New leaders named to local schools

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By Heather Ruppe

Students and teachers who are returning to Colleton County classrooms this fall will be under some dynamic new leaders. In some local schools, this role has changed. In others, well-known faces will be returning to their staff and students.

One new face this year will be at Colleton County Middle School.

Michael Keitt is the new principal of the middle school. He is a former military leader and school administrator. He was also a former professional school counselor. With 24 years of experience under his belt, Keitt is walking into Colleton Middle School ready for what the school year can bring.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a school with such persevering students, an extremely dedicated staff, and supportive school community,” he said, in a written introduction about himself.

Keitt says his vision for the school is to have every student either college or career-ready. “Middle School is an incredible journey – one of transformation and growth, both intellectual and emotional,” he said. “It is essential that our staff, parents, and students become partners on this journey, and that we bring with us to school a positive attitude and willingness to try new things.”

Another new principal this year is Kyle Smalls.

Smalls is the principal of Hendersonville Elementary School for the 2022-2023 school year. A native of Charleston, Smalls has 15 years of experience as an educator. This includes him being a coach, an English teacher. In addition, Smalls has held administrator-level positions at elementary, middle and high schools.

“I am a passionate leader that is committed to advocacy with the goal of providing teachers and students with the tools that they need to maximize their potential,” he said, in an introductory bio that he wrote about himself. “I enjoy creating a climate of fun and kindness while holding students accountable as it pertains to academics and behavior.”

Anthony Kubik will take the helm at Thunderbolt Career and Technology Center during the 22-23 school year, the first time he has held a principal position. Kubik has served as an assistant principal at Colleton County High School, Black Street Early Childhood Center and Bells Elementary.

Dr. Vallerie Cave, Colleton County School District Superintendent, said she is convinced that our slate of leaders are prepared and dedicated to their roles. “They have the innovation needed to propel us forward,” she said.

The other building leaders of Colleton County schools this upcoming school year are:

Angel Parker, principal of Bells Elementary School;

Catherine Fanchette, principal of Blackstreet Early Childhood Center;

Uirica Bodison, Coordinator of Colleton Academy for Success (alternative school programs);

Maurice Cannon, principal of Colleton County High School;

Tasheena Allen, principal of Cottageville Elementary School;

Joe Guarino, principal of Forest Hills Elementary School;

Lauren Behie, principal of Northside Elementary School;

Chris Horvath, Director of Colleton Adult Learning Center

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