SUMMERTON - A school in Clarendon County will have a new leader this fall.
Ricky White was named principal of Summerton Early Childhood Center in Clarendon School District 1. According to a news release from the district, the Alcolu native and Army and Army National Guard veteran has 14 years of educational experience in Clarendon and Lee counties and most recently comes from Dennis Elementary School in Lee County School District, where he served as principal.
The 1991 Manning High School graduate served seven years in the Army and Army National Guard before pursuing a Bachelor in Elementary Education in 2006 from South Carolina State University and a Master in School Administration in 2010 from Cambridge College.
He began his teaching career in 2006 in CSD1, where he taught students in grades 3-6 for seven years.
"Over time, his expertise in the field of education led him to being assigned roles outside of the classroom," according to the release, including director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program, a South Carolina Read to Succeed Literary Coach and CSD1's Test Coordinator and Accountability personnel. He also served as assistant to the principal.
"Each unique assignment played a pivotal role in preparing him for the elementary principal role that he obtained in 2018," the release said.
In his tenure at Dennis, the school's report card increased by 14 points, which increased the school's rating by one level. White also oversaw the School Improvement Grant, where his focus was to ensure "the students and teachers of Dennis shared an atmosphere that was conducive to learning."
Classrooms were outfitted with a new desk for each student, and teachers were provided with new Promethean Boards. Both the media center and computer lab were given new furniture.
"Mr. White has always believed that strong school and community relationships are essential to high-performing schools, so while at Dennis, he made various efforts to improve parent involvement. These initiatives included open house events, parent conferences and a monthly Chat & Chew meeting," the release said. "Collectively, these activities strengthened the relationship between parents and staff."
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