On The Move
Spartanburg Day School Announces New Athletic Director
Aug 2, 2012
SPARTANBURG, SC - A seasoned athletic administrator has been named Athletic Director at Spartanburg Day School effective immediately. Head of School Rachel Deems announced the appointment of Rita Harrell to this post. Harrell will oversee 13 sports, 24 teams, the school’s physical education program, intramural and recreational activities, and the school’s state of the art facilities.
“I consider it a privilege to appoint Rita Harrell as new Athletic Director. Harrell comes to us with a great deal of experience in athletic administration and she has demonstrated a commitment to helping students combine athletic success with academic achievement. I have every confidence she will have a huge impact on our students and our athletic program," said Deems, who assumed the Head of School post on July 1, 2012.
A native of Pittsburg, PA, Harrell’s career in athletics spans 40 years. She is the former Athletic Director at Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, SC, a school she joined in 1999 in the role of Assistant AD and PE instructor and where, in 2003, was promoted to Athletic Director. For a total of 13 years, she provided leadership and energy to the Athletic Program at SFCS.
Harrell’s tenure was filled with impressive statistics including 7 North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) State Championships, 66 NCISAA All-State Players, 22 NCISAA Final 4 appearances, and 5 CAA Conference Championships. She also added new teams to the roster of SFCS sports opportunities – Varsity Swimming, Varsity Softball, Middle School Baseball, and the latest Football program.
Shannon Forest has captured the Presidential Physical Fitness State Championship for the past, 11 consecutive years reflecting Harrell’s commitment to physical fitness and the battle against childhood obesity. She was behind the creation of Crusader Crazies Days, a popular day of cheering and school spirit. Harrell also served as Carolina Middle School Conference (CMSC) President for 5 years, Carolina Athletic Association (CAA) President for 2 terms and has served on the NCISAA Board of Managers for 6 years.
Harrell is also known for her own athletic career having been inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
“I am very excited to join a school so highly committed to the success of their students in every aspect of their education, including athletics.” said Harrell. “The school’s recent $6 million investment in new athletic buildings and fields resulted in facilities that are second to none in our area. The coaching staff has been in place for years and they have had consistent success in many areas. The school boasts a long list of college athletic and academic scholarships recipients, demonstrating the school’s commitment to their college preparatory mission. Parents are highly involved and fully committed to supporting championship teams. All of these elements provide significant opportunities for students to excel in athletics as well as in their academic pursuits. The school is poised to continue their upward trajectory of success and I am thrilled for the opportunity to be part of this winning team.”