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River Bluff High School Principal Dr. Luke Clamp named National Principal of the Year

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Dr. Lucas Clamp, the principal who opened River Bluff High School in Lexington, SC in 2011 and has been serving in that position since, has been named the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) 2019 National Principal of the Year. The announcement took place at a surprise ceremony at his school attended by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, State Superintendent Molly Spearman, and numerous local dignitaries. The announcement is part of the 2018 celebration of National Principals Month.

After overseeing the opening of the school, Clamp spent the next two years designing an innovative high school experience. Early in his tenure, Dr. Clamp led the launch of two Centers for Advanced Study and the Center for Media Arts, Design and Production and Center for Law and Global Policy Development. These provide honors level courses designed to connect learning and a hands-on experience within these fields. Hands-on learning is central to Dr. Clamp’s vision, leading to River Bluff becoming the first South Carolina school to adopt the project based–learning model provided by EL Education.

Dr. Clamp fosters a culture that stems from a unique desire to connect with each student, developing their skills and talents, and believing in them as individuals. He thinks each has a contribution to make to the local and global community that can change the world.

The panel of judges was particularly impressed with Dr. Clamp’s focus on students leading their own education. One of the judges said, “Luke is a champion for community building.” That judge also said that Clamp does his best to include all children and give them their own voice through a variety of clubs, organizations, and informal structures. “Luke will be a passionate voice for principals in the coming year,” said Annette E. Wallace, Assistant Superintendent of

Worcester County (MD) Board of Education, who served as a judge.

Prior to joining Lexington County as an assistant principal in 2006, Dr. Clamp taught chemistry and environmental science and coached football and baseball at Irmo High School. Later as the Dean of Studies for Smaller Learning Communities, he developed curriculum for incoming freshmen, a Peer Mentoring Program, Peer Tutoring Center, and school-wide staff development. Dr. Clamp received his bachelor’s degree in science from Clemson University and his master’s degree, educational specialist degree in educational administration and doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Carolina. He is also a graduate of the South Carolina State Department of Education Developing Aspiring Principals Program.

“Dr. Clamp is a true champion for all children,” said Lexington School District One superintendent Dr. Gregory Little. “I am thrilled that the hard work, dedication, and commitment he demonstrates on a daily basis is being recognized by such a prestigious award.”

“South Carolina is blessed with tremendous school leaders and we could not be more proud that Dr. Luke Clamp will represent our state and nation as the 2019 National Principal of the Year,” he said.

The NASSP National Principal of the Year (POY) program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have made exemplary contributions to their profession and to their students’ learning. Each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools selects one principal to represent their state. Of these, three finalists are named as contenders for the award, with one being recognized as the NASSP National Principal of the Year.

For more information on the POY program, please visit

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