Annual Principal for the Day event welcomes legislators to LCSD 55

From left are: Randy Dendy (Principal, Laurens Elementary), Tina Faulkner (Principal, LDHS), Mark N. Willis (State Representative), Brandon Addy (Principal, Hickory Tavern), Daniel B. Verdin (State Senator), Jeff Duncan (U.S. Congressman, Zak Watson (Principal, Ford Elementary), W. Brown Patterson, Jr. (County Councilman), Dr. Anna Brink (Principal, Laurens Middle School), Garrett McDaniel (County Councilman), J.R. Reid (Principal, Sanders Middle School), Kim Penland (Principal, Gray Court-Owings), Jason Bailey (Principal, E.B. Morse Elementary), Stellartean Jones (Mayor of Gray Court), Stewart Jones (State Representative), Barbara Smith (Mayor of Waterloo), Jennifer Abercrombie (Principal, Waterloo Elementary), Dr. Stephen G. Peters (Superintendent, LCSD 55). Not pictured: Nathan Senn (Mayor of Laurens).

On Nov. 1, nine legislative leaders joined the Laurens County School District 55 principals for the annual "Principal for the Day" event. A day that the school district has dedicated to inviting local leaders from various fields of endeavor to experience a day in the life of a public school administrator.

"Last years’ experience focused on clergy in our community, while this year's focus was on our legislators serving as principal for the day. We appreciate our legislators for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate and believe seeing is believing," said Dr. Stephen G. Peters, Superintendent of LCSD 55.

"Principals for the Day" included:

  •  The Honorable Congressman Jeff Duncan at Laurens District High School;
  •  The Honorable Stellartean Jones at Gray Court-Owings School;
  •  The Honorable Stewart Jones at E. B. Morse Elementary School;
  •  The Honorable Garrett McDaniel at Sanders Middle School;
  •  The Honorable W. Brown Patterson Jr. at Ford Elementary School;
  •  The Honorable Nathan Senn at Laurens Middle School;
  •  The Honorable Barbara Smith at Waterloo Elementary School;
  •  The Honorable Senator Daniel B. Verdin, III at Laurens Elementary School;
  •  The Honorable Mark N. Willis at Hickory Tavern School;

After spending time in the schools, all of the principals for the day met for a luncheon at the LCSD 55 Administrative Office. Principals for the Day shared their insights from this unique experience, citing the personalized nature of the work occurring in many classrooms, the hands on experience with animals at the schools (a surprise to many), and the general complexity noted in running a 21st century school. "Our annual 'Principal for the Day' experience helps facilitate a better understanding of the multifaceted work of principals, teachers, staff, and schools," said Dr. Peters.

Ed Murray, Chief of Staff, said, “To make informed decisions, elected officials need a heightened awareness of what is happening in our classrooms and our school buildings. Just as importantly, they need to hear from principals, teachers, and students about what it takes to make our schools great."

Susan Calhoun-Ware, member of Laurens 55 Board of Trustees, said, "As a board member, hearing the legislative guests speak on how they felt a sense of pride amongst each of the schools and saw the personalized relationships that have formed between student and principal confirmed that we have the right people working in our district.”

In Dr. Peter's closing remarks, he said, "The experience was eye-opening for some and confirmation to others. We look forward to continuing the dialogue started and appreciate the support for advancing the important work of educating tomorrow's future," said Dr. Peters.

Submitted by Ed Murray