A Message from Mr. Webster

  • Mr. Webster


    I am so proud of what Drayton Mills Elementary School (DMES) accomplished in its opening year, joining the communities of two schools into one thriving new community! Last year saw our first PBLs (project based learning) in partnership with the Buck Institute for Education. Every teacher got trained in PBL 101, and our children engaged in high interest, relevant learning. We had amazing attendance at school events, and our PTO had a fantastic year. The Covey Institute worked with students, parents, community, and faculty to create our mission and vision.


    During the 2019-2020 school year, we look forward to continuing to define who we are and continuing our young effort to offer an exceptional education to our community. Something that I am particularly looking forward to is seeing us become, as our new vision says “a community of empowered leaders and goal achievers striving for their personal best in academic achievement and life success.”


    This year, we are going to work towards that vision by focusing on reading, and we have a goal of every DMES child reading on grade level. It’s going to take all of us to make it happen, and I know that we can do it. Truly, we cannot afford not to do it. Children who read on grade level get higher grades and standardized test scores, are more likely to graduate high school, more likely to get a two- or four-year college degree, and typically make higher salaries than their non-reading peers. This is life changing work, and we look forward to teaming up with you to take it on!


    This website details the many facets of DMES. By selecting “Our Story,” for instance, you can learn about the making of this school and its unique features. “Areas of Focus” describes two approaches that characterize DMES, Project Based Learning and Responsive Classroom, and the “I am” feature allows you to select areas that may be of interest to you as a parent or student. As with anything related to our school, you are welcome to contact us by calling (864) 586-7979 or by emailing me at twebster@spart7.org. We also maintain an active Facebook page and will communicate widely and regularly.


    A 1990 Spartanburg High School graduate, I am proud to serve in the district that “raised me.” I student taught at Jesse Boyd Elementary School and began my teaching career as a fourth-grade teacher in North Charleston. In 1999, I was hired as a fifth-grade teacher in a neighboring school district, earned my National Board certification and was selected as District Teacher of the Year. I worked as a school level science coach before becoming Director of Science Education for the district. As principal of Jesse Bobo Elementary School, I partnered with faculty to earn the first Palmetto Gold in the school’s history and become the nation’s first LEGO Education Model School. It is my great privilege to now be a part of this community in crafting an extraordinary school for our children.



    Thomas Webster

    Principal, Drayton Mills Elementary School