The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has named two school leaders from Lexington School District One as the 2020 South Carolina Middle Level Assistant Principal of the Year and the 2020 South Carolina Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. Leah Sarantopoulos, assistant principal at Carolina Springs Middle School, is the 2020 SC Middle Level Assistant Principal of the Year, and Julie Painter, assistant principal at White Knoll High School, is the 2020 SC Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. Both Mrs. Sarantopoulos and Mrs. Painter were selected from outstanding fields of administrator candidates by a veteran panel of judges.
The other finalist for 2020 SC Assistant Middle Level Principal of the Year was Allyson Keown, assistant principal at Lady’s Island Middle School in the Beaufort County School District. The criteria used in the selection of this award are set by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The state sponsors are Horace Mann and Herff Jones.
"We are excited to announce that Leah Sarantopoulos has been named the SCASA Middle Level Assistant Principal of the Year," said Beth Phibbs, Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, "She is an exceptional leader who demonstrates a passion for ensuring that all students are successful and is well-respected by the parents, students, faculty, and staff of Carolina Springs Middle School.”
Superintendent of Lexington School District One, Dr. Greg Little added, “Leah stays true to her core value of authenticity. She is candid in her communication and committed to providing culturally relevant experiences for students at Carolina Springs Middle. Another strength is her strong work ethic and high-quality work.”
Principal of Carolina Springs Middle School, Dr. Brice Cockfield said, “Mrs. Sarantopoulos is a genuine, tireless advocate for the success of all children. She brings her A-Game every day to help make Carolina Springs Middle School a phenomenal place to learn and grow!”
The criteria used in the selection of the 2020 SC Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year are set by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The state sponsors are Horace Mann and Herff Jones.
Beth Phibbs continued, “We are excited to announce Julie Painter as the SCASA Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. She is an instructional innovator and a true advocate for the students and teachers at White Knoll High School."
“Julie is a strong instructional leader with a focus on student learning,” reflected Superintendent Greg Little, “She expertly analyzes and uses student data, finds creative solutions to very complex problems, and masterfully designs and facilitates professional learning for staff.”
Principal of White Knoll High School, Ted Daughtrey, commented on Mrs. Painter’s impact, “White Knoll High School is extremely proud that Julie has been selected as the Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year. Through her willingness to strive for personal excellence, her ability to effectively collaborate with staff members, her extensive knowledge of curriculum and instruction, and her ability to personalize learning for our staff, she has ignited a focus on sound instruction that will benefit our students for years to come.”
SCASA, the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, has more than 4,400 members. From professional development opportunities and research, to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people. As a state affiliate of three national associations for school leaders, SCASA also works on the national level.