All Blog Posts

COVID-19 Conversations: Superintendent Russell Booker on the Challenges that Lie Ahead for Reopening Schools

The Riley Institute’s Center for Critical Issues “brings the world to Furman University” by hosting a diverse roster of speakers on campus each year. While our events are on hold due to COVID-19, The Riley Institute’s Advance Team students are (virtually) bringing notable past speakers into their own homes for thoughtful conversations about the coronavirus’s impact on many facets of life.

Published on June 29, 2020 | Conversation recorded June 4, 2020

When states began enacting stay-at-home orders during the early days of the pandemic, schools were among the first organizations to pivot. Teachers and administrators across the country had to suddenly account for how they were going to provide remote instruction to thousands of students in a matter of days. The task was further complicated by the fact that many students lack the internet access that is required to do homework and rely on school meals to meet their nutritional needs.

After serving as the superintendent for Spartanburg County School District Seven for the last decade, Russell Booker has dedicated his time these last few months to meeting the changing needs of students and coordinating a district-wide response to COVID-19 before retiring from his post on June 30.

As another school year draws near while the virus still looms, clear hurdles lie ahead. In early June, Booker sat down with Advance Team members Britney Plumley ’21, Erica Daly ’22, and Lauren Garrison ’23 to talk about the possible challenges that South Carolina schools could see this year.

Booker, who has spoken at past Riley Institute events, is also a Riley Fellow who participated in the institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative program.

View all COVID-19 Conversations episodes

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this recording are those of the individuals appearing in the video and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Riley Institute or Furman University.