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D7 Shines Spotlight on Carver Curriculum Coordinator
Carver Middle has had a run of success for outstanding progress and achievement - continually increasing its Report Card rating since 2018, advancing three categories to earn its highest rating of “Good” this year. So it seemed only fitting when considering our “I Belong in 7” story series to shine the spotlight on Jill Brock, Carver Middle's curriculum coach and AVID coordinator.
There’s a word that comes up often when talking with Jill Brock about why she loves her job:
As Carver Middle School’s curriculum coach and AVID coordinator, Jill has a fierce devotion to her Wildcats – and they know it. Her job, put simply, is to help teachers and students succeed. The walls of her office are covered with data points tracking academic growth across the student population. She makes sure students understand where they are, helps them set goals that are achievable, encourages them to believe in their abilities, and coaches the faculty to reinforce this culture so that a growth mindset is the defining characteristic of Carver Middle School.
“Every child in Spartanburg deserves an opportunity to obtain a quality education. I am thankful God placed me on Carver’s team to play a small role in helping others in the community ‘Love Where They Live’ by ensuring students in the City of Spartanburg grow and succeed. I BELIEVE in our students and staff, and I LOVE where I work.”
You would never imagine, upon meeting this 25-year veteran of D7, that although Jill Brock grew up in Spartanburg, she knew absolutely nothing about D7 before coming to work here (at least, nothing beyond our infamous rivalry with her alma mater, the Dorman Cavaliers). “However,” she says, “from day one of joining District 7, I have felt like I belong.”
Before coming to Carver, Jill spent 11 years at Whitlock Junior High. She says many people shared their thoughts about her taking a teaching job at Whitlock. Some were not so favorable. “The stigma that follows teaching and serving students who are considered ‘at-risk’ is a challenge to overcome. It is a challenge I whole-heartedly accepted 25 years ago and to this day, I have a driving passion to see students succeed. When the students succeed, the community succeeds. All students will rise to the challenge set before them when provided the right opportunities, so it is an honor to spearhead continuous improvement at Carver.”
Jill began as a 7th grade ELA teacher at Whitlock, then became the ELA State Instructional Specialist. When Whitlock closed, she requested placement in a school where the majority of Whitlock’s student population would attend – and that led her to Carver. “The history of Carver carries a sense of pride like no other and it did not take me long to realize the special community surrounding Carver. When Carver began the journey to becoming an AVID (Advancing Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School, we were afforded the opportunity to meet several Carver High School Alumni. On the day we were awarded National Demonstration Status, alumni celebrated with us and the pride the community continues to hold for the historic Carver High School filled the room. It was a joyous occasion.”
Over the years, being an instructional coach led to other roles such as Teacher Advancement Program Master Teacher, Read 180 teacher (to help students who are behind grade level), and AVID teacher. She is also the lead administrator for D7’s middle level summer school program.
“From the beginning of my career in District 7, I have been impressed with the sense of belonging. The faculty and staff at Carver are my extended family. Also, there are not many districts where the leaders from the district office know you by name and take the time to stop to speak, whether it be within the school building or out in the community.”
As a teacher with a true servant’s heart, seeing teachers and students succeed is the gift that confirms her calling. “When former students and colleagues thank me for making a difference in their life, it makes my heart smile because I know that I am fulfilling the purpose God planned for me.”