dsc_0628Twenty-nine community leaders, including business and industry, public officials, the clergy, the military, the media and law enforcement had the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a principal by participating in the Sumter School District Principal for the Day program on Wednesday, November 16. This half day program concluded with lunch at the Crestwood High School Fine Arts Center where participants shared their experiences and received a plaque from Superintendent J. Frank Baker.

Principal for the Day is a nation-wide program that offers a unique hands-on opportunity to appreciate both the strengths and challenges of Sumter School District and to give our schools the opportunity to forge relationships with the community. We kicked off this program in 2011 and gave leaders in our community the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of a principal. The program, which is in its sixth year of implementation, has continued to flourish.

Thank you to the following participants: Alice Drive Elementary- David Merchant, Sumter City Council and Merchant Iron Works; Cherryvale Elementary- Chief Russell F. Roark III, Sumter Police Department; Crosswell Drive Elementary- Rick Jones, Logic2Performance; F. J. DeLaine Elementary- Keith Ivey, Fatherhood Coalition; High Hills Elementary- Captain Michael Evans, Sumter Police Department and John Kennedy, Shaw AFB Family Liaison; Kingsbury Elementary- Detra Mardis, Eaton Corporation; Lemira Elementary- Kimberly L. Rauschenbach, Palmetto Health Tuomey; Manchester Elementary- Penny Pratt, SAFE Federal Credit Union; Millwood Elementary- Jamie Glasscock, Glasscock Company, Inc.; Oakland Primary- Senator J. Thomas McElveen III; Pocalla Springs Elementary- Bob Smith, First Citizens Bank; R.E. Davis Elementary- André McBride, International Paper; Rafting Creek Elementary- Rev. George P. Windley, Jr., First Baptist Missionary Church, Shaw Heights Elementary- Rick Carpenter, the Sumter Item, Wilder Elementary- Kevin Johnson, BD; Willow Drive Elementary- Derek Burress, WDXY; Alice Drive Middle- Representative J. David Weeks; Bates Middle- Janice Poplin, Thompson Construction Group, Inc.; Chestnut Oaks Middle- Joe Jimenez, McAlister’s Deli; Ebenezer Middle- Chuck Fienning, retired CEO of Sumter Packaging; Furman Middle- Jimmy Byrd, Sumter County Council; Hillcrest Middle- Chip Chase, FTC; Mayewood Middle- Solicitor Ernest A. Finney III; Crestwood High- Lorenza Bowen, Zebra Custom Designs; Lakewood High- Dusty Rhodes, Rhodes Graduation Services; Sumter High- Thomas Rhodes, Rhodes Graduation Services; Brewington Academy- Chief Deputy Hampton Gardner, Sumter Sheriff’s Office; and Sumter Career and Technology Center- Deon Guillory, WLTX.

The Principal for the Day program is sponsored by Rhodes Graduation Services, Inc.-Jostens, First Citizens Bank, and C.A. Harler Trophies and Engraving.