During the May 16, 2017 regular monthly meeting of the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, the board approved the administration’s recommendation that P. Heath Branham become the new principal at Gilbert Elementary School. Branham replaces Tim Oswald, who retires at the end of the year.
A seasoned educator with more than 20 years of teaching and leadership experience, he currently works as director of academic operations with Advantage, a position he’s held since 2013. In his current role, he has worked with domestic and international partnership schools throughout China and Taiwan.
A servant leader who believes that all children can and must learn, live and lead a life full of rewarding opportunities, Branham began his career as a teacher at Newberry Middle School in 1995, moving to Prosperity-Rikard Elementary School as a fourth grade teacher in 1996. He became assistant principal at Hammond Hill Elementary School in 1998, joined Whitmire Elementary School as principal in 1999 and moved to Prosperity-Rikard Elementary as principal in 2003. During those years, he also worked as an adjunct instructor at Piedmont Technical College and Newberry College.
In 2005, Branham first came to Lexington District One as principal at Saxe Gotha Elementary School. In 2007, he was promoted to the position of director of elementary schools.
In 2009, he joined Edison Learning and the South Carolina Department of Education as South Carolina senior vice president in the School Turnaround program. In 2011, he took on the role of executive director for school improvement and worked with partnership schools, turnaround schools and dropout centers across the nation.
Branham received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Newberry College and a Master of Education in supervision and administration from Clemson University.
He is a member of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, Learning Forward, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the International Literacy Association.