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The newsletter linked below has important information for next school year concerning student attendance, meals, dress code, and concerns about vaping in our schools. It also includes a link to registration dates for next year and information on summer meals. We encourage all of our families to read through the information provided. 


THE SDOC NEWS May 2022            THE SDOC NEWS May 2022 (Spanish)

Summer Meals for Oconee Kids

Free summer meals for kids

The School District of Oconee County will begin summer meals on Wednesday, June 1st.  Meals will be available Monday through Friday from June 1st through Friday, July 29th. No meals will be available July 4th - 8th due to the July 4th holiday. Meals are available to any child under the age of 18 that lives in Oconee County.  Children do not have to be students in the district to receive meals. All USDA program rules have been reinstated for this summer.  As a result, individual, daily meals will be available; meals will not be the once-a-week “grocery” style like students received last summer.

Please note that all original program rules have been reinstated by the USDA including the following requirements:

  • Children must be present to receive meals (No parent pick-up)

  • Meals must be eaten on-site

Summer Meals 

Monday - Friday, June 1st through July 29th (no meals July 4th - 8th)



12:00 - 1:00pm

Seneca Library

11:45am - 12:45pm

Walhalla Library

1:15 - 1:45pm

Salem Library

12:00 - 1:00pm

Westminster Rec Department

12:00 - 1:00pm

Westminster Library



USDA Nondiscrimination Statement In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by: mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture /Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights/1400 Independence Avenue, S/Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



Hand prints

4K Screening Date

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Call 864-718-5133 ASAP to schedule an appointment.

Families with children who will be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2022 are encouraged to schedule a 4K screening to determine if their child is eligible to attend an SDOC 4K program. Screening will be held on the following dates: 

All screenings held at Bountyland Education Center
100 Vocational Drive  Seneca, SC 29672

Families should bring the following items to the screening appointment: 

● Legal LONG form birth certificate 

● Child’s immunization record 

● Proof of income for both parents or child’s medicaid card 

● Proof of residency (must be a utility bill or rental agreement)

● Legal documentation as it pertains to the child (such as custody, court, safety plans, etc)

At its regularly scheduled board meeting held on May 16, 2022, the School District of Oconee County Board of Trustees approved the hiring of several new administrative positions.  Dr. Thorsland said, “We look forward to working with each of these individuals and are confident that they will serve our district well.”


Charlotte Kiker

Charlotte Kiker, who had been approved to join the Northside Elementary School administrative team as an assistant principal for the 2022-2023 school year, will instead transition to the role of principal. Mrs. Kiker attended Seneca area schools, including Northside. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Clemson University. Mrs. Kiker  has twelve years of experience in Oconee County as a teacher, reading coach, and assistant principal.  Charlotte lives in Oconee County with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Adam and Abram.   Mrs. Kiker said, “I am honored to be given the opportunity to rejoin the Northside Elementary family as principal! I am truly blessed to serve and give back to the school and community that has helped mold me into the educational leader that I am today. Seneca is a community unlike any other and I am thrilled to come back home!”


Mary Thrift

Mary Thrift, current principal of Matoaca Elementary in Chester, Virginia has been named principal of James M. Brown.  Mrs. Thrift, an upstate native, holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Southern Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree and certification in Educational Leadership from Longwood University. Mrs. Thrift was a classroom teacher and reading specialist for 15 years before spending the last 11 years in administration, nine of those as principal.  Mary is married to Scott and they have four children, Emily, Lara, Tom, and Blair.  Mrs. Thrift said, “Everyone that I have spoken with about James M. Brown Elementary has talked about the passionate and caring teachers, the vested community, and the hard working students.  I feel it is an honor and a privilege to join this staff and continue to provide an education that ‘empowers children to positively impact the world in which they live’.”


Shea Martin

Shea Martin, an upstate native and resident of Oconee County for the past 15 years, will transition from her current assistant principal position at Seneca Middle to the administrative team at Seneca High. Mrs. Martin holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University, Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from University of South Carolina and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. Before becoming an assistant principal, Mrs. Martin taught biology, chemistry and anatomy for nine years. Shea, and her husband Erik, reside in the Seneca area with their two daughters, Makenzie and Riley.  Mrs. Martin said “While I am grateful for the time I have spent at Seneca Middle School, having worked alongside a phenomenal faculty and staff, Seneca High was the first school I worked at when we moved to Oconee County and has always remained close to my heart. I am honored to be back with my SHS family to help carry on the Bobcat tradition!”


Ashley Ramirez

Ashley Ramirez, current assistant principal at Pickens High School, will join the administrative team at Walhalla High School.  Mrs. Ramirez is a Walhalla High graduate and was valedictorian of her class.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Mathematics Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Clemson University.  Mrs. Ramirez taught for 14 years, the vast majority of which was in Oconee County at Walhalla Middle and Seneca High, before moving to an administrative role in 2018. Ashley lives in the Walhalla community with her husband, Rich, and daughter Zoe. Mrs. Ramirez said, “It is exciting to come back home to the School District of Oconee County and to my alma mater, Walhalla High.  I look forward to joining the administrative team as we strive to continue the excellence that has been established and move forward in the future.”


At two previous meetings, the board also approved the following administrative positions.


Connor McCoy

Connor McCoy was named Director of Data Management. He has been employed with the district since 2018 serving as a technology intern, computer technician and junior systems engineer. Mr. McCoy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Clemson University and is currently pursuing an MBA with a focus on information technology management from Western Governors University. He was born, raised, and currently lives in Oconee County.  Mr. McCoy said, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue supporting our incredible SDOC faculty and staff in this position, as well as our students, parents, and community. Oconee County is my home and I’m resolute on providing our exceptional community with the most advantageous environment for inspiring lifelong learners.” 


Leigh Ann Thomas

Mrs. Leigh Ann Thomas will transition from the SC History classroom to assistant principal at Walhalla Middle School.  Mrs. Thomas was born and raised in Oconee County and is a Walhalla High School graduate. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies Education from Anderson University, a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Southern Wesleyan University, and is currently working toward her doctorate in Curriculum and Assessment through Southern Wesleyan University.  Mrs. Thomas has seventeen years of teaching experience, eight at Tamassee-Salem Middle & High School and nine at Walhalla Middle School.  “I am blessed by the opportunity to serve Walhalla Middle School as an assistant principal.  I appreciate the confidence of my school and district leadership in allowing me to transition to this role, and I am excited to work and serve alongside the amazing staff at our school.  As a product of Walhalla schools, I understand the importance placed on education in this community, and I hope to help continue this long standing tradition in my new role.” 

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Logo


FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit to Families

 Assistance of up to $50 a month to those who qualify



The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands). 

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;

  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 a

    t or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or

  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

There are three ways for eligible households to apply:

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.

  2. Go to to apply online and to find participating providers near you.

  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742