The JOURNEY to the new Vision for the Students of Pickens County

In the spirit of continuous improvement, in 2021-22, the district worked to refresh and rethink its foundation strategic planning elements: Core Values, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision Statements. We believe that the best strategic plans are grounded in the community's needs and priorities. Of equal importance is to ensure the district's goals and strategies align with what's happening system-wide in our classrooms and schools.

Engaging the entire community provided an excellent opportunity for members of our community to share their thoughts on what we do well and where we can grow, always focusing on our students' life long-journeys. Throughout the spring of 2022, a representative district-wide Vision Oversight Committee looked for stakeholder thoughts and suggestions as they navigated through this process.

The WHY...

Refresh 2022:

  1. Portions of our current Mission, Vision and Tagline have served the district well since circa 2007.

  2. This future-focused planning and community engagement effort that will define how SDPC should serve students in the future and the system-level alignment and changes needed to get there.

We are seeking to:

Inform & Engage

the district and community of SDPC’s Core educational Values, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision


SDPC and the community toward a common goal

Set Forth

the expectations of the teachers, students, administrators, parents, and community


the teaching methods and the approaches to learning


the curriculum, course offerings, assessments, and resources


system-wide alignment, accreditation, and reform efforts

Vision Oversight Committee

Sharon Huff

Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

Dr. Ashley Anderson-Murray

District Leadership Team (DLT)

Darian Byrd

Director of Communications and Pickens County Virtual Academy

Zachary Arms

SDPC 2021-22 District Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Dailey

SDPC 2021-22 District Support Employee of the Year

Danilo Arcinegas

Community Representative

Dr. Barbara Nesbitt


Char Burgner



Our Visioning: Community Engagement Series was designed to collaborate with and listen to all of Pickens County. SDPC offered several platforms, venues, and tools for staff and community input and engagement. There were opportunities for in-person conversations through:

  • 2 Area Town Hall Meetings

    • Thur. 4/14  5:30-7:00 PM - Pickens County Career and Technology Center (Focus - Core Values & Beliefs)

    • Mon. 5/2 5:30-7:00 PM - Pickens High School (Focus - Mission & Vision Statements)

  • 3 Area Community Conversation Sessions

    • Sat. 4/9 10 AM - 2 PM - Town of Central Car Show

    • Sat. 4/30 8 AM - 12 PM - Easley Farmers Market

    • Sat. 5/7 10 AM - 2 PM - Pickens Azalea Festival

  • Various student Lunch n' Learn sessions



Students, Parents, Community Members, and Staff SURVEY

To discover the community's attitudes, opinions, experiences, and needs for the future of students in Pickens County, the district invited students, parents, staff members, schools, community & business leaders, and other interested members of the public to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the process.

The web-based survey had one open-ended question and was promoted and available throughout April and May 2022.

QUESTION: If SDPC were building the district from scratch, what would be your TOP THREE priorities for students?


Community Survey Results

652 responses



As the School District of Pickens County (SDPC) is undergoing a refresh of its Core Values, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision Statements we asked the SDPC Staff to reflect on 5 specific areas to help shape our future vision.

The web-based survey with several open-ended questions was promoted and available throughout April and May 2022.


  1. Our Beliefs - What should be included in our Beliefs?

    • Some of the most successful teams and organizations thrive due to a strong belief statement and system. Something that communicates who they are and what they believe to be true about the world that then informs what they do.  A “we believe” statement tells people why you are doing it and that's critical to our success. 

  2. Core Values - What should be included in our Core Values?

    • Values refer to principles or standards of behavior; they detail what is important in how we behave and what we demonstrate with our character. 

    • These are the central ‘cultural cornerstones’ that frame how SDPC deals with our students, our employees, partnerships, and stakeholders.

      • Examples: loyalty, fairness, courage, compassion, respect, etc.

  3. Mission - What should be our Mission Statement?

    • Generally, a mission statement can be described as a statement that defines what the job of the school district is—its unique purpose and function.

    • A mission statement usually tells not only why the school district exists, but what it intends to accomplish and whom it serves. Mission statements define our purpose and our primary objectives. They are set in the present tense, and should explain why SDPC exists. Mission statements tend to be short, clear and powerful.

  4. Vision - What should be our Vision Statement?

    • A vision statement will also define our purpose, but it will focus on our goals and aspirations. These statements are designed to be uplifting and inspiring. They're also timeless.

  5. TAGLINE - What should be our Tagline?

    • A tagline is a memorable motto or phrase that's designed to serve as a permanent expression of the district’s greater purpose and mission.

    • Please share your thoughts/ideas regarding a tagline for SDPC.


SDPC Staff Survey Results

123 Responses (Individual, Grade-level, And School-wide)

  • Surfacing Priorities:

    • Career Readiness

    • High Achievement

    • Personal Responsibility

    • Responsible Citizenship

    • Providing A Welcoming, Happy, Safe, And Supportive Learning Environment

  • View FINAL SDPC Staff Survey Results

Recommendations Workshop

On May 12, 2022, the Vision Oversight Committee met to review all feedback and develop a proposal for adoption.

Recommendation Workshop

The final Core Values, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision Statements were proposed to the Superintendent, Senior Leadership Team, District Leadership Team, and Board and adopted by SDPC Board of Trustees at the May 18, 2022 Board Meeting.

NEW Core Values, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision Statements

Vision & Mission

Thank you for taking part in our future-focused, shared community vision for the future of Pickens County students.

Danny Merck, Ed.D.  

   SDPC Superintendent