Students and families at several School District of Pickens County Schools (SDPC) will be welcomed by a new principal when the 2023-24 school year begins August 1. There are also principals shifting to leadership positions that will serve the entire district.
“The success of a school depends on the effectiveness of the school leader. Our principals are responsible for building a strong culture and articulating a shared vision for engaging and empowering our students,” said SDPC Superintendent Dr. Danny Merck. “I look forward to seeing the impact these leaders will make in their classrooms, schools, and communities.”
The new principals and other leadership positions announced by SDPC for 2023-24 are:
Jacob Nelson - Gettys Middle School
- It is a pleasure to announce that Mr. Jacob Nelson will be the new Principal at Gettys Middle School. Mr. Nelson will officially become Principal on July 1, 2023. Mr. Nelson has served as principal at Gilbert High School in Lexington School District One since 2018 and has been highly successful. Mr. Nelson will be returned to the School District of Pickens County as he began his career as an English Teacher at Pickens High from 2008 - 2012.
- You can read more about Mr. Nelson here - https://bit.ly/3X7iz7G
Tye Morgan - Project GO
- The School District of Pickens County is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Tye Morgan as the new Director at Project GO. Mr. Morgan, currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Project GO Alternative Education Program, has been an integral part of the program's success. With his extensive knowledge, experience, and dedication to alternative education, Mr. Morgan is well-positioned to lead the program to new heights.
- You can read more about Mr. Morgan here - https://bit.ly/3CDv1Ct
Jessica Hendricks - Hagood Elementary
Mrs. Hendricks is currently the assistant principal of Pickens Elementary School, where she has served during the 2022-23 school year. Prior to this, Hendricks was assistant principal at Crosswell Elementary School from 2015-2022. Before becoming an assistant principal, Hendricks taught at Pickens Elementary and Dacusville Elementary. Mrs. Hendricks also coached basketball at Dacusville Middle and Pickens High.
You can read more about Mrs. Hendricks here - http://bit.ly/3Z7ekJx
Nathan Roper - Dacusville Middle
Mr. Roper is currently the assistant principal of Easley High School, where he has served during the 2022-23 school year. Prior to this, Roper was an assistant principal and associate principal at Gettys Middle School from 2016-2022. Before moving into administration, Roper was a Business Education teacher at Easley High School. Mr. Roper also brings experience outside of public education as he served in management in multiple roles in the manufacturing industry.
You can read more about Mr. Roper here - http://bit.ly/41xja48
Adam Russell - D.W. Daniel High
Mr. Russell is currently the assistant principal of Easley High School, where he has served during the 2022-23 school year. Prior to this, Russell served in multiple administrative roles including principal in residence and assistant principal at White Knoll High School in Lexington County School District One from 2012-2022. Before moving into administration, Russell was a Social Studies teacher at Midlands Middle College and Camden High School. Russell also coached varsity soccer at Camden High School.
You can read more about Mr. Russell here - http://bit.ly/3Sya6Ie
David Thompson - Clemson Elementary
Mr. Thompson is currently the principal of Fair-Oak Elementary School, in Oconee County, where he has served since 2017. Prior to this, Thompson was assistant principal at Blue Ridge Elementary School from 2014-2017. Before moving into administration, Thompson was a Physical Education teacher at Spearman Elementary and Townville Elementary. Thompson also served as an assistant varsity baseball coach at Wren High School from 2005-2014.
You can read more about Mr. Thompson here - http://bit.ly/3Z8Zbrc
Shannon Lawton - Pickens Elementary
- Mrs. Lawton is currently the assistant principal of Ambler Elementary School, where she has served during the 2022-23 school year. Prior to this, Lawton was assistant principal at Pickens Elementary School from 2014-2022. During her time as assistant principal, she participated in the SDPC Leadership Academy. Before becoming an assistant principal, taught at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary in Greenville County, and at Homeland Park Elementary and McCants Middle, both in Anderson School District Five. She earned a B.S. in Science from Presbyterian College. In 2001, she obtained her Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary from Wingate University, and in 2011 earned a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Furman University.
- You can read more about Mrs. Lawton here: http://bit.ly/3JrykRN
James Adams - SDPC Director of Student Support and Intervention
- SDPC is excited to announce that Mr. James Adams has been selected as the Director of Student Support & Interventions. At Project GO, Mr. Adams developed a program to support students with behavioral needs that negatively impact academic performance for students in grades 6-12. As we see an increase in student needs with mental health across SDPC, we are excited about the resource he will be for our students, families, faculty, and staff.
- You can read Mr. Adams’ full news release here: http://bit.ly/3yoXGcz
Dr. Ashley Anderson-Murray - Director of Teacher Evaluation and Coaching
- Dr. Ashley Anderson-Murray, currently the principal of Forest Acres Elementary, has been selected as the Director of Teacher Evaluation and Coaching for the School District of Pickens County.
- “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ashley Anderson-Murray as Director of Teacher Evaluation and Coaching,” said Dr. Seth Young, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. “Dr. Murray has experience in many educational roles and will bring her vast instructional knowledge to a role focused on supporting teachers. In a time when recruiting and keeping effective teachers is vital, this role will be crucial in providing support and advancing teacher leadership and practices that deliver solid results for students.”
- You can read Dr. Anderson-Murray’s full release here - https://bit.ly/3UJYhjj
Andy Holliday - Principal at Forest Acres Elementary
- On Monday, April 17, 2023, the School District of Pickens County (SDPC) Board of Trustees approved the Superintendent’s recommendation for Mr. Andy Holliday to become the next principal at Forest Acres Elementary, beginning July 1, 2023. Mr. Holliday is currently the principal of Crosswell Elementary School, also in Pickens County, where he has served since 2014.
- “I am extremely excited about this opportunity - I feel like I am returning home,” said Holliday. “As an alumnus of Forest Acres, I never dreamed that I would one day be able to serve as principal at the place that had such an impact on my life. I look forward to working with the Forest Acres family to continue a tradition of excellence for students in our community. I am humbled and blessed that the School District of Pickens County has entrusted me to be the next principal of Forest Acres.”
- You can read Mr. Holliday’s full release here - https://bit.ly/43Iu9ZF
Andrew Shipman - Principal at Crosswell Elementary
- On Monday, April 17, 2023, the School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees approved the Superintendent’s recommendation for Mr. Andrew Shipman to become the next principal of Crosswell Elementary School beginning July 1, 2023.
- “It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Andrew Shipman as the new principal of Crosswell Elementary School,” said Superintendent Dr. Danny Merck. “As a successful assistant principal at McKissick Academy, Mr. Shipman has shown great leadership. His deep experience with special education brings a skillset that is very valuable in administration. Mr. Shipman has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, a strong commitment to education, and a genuine passion for working with students.”
- You can read Mr. Shipman’s full release here - https://bit.ly/3GPhbQf
These leaders will begin their new positions at the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year (they begin on July 1).