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Lexington District One principals Cariens and Watson to retire

Lexington, SC - During the April 4, 2019 meeting of the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, Superintendent Gregory D. Little, Ed.D., informed the board that Sherry P. Cariens, principal of Oak Grove Elementary School, and Marie G. Watson, principal of Red Bank Elementary School, plan to retire at the end of the year.

With more than 40 years in public education, Sherry Cariens served as teacher, assistant principal and principal. She joined Lexington District One as a teacher at OGES in 1976, moved to Lexington Middle as assistant principal in 1981, became principal Lexington Intermediate in 2006, and returned to OGES as principal in 2010.

Under her leadership, OGES won multiple honors including National Blue Ribbon School in 2012, Franklin Covey The Leader in Me™ program Lighthouse School in 2014, and South Carolina Association of School Administrators Palmetto’s Finest School in 2015.

The 2014 recipient of the district’s Joseph M. Bedenbaugh Administrator of the Year Award, Cariens also earned the 2016 Elementary School Principal of the Year award from SCASA.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Appalachian State University, and a Master of Education and an Educational Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina and holds elementary administration and supervision, secondary social studies and mathematics, and superintendent certifications.

Cariens is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Palmetto State Teachers Association and South Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Marie G. Watson, a dedicated educator with 30 years of experience, she began her career as an art teacher in Richland County School District One in 1989. She taught at Mill Creek and Lyon Street elementary schools before moving to Lexington District One’s Midway Elementary School in 1991.

Watson joined Red Bank Elementary as assistant principal for instruction in 1999 and became principal there in 2003.

Special Olympics named RBES a National Banner Unified Champion School in 2018 for its outstanding efforts to promote inclusion for all students.

Her career achievements include becoming MES School-level Teacher of the Year in 1995, earning the 2006–2007 Joseph M. Bedenbaugh Administrator of the Year award from the district’s Educational Foundation, and obtaining the South Carolina Early Childhood Association’s 2007–2008 Jeanne Greene Administrator’s Award.

Watson holds a Bachelor of Arts in art studio, a Master of Arts in teaching and art education, and a Master of Educational Leadership in Administration from the University of South Carolina.

She is a member of the American Council on Immersion Education, South Carolina Association of School Administrators, and South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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