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Two District Five assistant principals named finalists for state award

Irmo, SC - Two administrators from Lexington-Richland School District Five have been named finalists for South Carolina Assistant Principal of the Year.

Lake Murray Elementary School assistant principal Kelly Reese was named a finalist in the elementary school division, and Irmo Middle School assistant principal Erin Doty is in the running for the middle school division honor.

The recognition by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators is awarded to three outstanding South Carolina assistant principals every year and selected from each level of learning – elementary, middle and high school. The elementary level award is aimed at honoring the state’s top school leaders for being respected by students, colleagues, parents, and the community at-large, showing strong educational leadership by setting high expectations for school staff and students, and exhibiting exceptional leadership in a particular school program and/or is heavily involved in finding a solution to a problem faced by the school according this year’s application criteria.

“What an incredible feat it is to have two assistant principals from District Five named as finalists for the SCASA Assistant Principal of the Year award,” said Dr. Stephen Hefner, superintendent for District Five. “Mrs. Reese and Mrs. Doty are both highly regarded amongst their peers and are truly deserving of this recognition. We wish them the best of luck and as always, thank them for doing their part in making District Five extraordinary!”

Reese has been a professional educator for 11 years. ​She attended the University of South Carolina earning a bachelor's degree in English and two masters’ degrees in elementary education and education administration. Before becoming assistant principal at Lake Murray Elementary, she was a teacher at ​Sandhills Elementary School and a​ literacy coach at Frances Mack Intermediate School.

Reese said, “Being named a finalist is a tremendous honor. I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, and my work as an administrator allows me to do that. I am so thankful for the colleagues I work alongside each day and am proud to represent District Five.”

Doty has been a professional educator for 17 years. She attended Florida State University earning a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree at the University of South Carolina for educational leadership and administration. Prior to joining Irmo Middle School for the 2017-2018 school year, Doty was an assistant principal at Dutch Fork Middle School and an English language arts coordinator in District Five.

Doty said, “I am incredibly honored to be named a finalist this year. This recognition is truly a reflection of all of the amazing administrators, teachers, parents, and students that I have been blessed to work within District Five.”The middle level award is based upon four categories: personal excellence, collaborative leadership, curriculum instruction and assessment, and personalization.

The 2018 Assistant Principal of the Year selection process started in early 2017, when each NASSP-affiliated state principals’ association submitted their state assistant principal of the year. A panel of school leaders and educational thought leaders reduced the field to 10, from which another panel selected the three finalists.

The finalists, along with all state winners, will be honored at the 2018 NASSP or NAESP Assistant Principal of the Year Symposium, during which they will also visit Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials. A panel will also interview the finalists during the Symposium to select the National Assistant Principal of the Year, who will be announced during a surprise assembly at the assistant principal’s school before the end of the school year.

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