Dr. Russell Booker

Dr. Russell Booker headshot
CEO, Spartanburg Academic Movement
CEO, Spartanburg Academic Movement

Dr. Russell W. Booker is the Chief Executive Officer of the Spartanburg Academic Movement in Spartanburg, South Carolina. With an unwavering conviction in the power of education, he believes our greatest hope for the future is to inspire and equip our children for meaningful lives of leadership and service. Dr. Booker retired as Superintendent of Spartanburg County School District Seven, where he directed many transformative initiatives. Most notably, he led a total restructuring of the district, a complete digital immersion, and a bold comprehensive capital plan. He began his tenure in District Seven in 2010 after serving as superintendent in York School District One. Dr. Booker is a South Carolina Liberty Fellow (affiliated with the Aspen Global Leadership Network) and a graduate of the Diversity Leaders Initiative through the Riley Institute. He serves as the Chair of the StriveTogether Board of Directors, as a trustee on the Wingate University Board of Directors, as a board member of Purpose Built Communities and as a member of the S.C. Education Oversight Committee. Locally, he serves on the board of the Mary Black Foundation and the Spartanburg Regional Hospital Foundation. He is a proud member of the Spartanburg Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc. In 2013, Dr. Booker received the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Urban League of the Upstate. He is a past president of SCASA’s Superintendents’ Division. In 2015, Russell was named the South Carolina Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) and was also named Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association. He is a 2015 South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Inductee. During a surprise announcement in November 2020, Russell received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, during a ceremony honoring his 28 years of service in education. Dr. Booker received his B.S. degree in Education from Wingate University and his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Russell and his wife Sheryl reside in Spartanburg and are the proud parents of two sons, Grant (US Naval Academy Class of ’23), and Maxwell (Harvard College Class of ’26). They are members of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.

Through my local and national place-based work, I have come to realize that we can bridge this vast disconnect in our nation and pave a better way for upward mobility across communities. EdRedesign has been instrumental in uniting my community with others and serving as a reminder that our nation doesn't have to feel so big. I am honored to join this esteemed group of fellows to advance our cradle-to-career efforts, and I look forward to advancing this field work in the year ahead—by all means.

- Dr. Russell Booker