Mark Phillips, the former assistant principal at St. James Middle School in Murrells Inlet was named the new principal at Waccamaw Middle School by the Georgetown County School Board on Tuesday night.
Phillips replaces principal Bill Dwyer, who resigned last month to take a job with a private company.
The other contenders for the job were: Jamie Curry, assistant principal at Waccamaw High; Darryl Stanley, assistant principal at Waccamaw Middle; Craig Stone, assistant principal at Carvers Bay High; and Paul Spadaro, assistant principal at Forestbrook Middle in Myrtle Beach.
All five finalists were given 10 minutes at a forum last week to address the public about their plans for the school if they are hired.
Phillips, at St. James Middle for the past five years, has taught special education and social studies.
“I am committed to education excellence. I am a transformational leader. I want to get to know each of you,” he told those in attendance. “We need to work together.”
He said the school has many successful programs in place that would remain if he is hired.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said.
Curry, a former Georgetown County Teacher of the Year, has been an educator 19 years and has taught in the elementary and middle school levels. She has been at Waccamaw High for the two years.
“I have grown to know the community and the expectations for education,” Curry said. “I want Waccamaw Middle to be the best school in the state. If I did not think that was possible I would not have applied for the job.”
Spadaro moved to the area from New York 10 years ago.
He said if he is hired he will help students, even at the middle school level, begin to work towards college and career goals.
Spadaro said he knows problems will arise but “strategies need to be in place to address those problems” when they do occur.
Stanley, who has been assistant principal at Kensington Elementary and principal Carvers Bay, said he wants to form a partnership between teachers, students and the community in making the school a continued success.
“My purpose is to make a difference in children,” he said, adding “students always do better when they see adults working together.”
Stone, who began his remarks by thanking “my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said he has been studying Waccamaw Middle and it is “an outstanding school with a history of excellence.”
He said he will have an open door policy where all the school’s stakeholders feel welcome.
“My leadership style is collaborative in nature,” he said.
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