Elandee Thompson

New principals chosen for Beaufort Middle, Beaufort High

From staff reports

Veteran administrators have been selected to lead five Beaufort County School District (BCSD) schools, including Beaufort Middle School and Beaufort High School.

Superintendent Frank Rodriguez announced the new principal selections during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

At Beaufort Middle School, Elandee Thompson, an assistant principal at May River High School since 2021, replaces Alvilda Graham, a veteran educator with 22 years of experience, who will be joining the Student Services department at the District Office.

Thompson, locally educated in the Battery Creek cluster and a S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics graduate, began her 25 year career at BCSD as a science teacher and has held assistant principal positions at Battery Creek High School, Beaufort High School, and May River High School. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of South Carolina. Thompson also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix and is working on her doctoral dissertation in the same discipline through Liberty University.

Carla Shelton

At Beaufort High School, Carla Shelton, Principal of Greenbrier High School in Evans, Ga., replaces Charity Summers, a veteran community and school educator with more than 30 years of experience, who is retired after serving as Beaufort High School’s principal for four years.

Shelton has 25-plus years in education with a track record of improving instructional practices and raising student achievement. She has served as a special education teacher, school counselor, assistant principal, and principal at both the middle and high school levels.

Shelton holds an educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, as well as a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Augusta (Ga.) State University.

The other principal hires:

Hilton Head Island Elementary School – Michelle Brockway, an assistant principal at Hilton Head Island Elementary School since 2014, replaces Sarah Owen, a veteran educator with more than 25 years of experience, who decided to return to teaching.

Okatie Elementary School –Tracy Lanese, an assistant principal at Okatie Elementary School since 2021, replaces Jamie Pinckney, a veteran educator with 40 years of experience, who retired after serving as Okatie Elementary School’s principal for 19 years.

Hilton Head Middle School – Clinton Austin, an assistant principal at May River High School since 2017, will be taking the helm at Hilton Head Island Middle School.

Four of the selections by Rodriguez were internal moves, and one was an external hire from outside the district.

“Every strong district has phenomenal school leaders, and I’m confident that these five educators will excel in their new roles,” Rodriguez said. “They’re experienced, they understand the importance of hard work, and the value of teamwork. Their No. 1 priority will be moving academic achievement forward and ensuring student success.”

The administrators approved were the top choices of committees that interviewed finalists for each position. Those committees included teachers, principals, executive directors, School Improvement Council members, and representatives of the district’s Instructional Services Division. The high school interview committee also included a student.

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