DARLINGTON, S.C. – Celestine LaVan is the new director of elementary education for the Darlington County School District.

Since 2013, LaVan has served as the principal of Joseph Shanklin Elementary School in the Beaufort County School District.

Tim Newman, the DCSD superintendent, praised LaVan’s experience and welcomed her to the district.

“Dr. LaVan’s broad experiences will benefit our district in many ways,” Newman said. “I have seen Dr. LaVan’s expertise on display at many statewide functions, and I am excited to have her on the DCSD team.”

Before her years as principal, LaVan served as assistant principal at Joseph Shanklin Elementary and Whale Branch Elementary schools. She began her education career as a fifth-grade teacher at West Hills Elementary School in 2006 before teaching fourth grade at Beaufort Elementary School. She later worked as an instructional coach at Beaufort Elementary.

“I am excited to begin this journey in the Darlington County School District,” LaVan said. “Working collaboratively with an emphasis on teamwork and a ‘students-first’ mindset, we will continue moving our district in a positive direction and improve the educational outcomes for all of our students.”

She holds both a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and an Educational Specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University. She has a Master of Arts in education from Ashford University and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. LaVan is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

The director of elementary education is responsible for assisting in building the capacity of principals to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in elementary schools while also ensuring the district’s mission and goals are achieved.