Patriot Points

Powdersville Middle School - Fall Newsletter - 2021

Principal's Corner

Todd Binnicker, Principal

Welcome to our 2021-2022 school year! We had a great opening. I want to thank you for taking care of the online registration requirements before the start of school and taking the time to attend our Open House. Attendance at our Open House on August 11 and 12 was outstanding. This shows how involved our parents are in the education process. I also want to thank all of you for your patience as we continue to improve on our dismissal process and bus transportation issues.

Powdersville Middle School (PVMS) will continue to focus on providing rigorous academics and building positive relationships as we strive to prepare all students for the challenging academic and career/technical courses in high school. PVMS is committed to continuing the ASD1 tradition of excellence by providing world class knowledge, skills, and life characteristics based on the individual needs of each student.

Every five years our school and district are evaluated through an accreditation process. This accreditation process is known as Cognia and it holds us accountable for improvement and for having a growth mindset for our school and district. It gives us the opportunity to ask: "How are we going to improve all aspects of our work to better serve our students tomorrow than we did today?" All stakeholders in the educational process are asked to provide information via surveys. If you have not already taken this survey, please click on the link below. This is a short parent survey and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your valuable input!

Lastly, I am honored to be your middle school principal. If I can ever do anything to make your child’s learning experience better, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working with each of you and wish you a wonderful school year.

Teacher of the Year - Lee Carter

I am truly honored to be selected as the Powdersville Middle School Teacher of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year! I grew up in Georgia, received my bachelor’s degree and masters’ degree from the University of Georgia, and then taught my first four years in Georgia before moving to South Carolina. After marrying my wife Paige and moving to the Upstate, I started teaching at Powdersville Middle nine years ago. At different times, I have taught 7th grade Math and Social Studies, and will be back working with math in an intervention role for the next two years. Paige and I have four kids, who will be entering 10th, 6th, 4th, and 3rd grades this year. Outside of school, I enjoy gathering with my church, playing sports (including disc golf, volleyball, and pickleball most recently), working out at the Y, reading books, and drinking lots of coffee. As teacher of the year, I’m hoping to be involved in conversations about what we can continue to do as a school and school district to improve the educational experience and quality for all of our students!

Support Staff of the Year - Officer Shanika Simpson

Hey there friends! My name is Shanika Simpson and it is an absolute honor to be this year's Support Staff of the Year! When I graduated from Anderson University in 2008, I knew right away that I wanted to work with children. Upon becoming Powdersville Middle School's Resource Officer, in 2010, it has been a dream come true to build the rapport and respect that I have with the many students I've had the pleasure of serving. Outside of my role here at the school, I am the proud mother of two amazing kiddos. My daughter (AydenJoy) is 9 and will be attending Powdersville Elementary School and my son (Amir) is 3 and attends a local in-home daycare. I have several hobbies that include running, working out in the gym, and traveling, but the one thing that brings me the most joy is spending time with my family...especially the children. I get to share a lot of this joy with my twin sister (Takeesha) and three adventurous nieces and nephew. As Support Staff of the Year, it is my sincerest hope that I am able to use this role as a means of strengthening the bonds between community and school. I intend on doing this by continuing to build strong relationships with students, parents, faculty, and community members. This Powdersville family is one that I cherish and I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and HILARIOUS school year!

What's New

The 2021-22 school year has several changes from the past year:

School Time – 8:25 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.

Pick-Up - Students not riding a bus home are expected to be picked up in a timely manner. Dismissal is at 3:25 p.m. For safety concerns, all car riders are to be picked up in the car circle area. Students should never cross traffic lanes without the parent being present to walk with them. Adult supervision is provided daily until 4:00 p.m. We do realize that, on occasion, parents may be delayed due to heavy traffic, car trouble, or some other unforeseen circumstance. However, this situation should be the exception and not the rule. Middle school student are not permitted to walk over to the elementary school at dismissal. In the afternoon, parents/guardians will need to pick up each student separately using Hood Road for the elementary school student and the Roe Road entrance for the middle school student.

We request that parents/guardians do NOT sign students out of school after 2:45 p.m., unless absolutely necessary.

Drop-Off - Students arriving to school by car are to be dropped off curbside in the car circle area (Roe Road Entrance) as early as 7:20 a.m. For safety reasons, students should not get out of the car and walk across the parking lot or through the line of cars. Additionally, drop off in the parking lot in front of the school and the bus loop (Hood Rd., Driveway B) is not permitted. Drop-off for parents/guardians with students attending both Powdersville Elementary School and Powdersville Middle School have two choices. Middle school students may be dropped off at Powdersville Elementary and they walk across to the Powdersville Middle School bus entrance or parents may use the Roe road car entrance to drop off their middle schooler..

All other changes regarding dress code, cell phone use, attendance, student conduct, etc. can be found in the 2021-2022 Parent Handbook which can be accessed via the link below, our web page or you may get a hard copy from our front office.

Need Help with Technology?

Please call and leave a voicemail at 864-428-9050.

Quarantined - Now What?

Virtual Learning - Students who are quarantined at home due to testing positive for COVID or who are close contacts will need to access their Google Classrooms during their absence to complete assignments. WebEx is no longer an option. Each quarantined student will be assigned a success coach who will contact the student/parent multiple times during the quarantine period and will be a liaison with the student's teachers. Once the student returns to school the success coach will develop a plan of action based on the student's needs to ensure the learning of the missed standards.

Please make sure you have completed your online registration which provides us with your current contact information (phone numbers and emails) and have activated your Parent Portal account.

PVMS School Counselors

The PVMS School Counseling Department has grown! Mrs. Susan Hosea, who previously was split between us and PVES, is now with us full-time. The counselors have redistributed their caseload: Mrs. Merritt (right) works with students with last names A-G. Mrs. Hosea (left) works with students with last names H-O, and Mrs. Padgett (center) works with students with last names P-Z.

Who's New

This year we welcome eleven new members to Powdersville Middle School. All of our new faculty and staff are hard at work and are excited about being a part of our school family. We are excited as well about having such outstanding and talented individuals join our faculty and staff!

Jen Anderson - 6th Grade Science

After substituting and student teaching in the district for the last two years, I am thrilled to be a part of the 6th grade team at PVMS as a science teacher! I recently went back to school and graduated with my master’s degree in teaching. Previously, I worked in Kentucky as a math interventionist and classroom teacher.

Our family moved here when my husband joined the staff at Clemson, and we like this area a lot. Our three daughters Abi (17), Sophia (12), and Josie (10) attend the Powdersville schools and keep us busy! In my free time, I like to play board games, travel, and try new recipes. I can’t wait to get to know the students at PVMS!

Lisa Bondy- 7th Grade World Geography

I am very excited to be teaching 7th grade World Geography at Powdersville Middle this year. I earned my M.Ed. from Clemson and this is my twelfth year teaching middle school. My experience includes writing Social Studies curriculum for our state department, and I am currently serving on the Social Studies textbook selection panel for the state. My goal for every class period is for students to think and learn as much as possible so that they can become productive members of society.

I am blessed to have a daughter, Emma (23), and a son, Will (22). My hobbies are reading and exercise. I am looking forward to serving the students and families of Powdersville Middle and a wonderful school year!

Rita Clardy - Custodian

My name is Rita Clardy and I grew up in Greenville SC. My husband is Keith Clardy and we've lived in the Powdersville area for 21 years. I have two daughters and a step son, with 5 grandkids. My grandchildren are all BOYS ages 18-20 years old. I love to cook for my family on the weekends and enjoy family time around the table. My hobbies are working in my flower garden and doing home renovations. I previously left my job of 32 years and started with ASD1 a month ago. The first substitute custodian job was with Powdersville Middle School and you all welcomed me with open arms. I prefer to only work at this school, and am so thankful for the full time opportunity. For the first time in many years, I love my job. I enjoy coming to work to smiling faces. Thank you all.

Mary Clater - 6th Grade Math Resource

Hi! My name is Mary Clater. I'm excited to be joining PVMS this year teaching 6th grade math. I've been teaching at the middle school level for the past 13 years, and I love working with students at this stage of their lives. My husband, Bill (who teaches Calculus at Wren High School), and I grew up in the state of Maine, but we have lived here in the Upstate for most of our adult lives. Our two sons, Andrew and Stephen, are college-age and above with interests in theater. When I'm not teaching, I enjoy getting outdoors hiking, kayaking, and spending time with my family.

Starr Gillespie - 6th Grade ELA

I have been teaching for 22 years and this is my first year at Powdersville Middle School. I am so excited to be here. I have been trying for several years and I finally made it. I love reading and want to share that with my students. I love to cook and garden. I collect stars and starfish. I have three children and two grandchildren. This is going to be the best year ever as a PVMS family member.

Amber Govera - ELA Interventionist

Hello, my name is Amber Govero, and I am so excited to be teaching reading intervention at Powdersville Middle School this year. I grew up in Orlando, Florida but moved to South Carolina my freshman year of high school, where I attended Wren High School. Upon graduation, I attended Anderson University and majored in Theology. After graduation, I spent several years working in youth ministry with my husband and realized that I really enjoyed working with middle school students. I attended Clemson University and received a Masters of Arts in Teaching Middle Level English. I then worked at Wren Middle for three years until my daughter was born. I’ve spent the past year and a half at home raising my daughter. While my time at home has been invaluable, I have missed the classroom and am eager to begin this school year. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, reading, anything outdoors, and spending time with my husband, Gage , and my daughter, Ava.

Adriane Lynn - Special Education

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be joining the Powdersville Middle School family this year! I graduated from Clemson in 2017 with a degree in Recreational Therapy and worked at a psychiatric hospital for three years. I have been a Special Education assistant for the last two years while working on my Master’s in Special Education at Francis Marion University and will be graduating in December! My husband and I will be celebrating our 3-year anniversary in October, and we have a golden retriever named Rosie. I love to spend time at the lake with my family and go to Clemson football games. I really enjoy cooking and baking as well! I’m looking forward to a great school year at Powdersville Middle!

Jane Mann - ISS Supervisor

I grew up in Pickens County, graduated from Clemson University and currently live in Clemson with my precious rescue dog, Paddington (Paddy). Most of my family lives in Australia so I travel there as often as possible, and I’m looking forward to post-Covid travel again. Traveling and reading are my hobbies.

As a child, I always wanted to be a teacher. I worked for the School District of Pickens County as a teacher and Guidance Counselor for 30 years. I then transferred to Spearman Elementary School as Guidance Counselor before retiring. I am excited to be at PVMS working with children again, (and with familiar faces) and I am looking forward to an amazing year.

Interesting fact: I am a certified scuba diver and have been diving in Australia, Vanuatu, Turks and Caicos and Mexico.

Abby Pace - 8th Grade ELA/Honors Teacher

Hi! I am Ms. Pace and I am so excited to be teaching English 1H and 8th grade ELA this year! I graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Secondary English Education. I am originally from Dacusville, South Carolina and I currently live in Greenville. Outside of school I love to go to my little sisters volleyball games and to also swing by my mom’s house to spend time with my dog, Jelly. I am ecstatic to be at PVMS because I do not think there is a better place to be!

Lynn Rogers - Special Education Aide

I was born and raised in Greenville. I graduated from Clemson University in 1989. Prior to last year, I lived in Lexington, SC for 15 years and worked in Lexington School District One at Meadow Glen Middle School. I got married in May 2020 and relocated to Easley with my husband, Dixon. We have 5 children - Clay ( serving in the U.S. Army), Maddie ( works for Phresia), Austin ( senior at Coastal Carolina), Ella (junior at Winthrop), and Jed ( freshman at PVHS). I enjoy Clemson football, running, reading, and boating, and spending time with family and friends. My favorite place is the beach! I was a substitute last year at PVMS and enjoyed getting to know the faculty and students. I am excited to be a full-time member of the PVMS family and look forward to a great year! Go Patriots!

Kathleen Smith - ESOL Teacher

Hi! My name is Mrs. Kathleen Smith. I will dedicate myself to the PVMS students and create a positive learning environment that I hope will inspire the children to reach their greatest academic potential.

I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, Bob, two amazing sons, Keegan and Nolan, and Keegan’s incredible wife, Grace. We also have a Double Doodle dog, Blarney, who makes us laugh and smile all the time. I love to visit family and friends, travel, hike, swim or just relax by reading or watching movies.

It was my dream as a child to become a teacher. I have my Bachelor of Arts in three areas: Social Science Education (7-12), Elementary Education (N-6) and Political Science and also a minor in music. I also hold my Master of Arts Degree in Social Studies Education from Albany State University. I am certified to teach in three different areas: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Social Studies Education. This year, I am expanding my teaching career as an ESOL/ML teacher.

I am so excited to be an ESOL/ML teacher, work with such a dedicated team of professionals and be a part of the wonderful learning environment here at Powdersville Middle School!

Travis Watkins - Computer Science Teacher

Hey! My name is Travis Watkins, and I am excited to join the Powdersville Middle School family this year. A little about myself - I grew up in a town called Marion, North Carolina and attended McDowell High School. My passions growing up were always football and baseball. My senior year I received a baseball scholarship to play catcher at Lenior Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. Later on, I transferred and received my Bachelor's Degree in Business from Appalachian State University, the team/school who took down the mighty Michigan Wolverines and might go down as the greatest football upset of all time.

I worked in the sales industry for many years before following my passion for teaching. I am a graduate of the SC Pace Program whereby I received my professional teaching certificate in Business & Technology. I taught at Mauldin High School for the last four years and was a club advisor for a business program called DECA. We traveled and competed in business competitions throughout South Carolina, as well as national competitions. I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to teach and advise students who are now chasing their business aspirations at the collegiate level, including Harvard Business School.

I am a husband to Erin and parent to two wonderful kids: Brody (12) and Landry (4). Brody is a rising 7th grader here at Powdersville Middle School.

It has been a blessing to get to know wonderful people in our Powdersville community, and I look forward to meeting and becoming colleagues with all of you. I will be working with Mr. Jay Bagwell in the computing department.

iPad Protection Plan

If you have not paid the $29 fee for the iPad Protection Plan please do so as soon as possible. This fee is required by the district. Until payment is made, if your student's iPad is lost, stolen, or breaks, you will be responsible for the full amount of the cost for repair and/or replacement.

Free Meals Exception

School breakfast and lunches will be provided at no charge this year. However, there will be a la carte items for purchasing. The student will not be allowed to purchase these a la carte items, snacks, ice cream, drinks, etc. if they owe more than $20. Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. You can view your student's account and make online payments at: .

Parent-Teacher-Student Organization

Please support the Powdersville Middle School PTSO today by joining our PTSO membership! The cost is $10.00 which goes towards programs for the students, teacher and staff appreciation and much more!

Your membership alone will give us a BIGGER voice in our school and community! Budget, programs, school events & volunteer opportunities will be discussed at meetings (attendance is not mandatory).

We would love for you to join us at our next meeting and see all the awesome things PVMS PTSO has to offer and will be doing throughout the year 2021-2022!

Vaccination Deadline

Any 7th grade students who have not turned in their proof of Tdap immunization need to get a copy to the nurse as soon as possible. September 17 is the deadline to have the vaccine forms turned in to avoid school exclusion. In other words, your child cannot attend school after September 17 if this requirement has not been met. Any absences incurred due to lack of vaccine proof will be unexcused. Please do not wait, call your doctor or the local health department to make an appointment. The vaccine can also be obtained at most quick care facilities, like MD 360 or CVS minute clinic.

- Mrs. Pence, School Nurse


Megan Cole, Yearbook Manager

Yearbook sales have begun. Yearbooks can be purchased online through a link on our website or you can bring cash or a check made payable to PVMS to the school office or Mrs. Cole. If you want to personalize your yearbook, you must order it through the Josten's website. The link is on our PVMS website.

The early-bird purchase price for this full color, 90+ page yearbook is $40 through September 17, 2021. On September 18, 2021, the price increases to $45. Yearbooks ordered after December 30, 2021 will cost $50. The final day to purchase your yearbook is April 24, 2022. After this date, yearbooks will only be available for purchase if there are extra ones, on a first-come-first-serve basis, and they will cost $50, cash only.

The final day to submit 8th grade ads is also February 4, 2022.


Our School Improvement Council (SIC) is composed of parents elected by parents who have students enrolled, teachers elected by the faculty, appointed community residents, and students elected by the student body. This council meets periodically during the school year to address the school’s progress in meeting various goals and objectives. If you would like to be a member of the 2020-2021 PVMS SIC, please email Mrs. Tina Dayberry at

Project Lead The Way

We’re excited and privileged to have been recognized as a 2020-21 PLTW Distinguished Gateway School. Only 158 PLTW Gateway programs across the country earned this status. This recognition is based on our commitment to helping students own their education by increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in our PLTW Gateway program.

Gift Cards for Field Trips!

We anticipate being able to offer field trips this year! PVMS offers the opportunity to purchase gift cards as a great way to earn credit for your child’s school field trips and to help PVMS reach its goals for school improvement! Every gift card you purchase gives you 100% of the purchase value in addition to a designated credit percentage (80% of profit) towards your child’s trip and a designated percentage (20% of profit) towards the school's improvement goals. This program has paid the entire field trip cost for many of our students and their parents in past years. Consistency is the key! Don’t buy gas without gift cards! Ingles and WalMart/Sam’s Club give discounts on gas if you buy with gift cards! Don’t buy groceries, eat out, or go to the movies without gift cards! Don’t buy birthday, wedding, or shower gifts without gift cards! Don’t do home improvements or purchase appliances without gift cards! Definitely don’t go shopping without gift cards! Encourage relatives, neighbors, and co-workers to order gift cards in your child’s name.

There are many gift cards available through our online ordering. To get started, go to Our group ID is 864269PMS. It is best to use your child’s name when you register as a new user.

  • We typically place our school order for gift cards on Wednesday morning. In most cases, gift cards will be ready for pick-up (or to give your child) by Thursday afternoon of each week.

  • We are not able to accept postdated checks.

  • A record is kept of your child’s credit through our online software. A record of your credit may be requested through e-mail (

  • We are not able to exchange gift cards after they have been picked up or sent home by your child. Please check your written or online order carefully before submitting. If we make a mistake in filling your order, we will be glad to make the necessary correction. We keep order forms on file for verification.

  • Plan ahead for what you will need for holidays. Filling orders the week before holidays is very challenging and availability is not guaranteed. Order early to ensure that you get what you need!

School Picture Day is September 15, 2021

Mark your calendar for our Fall picture day on September 15, 2021. Additional information will be sent closer to the picture date.

Powdersville Middle School Calendar

Please click on this link below for our calendar. It includes our academic schedule, club meetings, sports events, and more. We suggest bookmarking this link and refer to it often throughout the year.