DARLINGTON, S.C. – Three experienced principals have been appointed to lead the new elementary schools under construction, the Darlington County Board of Education announced.
Stephanie Bridges, the principal of Brockington Elementary Magnet School, will lead the new Darlington-area elementary school.
Kristi Austin, the principal of North Hartsville Elementary School, will take the reins of the new Lamar-area elementary school.
Jackee Lynn, the principal of Spaulding Elementary, will lead the new Hartsville-area elementary school.
All three schools will open in the fall of 2020.
“We spent the better part of a year reviewing data, analyzing needs, listening and working to find the best fits for our new schools,” said Tim Newman, superintendent of the Darlington County School District. “It isn’t easy to establish a new school environment, especially when combining existing schools. New leadership helps. We believe these principals have the experience, knowledge and skills to get the new schools off the ground and create a foundation of excellence for our students.”
Bridges has been the principal of Brockington Elementary Magnet School in Darlington since 2013. Previously she served as the director of the Darlington County Intervention School, an assistant principal and a classroom teacher. She also served as an adjunct professor at Miles College (Alabama). She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Tennessee State University. Bridges earned her Educational Leadership Endorsement from Kennesaw State University and her Secondary Certification from Tennessee State University.
Bridges will lead the new Darlington-area elementary school under construction on First Street in Darlington. The district is combining Brunson-Dargan Elementary School and Cain Elementary School to create the new school.
“I am excited and truly honored to continue to serve the children of Darlington County School District,” Bridges said. “Uniting the two campuses of Cain Elementary and Brunson-Dargan is an opportunity to honor the history and success experienced by both campuses. I look forward to working with our students, their families, both faculties and our community as we build upon the legacy of each school and create new traditions.”
Lynn has been the principal of Spaulding Elementary School in Lamar for the past four years. Before becoming principal, Lynn was a National Board Certified elementary school teacher, an assistant principal, a school special education facilitator and DCSD’s coordinator of recruitment and retention. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Math from Virginia Union University, a Master of Science in Economics from Virginia State University and a Master of Education in Education Administration from Winthrop University.
Lynn will lead the new Hartsville-area elementary school under construction on Bay Road in Hartsville. The district is combining two schools – Washington Street Elementary School and West Hartsville Elementary School – to create the new school.
“Helping to shape a new school from the very beginning is an exciting opportunity, and I welcome the challenge,” Lynn said. “I look forward to working with our school families, faculties and community to honor Washington Street and West Hartsville elementary schools while creating and establishing new traditions and expectations of excellence in our new school.”
Austin began her education career as a classroom teacher in 1994. Over the course of her career she has served as a teacher specialist, an assistant principal (elementary and middle school), and a principal. She has been the principal of North Hartsville Elementary since 2008. Austin has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Francis Marion University as well as a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education in Educational Administration, both from the University of South Carolina.
Austin will lead the new Lamar-area elementary school under construction at the intersection of Lamar Highway and Country Club Road in Lamar. The district is combining Spaulding Elementary School and Lamar Elementary School to create the new school.
“It is an incredible opportunity to work with Lamar Elementary and Spaulding Elementary faculty, staff and families to create a new school for the Lamar community,” Austin said. “I am excited to be a part of the tradition of excellence of these two schools, and I look forward to meeting with the schools and community as we shape our school. There is no doubt that the students of Lamar will continue to flourish as we work together to build the culture, expectations and traditions of our new school."
All three principals will continue to serve as principals of their current schools until the end of the school year.