Beaufort Elementary School’s Michelle Sackman has been named Elementary Principal of the Year for 2022. Photo from Beaufort Elementary School’s Facebook page.

School district announces Principals, Assistant Principals of the Year


From staff reports

Two principals from northern Beaufort County were Elementary Principal of the Year and Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year when Beaufort County School District honored the 2022 Principals and Assistant Principals of the Year during the 2022 Summer Institute, the district’s annual three-day summer professional development conference, Friday, Aug. 5.

Beaufort Elementary School’s Michelle Sackman was named Elementary Principal of the Year, while Whale Branch Middle School’s Kyctrell Swinton-Atkins was named the Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year.

“Passionate. Reflective. Motivational. Going above and beyond. These are the kinds of traits and characteristics that not only make our employees special, but it’s what keeps this district running, through the challenges we may face,” Beaufort County School Distict Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said in a release.

Other winners included Secondary Principal of the Year – Brian Ryman, River Ridge Academy; and Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year – Cynthia Laizer, Red Cedar Elementary School.

The Principals of the Year will have the opportunity to compete at the state level to be named the South Carolina Principal of the Year.

“Great leaders working with staff and students is the foundation of the excellent school experience at Beaufort Elementary that prepares future-ready students for success,” Executive Director Celestine LaVan, Ph.D. said in a release. “Mrs. Sackman’s impact on culture and achievement was immediately evident by establishing a shared commitment to “Success for All.” Michelle not only expects greatness from herself, she motivates all of the staff to become better, more effective educators. She is a tireless leader, a selfless motivator and a fearless visionary.”

“Mrs. Swinton-Atkins is a fierce leader, passionate and caring about all students and staff. She is extremely knowledgeable about her craft and is often used to support the district in various entities due to her expertise,” Whale Branch Middle School Principal Jamie Allen said. “Mrs. Swinton-Atkins doesn’t hesitate to assist others. She is frequently called to Zoom with colleagues to provide support. She does it without complaint or hesitation. Mediocrity is not a term that can be used to describe her. Mrs. Swinton-Atkins doesn’t half-do anything. Her standard is definitely excellence.

“She is a great picture of what Beaufort County School District expects in their leaders; a selfless, knowledgeable, kind-hearted, yet relentless about ‘what is right for students’ kind s

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