Spartanburg, SC – (JUNE 3, 2020) – Upon his retirement as Superintendent of Spartanburg School District Seven, Dr. Russell W. Booker will begin two new influential roles within the Spartanburg community.
Dr. Booker is slated to become the Executive Director of the Spartanburg Academic Movement and, under his newly founded agency One Acorn, has been hired as the Diversity & Economic Inclusion (DEI) Consultant for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
In April 2019, Dr. Booker announced that he would retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and has spent the last year considering his next professional steps.
The Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Booker to the position of Executive Director upon the retirement of Dr. John Stockwell at the end of August. Dr. Booker will begin his new role on September 1, 2020.
“Russell serving in these capacities for Spartanburg is a perfect fit,” said Jennifer Evins, SAM’s Board Chair. “He is a person with knowledge, experience, and passion, but most of all, he’s a man with heart for this community. SAM and all of Spartanburg will benefit greatly from all he has to offer from these new leadership roles.”
In addition to his new leadership role with SAM, Dr. Booker and his wife, Sheryl, are launching One Acorn, an agency that helps organizations, individuals, and communities fulfill the “potential within” through enlightened, authentic, values-based leadership. One Acorn will launch later this summer to provide training for educational leaders, organizational management expertise, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, and customized speaking engagements – all centered on the importance of collective impact.
Beginning August 1, under One Acorn, Dr. Booker will lead diversity and economic inclusion efforts for the Spartanburg Chamber, implementing a diversity and economic inclusion strategic plan that is currently under development.
“We must do more to address our community’s economic disparities,” said Allen Smith, President & CEO of the Spartanburg Chamber. “Dr. Booker will drive bold DEI outcomes across the County."
As a nationally recognized leader, Dr. Booker is lauded for reaching across the community to advance creative and collaborative partnerships. His vast experiences in multiple settings have uniquely positioned him to help organizations and individuals realize their purpose and fulfill the potential within. Dr. Booker has served on the SAM Board of Directors since the organization’s inception eight years ago, providing incredible insight as the organization builds partnerships and initiatives to support cradle-to-career educational achievement using the StriveTogether model of community impact.
“I am excited to shift from a school-centric focus to a comprehensive people- and place-based focus,” said Booker. “I am especially eager to continue serving exceptional school districts and higher education institutions while engaging stakeholders to provide connections to our growing business and industry sectors. Just as an acorn contains a mighty oak, we believe that everyone holds powerful potential. We envision a unified community striving for a just society.”
Dr. Booker’s collaborations with both SAM and the Spartanburg Chamber represent a growing synergy for community advancement. With his wealth of experience and passion for equity, Dr. Booker believes in working collectively to remove divisive barriers and committing to a true inclusion agenda.
“As I enter this next phase of life, I do so with a great sense of appreciation, responsibility, and obligation to my hometown,” Booker said. “I feel blessed to be an essential part of these two associated efforts, and I look forward to the courageous work we will embark upon in the days ahead.”
About Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM)
The Spartanburg Academic Movement is a nonprofit organization and a community movement working to convene action partners in the effort to improve economic mobility across Spartanburg County, anchored in academic achievement. For more information visit www.learnwithsam.org.
About Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce
The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit organization supported through membership investment and strategic partnerships. Our mission is to enhance the economic vitality and lifestyle environment of Spartanburg County. For more information, visit www.spartanburgchamber.com
About One Acorn
Launching late summer 2020, One Acorn is an agency that helps organizations, individuals, and communities fulfill the potential within through enlightened, authentic, values-based leadership. Founded by Russell and Sheryl Booker, One Acorn provides training for educational leaders, organizational management expertise, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, and customized speaking engagements – all centered on the importance of collective impact. Just as an acorn contains a mighty oak, we believe that everyone holds powerful potential. For more information, visit: www.oneacorninspires.com
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