th chair clarinet), Brianna Thomason (3rd chair alto saxophone)Sam Gilmer (2nd chair tenor saxophone), Meredith Carpenter (1st chair trumpet), Salihah Ragwar-Hayes (5th chair trumpet), Arwen Orren (6th chair trumpet), Devin Clay (7th chair trumpet), DJ Goodine (8th chair trumpet), Dillon Wilson (10th chair trumpet), Elise Halbig (2nd chair horn), DJ Sanford (2nd chair baritone), Anika Putman (3rd chair baritone), Bailey Walters (1st chair tuba), Kolby Scruggs (2nd chair tuba), Chris Blackwell (3rd chair tuba), Kaidence Hamm (5th chair tuba), Gregory Adams (1st chair percussion), Reagan Baird (2nd chair percussion), Justin Rochester (3rd chair percussion), Landon Moseley (4th chair percussion).
  • Region Band - SMS also had six 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: Rylee Williams (flute) - 8th Chair, Shreya Santhanam (flute) - 1st Alternate, Ansley Brock (clarinet) - 8th Alternate, Elise Halbig (horn) - 6th Chair, Kolby Scruggs (tuba) - 7th Chair, Gregory Adams (percussion) - 1st Chair.
  • All-State Band - Based on their All-Region auditions, several SMS students were called back for further auditions for All-State Band with two students making the cut - Rylee Williams (flute) - 3rd Alternate and Bailey Walters (tuba) - 7th Chair.
  • 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 received a Superior rating for their solo and/or ensemble performances with six earning perfect scores.  An additional 11 students earned an Excellent rating.  Those earning perfect scores and a Superior Rating were: Elliott Moulder, Brady Bowen, Jadiss Nicholson, Taylor Sheriff, Nora Day and Corbin Shirley.  Also earning a Superior Rating were: Ruby Prosser, Brooke Lindsey, Shreya Santhanam, Rylee Williams, Sophie St. James, Katelyn Peele, Elise Halbig, Noelle Moore, Brianna Thomason, Beca Barrios, Kaleigh Brinkley, Chloe Simmons, Elizabeth Day, Parker Glenn, Hannah Brinkley, Bailey Walters, Meredith Carpenter and Garrick Reeder.  Earning Excellent Ratings were: Justin Rochester, Landon Moseley, Shelby Orren, Arwen Orren, Mia Burress, Seth King, Crace Cubias, Christopher Duran, Brandon Nixon, Kamryn Speed and Shelby Cribb.
  • Nashville Heritage Festival - The SMS Symphonic Band travelled to Nashville in the spring to perform at this important festival. And did they ever perform! Not only did the group earn first place in their class (middle schools) with a Gold Rating, their scores were also high enough to earn the Adjudicator’s Award. However, their achievements didn’t stop there. They also earned the Outstanding Band Award by placing first among ALL band programs at the festival regardless of class including a sizable number of high schools.
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.  For the 2016-2017 school year, 155 Seneca Middle School students chose to participate.  We were pleased to have 2 students - Niti Saengsee and Walker Bowen - earn an Honorable Mention award based upon their high scores with another six students - Grayden Candler, Brynn Chatfield, Sterling Hamilton, Ethan Holland, Kosta Karageorgis and Hunter Matheson - earning a 2nd Honorable Mention award.

  • Carowinds Music Festival - This spring, 56 seventh and eighth grade chorus students represented SMS quite well by earning a Superior rating from all three judges.
  • 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.
  • State Festival (Concert Performance Assessment) - The school’s Honors Chorus performed at the state Concert Performance Assessment where they earned their customary Superior rating. This year, however, they scored so high as to earn a Superior with Distinction rating. This score also placed the group within the top five scores in the state including several specialized Performing Arts charter schools.
  • Nashville Heritage Festival - At this prestigious festival, not only did the SMS Honors Chorus earn first place in their class (middle schools) with a Gold rating, their score, an exceptionally high 97, also earned them the Adjudicator’s Award.
  • 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, as is usual, we had one of the largest contingents from across the entire state (fourth highest in the state) named to this exceptional group with nineteen students earning a spot.  This year's All-State Chorus students are: Makenzie Martin, Lauren Rochester, Chloe Simmons, Sophie St. James, Ansley Brock, Thomas Nation, Joanna Walden, Madelyn LeRoy, Nicole Feagan, Jazmine Hughes, Ann Marie Butler, Drake Denney, Chris Blackwell, Corbin Shirley, Devin Clay, Connor Sluder, Payton Burkett, and Gunnison Alexander.
  • National ACDA Middle School Honor Choir - This year, for the first time, the renowned Seneca Middle School chorus program had one student, eighth grader Sterling Hamilton, named to the National ACDA Middle School Honor Choir.  He is one of just 75 tenors nationwide and one of 300 middle school students overall to earn this honor through a rigorous audition process. 
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 or Grand level.  Participation in Duke TIP also brings summer enrichment opportunities at various colleges and universities in the Southeast.  In 2015-2015 SMS had 23 participants (Gregory Adams, Emmy Ali, Reagan Baird, Raiyna Bearden, Joseph Burgess, Gabriel Burnside, Ann Marie Butler, Bella Chitty, Beau Crocker, Emma Edwards, Kaitlyn Halliwell, Sterling Hamilton, Evan Hautala, Ryan Lee, Andre Moss, Thomas Nation, Luke Poole, Jackson Raymark, Garrick Reeder, Shreya Santhanam, Bailey Walters, Craig White, Kahlil Wright) with 11 (Emmy Ali, Ann Marie Butler, Bella Chitty, Kaitlyn Halliwell, Sterling Hamilton, Andre Moss, Thomas Nation, Luke Poole, Garrick Reeder, Bailey Walters, Craig White) qualifying for SC State Recognition and one (Garrick Reeder) receiving Grand Recognition.

Essay Contests
  • Patriot's Pen Essay Contest - Eighth grader Holly Whaley won first place in the VFW post level Patriot's Pen Essay Contest. 
    This annual contest gives students the opportunity to write an essay expressing their views on a patriotic theme. This year's topic was "The American I Believe In...." Holly's winning essay, in which she declares the America she believes in is inspiring, will now proceed to the district level competition. From there, her essay could continue on to the national contest. The national winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.
  • Atlantic Institute Essay Contest - Two SMS eighth grade students, Gunnison Alexander and Zach Shaw recently learned that their essay contest submissions are among the top ten in the state of South Carolina.  
    The theme for this year’s contest was “Compassion in Action … Caring Matters.” Zach Shaw placed ninth and wrote his essay about world peace from the point of view of a war horse in WWI while Gunnison Alexander wrote her piece from the point of view of a shoe box regarding the program Operation Christmas Child and earned seventh place in the state.
Governor's School for the Arts Summer Program
Each spring artistically talented eighth graders may audition to earn a coveted place in the Summer Discovery program at the Governor's School in Greenville.  This year SMS had four eighth graders accepted into this prestigious program:
  • Ann Marie Butler - Creative Writing
  • Rylee Williams - Music (flute)
  • Gregory Adams - Music (percussion)
  • Lauren Bleuel - Music (violin)
Honor Roll
2nd Quarter Principal's List students
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 dominated the All-County auditions this year.  Twenty-seven SMS students earned a place in this orchestra:
    Luke Bleuel, Brandon Nixon, Kylie Barton, Kirsten Brown, Payton Burkett, Veronica Cabanero, Sydney Cathcart, Liam Durham, Sam Gilmer, Ethan Holland, McKinley Parson, Mackenzie Price, Justin Rochester, Aiden Sullivan, Gregory Adams, Lauren Bleuel, Rebekka Byrd-Martin, Briana Epps, Jahzuby Fajardo, Kira Hamm, Alex Harth, Tim Hipskind, Jazmine Hughes, Moises Martinez, Lydia Nunnelley, Salihah Ragwar Hayes, Yaminah Ragwar Hayes.
  • All-Region Orchestra - SMS had two students, siblings Lauren and Luke Bleuel, earn a place in the Region 2 All-Region Orchestra based on their auditions.  They earned fourth and tenth chair violin, respectively.
  • All-State Orchestra - Earning a spot in the All-Region Orchestra qualified Luke and Lauren Bleuel to also audition for the All-State Orchestra and both were named to this most prestigious group as well.
  • Carolina Youth Symphony Repertory Orchestra - Luke Bleuel earned further distinction when he was named as Concertmaster (first chair violin) to this renowned youth orchestra based in Greenville.
  • Solo & Ensemble - Fourteen students received a Superior rating for their solo and/or ensemble performances.  An additional four students earned an Excellent rating.  Earning a Superior Rating were: Nate Thorsland, Chris Duran, Elyssia Jesmer, Shelby Orren, Luke Bleuel, Brandon Nixon, Alexandria Winkler, Savannah Grogan, Hannah Leach, Kirsten Brown, Nayelli Washington, Veronica Cabanero, Liam Durham and Dylan Donald.  Excellent Ratings were awarded to: Ruby Prosser, Elinor Owenby, Payton Burkett and Kira Hamm.
Poster Contests
  • Bullying Prevention - Sixth grader Emma McDonald won third place in this SDOC sponsored contest.
  • 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 - Nadia Sanchez, 2nd place - Christian Hordan, 3rd place - Avery Raines, 4th place - Skyla Burns, Honorable Mention - Jessica Zenteno.
  • 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 2016-2017 school year the Rotary Scholars in each grade were: 6th grade - Brady Bowen, Logan Dover, Adyson Stinnett, Megan McConnell, and Madeline Kanagy ; 7th grade - Michael Davis, Brooke Lindsey, Ethan Holland, Anika Putman, and Layne Herron; and 8th grade - Gregory Adams, Bella Chitty, Ann Marie Butler, Mary Brooks Wilson, Gunnison Alexander, and Ansley Brock.
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 2016-2017 school year SMS had 26 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.