Laurens District High School will be welcoming a new principal for the second time in as many years.
Tina Faulkner, who is currently principal at Hickory Tavern School, will return to LDHS where she was a history teacher for 20 years and spent another eight years as an assistant principal before taking over at Hickory Tavern two years ago.
Chris Miller, who arrived at LDHS as principal from Anderson County Schools, was named head administrator for the LDHS Freshman Academy.
“It was very much a surprise,” Faulkner said of the move, which was announced by Laurens District 55 Superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “I thought I was going to be helping with some things, but I had no idea. I’m happy that they have enough faith and trust in me to do this job.
Faulkner, a Hickory Tavern native, said she has learned a lot since taking the Hickory Tavern job with no K-8 experience.
“The staff out here and the community is so supportive; they won’t let you sink,” she said.
Faulkner also described herself as a disciplinarian and said she will bring that and her leadership style back to LDHS.
The changes at LDHS were among several moves within the district announced at the meeting:
Current LDHS Assistant Principal Brandon Addy is to replace Faulkner as principal at Hickory Tavern.
Kim Penland, assistant principal at Laurens Elementary, is to replace Phillip Dean as principal at Gray Court-Owings. Dean announced earlier that he has agreed to become principal at Reidville Elementary in Spartanburg District 5.
Peters said several other moves will be made to fill openings created by the promotions.
“We are confident that every move we are making administratively will strengthen each school involved,” Peters said. “It is important that we get these new principals in place now so they can effectively plan for the 2018-19 school year.”
In other news:
- According to a release from the district, Chief Financial Officer Rodney Smith presented his monthly report to the Board. It showed a balance on hand with the Treasurer of $14.44 million, an increase of $1.35 million over the same period last year. Smith also discussed the 2018-2019 budget, citing the legislative delays as a cause for any uncertainty in the budget. “At this time proposed General Fund Revenue for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 is $46,876,051 with an equal amount of proposed expenditures representing a balanced budget,” Smith said. “There is no anticipated tax increase for the citizens of LCSD 55.”
- The board recognized the Hickory Tavern girls basketball team and coach Jon Jansen for winning their third-straight Liver River Conference Championship.
- LDHS junior Justin Vinson was recognized by the board for winning a state championship in archery in the S.C. high-school division and for being one of the five nominees for Winter Student-Athlete of the Year.
- The board recognized four students for their selection as Duke University Talent Identification Program Students. Marcelinadelia Luna Barcena and Jace Bradley Bishop from Hickory Tavern School, and Mikayla LeBertha Neeley and Erin Finley Partee from Sanders Middle School were Duke TIPS selectees.