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June 27, 2011

Meet Our New Leaders!- Part 1

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is pleased to welcome its new principals, interim principals, and program directors for the 2011-2012 school year. During the next four weeks, please stay tuned for all three installments of an article series designed to introduce these dynamic and exceptional principals.

Ladson Elementary

Celeste CouchName & Position: Celeste Couch, principal

About This Leader: Ms.  Couch has served as interim Principal at Ladson Elementary and assistant principal at North Charleston Elementary School. Her professional trainings include Assistant Principal’s Program for Leadership Excellence, Second in Command, Principals for Tomorrow, and Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports (PBIS) SET Evaluator. She has 15 years of classroom experience. Couch's hobbies include gardening, traveling and visiting historical sites, watching movies, singing, spending time at the beach, and hiking.

In Her Words:

  • What excites you most about being a new principal at your school? "I am most excited about continuing the great programs that we started last year. We are moving forward on our quest towards excellence by 1) executing a new wellness program, 2) providing learning that is appropriate to the learner and 3) training teachers in instructional techniques that will make the most of our instructional time and provide the most impact to our students."
  • What are your big-picture goals for this year? "This year, we will continue to improve school-home-community communication, increase community involvement with institutions of higher learning and businesses partners, and close the achievement gap and challenge all learners."
  • What message do you have for the parents and students of your school? "I am thrilled to be returning to Ladson to continue the partnerships that began last year! I look forward to ushering Ladson into the future while building an educational foundation for our students that will provide the opportunity for their future success!"

Memminger School of Global Studies

Teresa NowlinName & Position: Teresa Nowlin, principal

About This Leader: Dr. Nowlin has served as assistant principal at Oakland Elementary School since 2009. Her professional trainings include Assistant Principal’s Program for Leadership Excellence and Principals for Tomorrow. She comes to Memminger with over four years of classroom experience. She enjoys spending her free time with loved ones, traveling to new places, and practicing yoga. Additionally as an UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus, Nowlin loves to watch Tar Heel basketball!

In Her Words:

  • What excites you most about being a new principal at your school? "I'm excited to be the new principal at Memminger School of Global Studies. I feel that Memminger has worked very hard to make gains, and I'm looking forward to moving our school forward."
  • What are your big-picture goals for this year? "My big-picture goals for this year are to continue to move our partial magnet program forward with innovative ideas, encourage and support excellence in instruction, strengthen our (already strong) community partnerships, and increase student achievement overall."
  • What message do you have for the parents and students of your school? "I am looking forward to meeting my new Memminger family! We will accomplish great things together!"

North Charleston High

Robert GrimmName & Position: Robert Grimm, principal

About This Leader: Mr. Grimm has served as principal of C.E. Williams Middle School since 2008. In his first year, the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress increased from 70.4% to 91.7% and the state growth rating improved from at-risk to average where it has remained since 2009. Since 2008, Grimm has created a professional development plan for staff, instituted an exemplary rated PBIS plan to foster positive school climate and has restructured the school budget to address financial constraints. He comes to North Charleston High with four years experience as an assistant principal and 12 years of classroom experience. In addition, he served in the United States Air Force for eight years.  He loves to read, asserting that there is nothing like a good book. He enjoys exercise of any kind, but being with his children is his most prized activity.

In His Words:

  • What excites you most about being a new principal at your school? "I am most excited about the opportunity to bring back to prominence North Charleston High School."
  • What are your big-picture goals for this year? "Improving the graduation rate is my number one priority. Students need to be given every opportunity to be successful. "
  • What message do you have for the parents and students of your school? "I cannot wait to work with each member of the dedicated staff, the community and the parents to establish the new North Charleston High School. Our success is dependent upon our working together."

Sanders-Clyde Elementary/Middle

Anthony DixonName & Position: Anthony Dixon, principal

About This Leader: Mr. Dixon has served as principal at Memminger School of Global Studies since 2008 and looks forward to continuing to work with downtown parents at Sanders-Clyde. Before coming to Charleston County School District, he served as an assistant principal in Berkeley County. He brings expertise in implementing the PBIS model and using data to assist with the development and monitoring of educational goals, initiatives, and student achievement. In his own time, Dixon loves to spend time with his family and one-year-old son. In addition, he enjoys fishing, reading, and any time that includes rest and relaxation!

In His Words:

  • What excites you most about being a new principal at your school? "What most excites me about being a new principal at Sanders-Clyde is the opportunities to reshape and reorganize a school culture that is data-driven, built on systems, and centered around student achievement."
  • What are your big-picture goals for this year? "Big picture goals for the year include: 1.) establishing a positive school community, 2.) defining the school's middle years instruction as both an independent and interdependent asset to the school, and 3) ensuring that student achievement and teacher quality are the pinnacles of the school functioning."
  • What message do you have for the parents and students of your school? "We are all on the same team! Our success depends on a united community who shares the same vision and mission of the school."

St. Andrew's Middle

Michael RyanName & Position: Michael Ryan, principal

About This Leader: Mr. Ryan has served as interim principal at St. Andrew’s Middle School (SAMS) since 2010. Before coming to SAMS, he served as assistant principal at Wando High School. He has over 13 years experience as an assistant principal and numerous years of classroom experience. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantry Officer and was elected to two terms as a Horry County Councilman. In his own time, Ryan loves attending the Gamecock football games with his family.  Additionally, he is determined to learn how to launch his boat without hitting the dock or other small boats in the area!

In His Words:

  • What excites you most about being a new principal at your school? "This provides an opportunity to lead the outstanding teachers at St. Andrew's Middle School, work with our super students and continue to be a part of the excellent West Ashley community."
  • What are your big-picture goals for this year? "I am excited about our new Gifted and Talented School Within A School program which we are starting this year.  Also, we be offering more special area classes to our students (i.e. drama, social skills, creative writing, marine science to name a few)."
  • What message do you have for the parents and students of your school? "We have hired an outstanding staff to educate our Wildcats this school year.  We can't wait to get the year started."
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