SCC’s Cherokee County Campus has been an important fixture in the Gaffney and Blacksburg communities since first opening in January 2007. Since that time under the leadership of Executive Director Daryl Smith the campus has grown to include new programs, new buildings and more students than ever before from surrounding communities. Smith was honored at a Nov. 17 meeting of the Cherokee County Campus Advisory Committee for his leadership, compassion and service to the community as his year-end retirement approaches. Gaffney native, Amanda (Mandy) Painter, was announced as the new campus executive director effective Jan. 4, 2021.
“Mention the SCC Cherokee County Campus anywhere in Cherokee County and the name Daryl Smith immediately comes to mind. For the past 13 years, Daryl has been the ‘go-to person’ for the campus, working alongside community leaders and elected officials to ensure all residents, regardless of age or circumstances, have the opportunity to pursue educational opportunities,” explained Dr. Michael Mikota, SCC president. “Daryl’s dedication to the community and to our students is unwavering, and he will be greatly missed. Thanks to Daryl’s leadership, the Cherokee County Campus is poised for even more future success.”
Prior to the Cherokee County Campus appointment, Smith worked as the SCC department
chair for business administration. He previously worked at Mettler-Toledo for 16 years
as manufacturing manager. Under Smith’s leadership, many critical initiatives took
place at the campus including:
Development of the Know(2) scholarship with Cherokee County officials and community leaders, which is a scholarship for STEM students interested in attending SCC.
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology was built in response to the Know2 scholarship and the community’s demand for STEM graduates.
The Institute of Innovation, the county school district technology center, was built on the Cherokee County Campus.
Thanks to a partnership with the Cherokee County Schools and SCC, the Cherokee Early College was opened on the Cherokee County Campus and is located in the L. Hoke Parris Training.
Enrollment has steadily grown and in spring 2020, prior the coronavirus pandemic, Cherokee County Campus enrollment grew 33 percent.
Dr. Cheryl Cox, SCC’s senior vice president of academic affairs said, “Daryl has worked at the college for 18 years and will be greatly missed. He has been the executive director of the Cherokee County Campus since 2007, and he also served as the department chair for business administration and as a faculty member. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Daryl for the last 10 years. He is an exceptional leader and has been a tremendous asset for the college in achieving our mission to serve the Cherokee County community.”
Also at the meeting, Dr. Mikota announced Amanda (Mandy) Painter as the new Cherokee County Campus executive director. “I am very proud to welcome Ms. Painter into the Spartanburg Community College family. She brings a unique set of skills and experience that will positively impact and further our capacity to serve the hardworking and devoted students, alumni and citizens of Cherokee County as a whole.”
Painter currently serves curriculum and instruction secondary coordinator for the Cherokee County School District and has worked for the district for 20 years in a variety of roles including math teacher at Gaffney High School and placement coordinator, assistant director and director at the Cherokee Technology Center. Painter is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County, graduating from Gaffney High School in 1997. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from the University of South Carolina-Upstate and a Master's degree in School Administration from Gardner Webb University. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Painter is married to Dustin Painter and they have two sons, Zac, a senior at Blacksburg High School and Nic, a freshman at The Scholars Academy.
“Mandy has been involved in most of the major initiatives undertaken by SCC at the Cherokee County Campus for several years,” explained Smith. “She has been an excellent partner and is student focused. I am sure she will take the Cherokee County Campus to the next level, and beyond.”
“Mandy has over 20 years of experience with the Cherokee School district. While working for the school district, she has been a fabulous partner for SCC. Her support, knowledge and collaboration were invaluable in the development of the Institute of Innovation building, curriculum on the SCC Cherokee County Campus and in the creation of the Cherokee County Early College,” added Cox. “Mandy is always laser focused on student success. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with her in this new role.”
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