DARLINGTON, SC – Two Hartsville elementary schools will be under new leadership for the 2016-2017 school year, district officials have announced. Current West Hartsville Elementary School principal Tara King will move to Washington Street Elementary School as principal. Former Thornwell School for the Arts principal Julie Mahn will assume the leadership role at West Hartsville Elementary School.
“Shifting these experienced leaders will provide new opportunities for our schools, students, and staff,” said Dr. Eddie Ingram. “We want to create schools that nurture 21st Century ideas and promote communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Ms. King and Ms. Mahn will help lead our schools in that direction while also strengthening ties between the two schools.”
Washington Street Elementary School (grades 1-3)
Tara King, a veteran educator and administrator, will be the new principal of Washington Street Elementary School. For the past three years she served as principal of West Hartsville Elementary School. King brings extensive classroom, administrative and district experience to her role. She has been an elementary school teacher, a Mentor teacher, a Master Teacher for the Teacher Advancement Program, and an adult education teacher. King also served as an elementary curriculum facilitator, the Darlington County School District’s (DCSD) PULSE/Comer Facilitator, and the director of the DCSD Darlington Summer Academic Program (DSAP). King holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Francis Marion and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University.
Valerie Sawyer, the current principal of Washington Street Elementary School, will be returning to her roots as a classroom teacher, a role that will provide her more flexibility to be with her family.
West Hartsville Elementary School (grades 4-5)
Julie Mahn, another veteran educator and administrator with extensive education experience, will lead West Hartsville Elementary School. Mahn was the principal of Thornwell School for the Arts for five years before moving to the district office as Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment and Grants. Mahn began her career as a kindergarten teacher in 1990. She has since served as an elementary school teacher, curriculum coordinator, Master Teacher for the Teacher Advancement Program, and DCSD Elementary Curriculum Facilitator. She holds a Bachelor of Instructional Sciences from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Education from Francis Marion University, and Masters +30 in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University. She holds certifications in Elementary Principal, Elementary Supervisor, Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education.
Washington Street Elementary School is the feeder school for West Hartsville Elementary School. Students attend grades 1-3 at Washington Street Elementary, and then transition to West Hartsville Elementary. Though not physically merging, the two schools will conduct more joint operations to provide a more cohesive learning environment for the students. PTO meetings, family nights, faculty meetings and other events will be combined for the two schools to make it easier for parents and to create a more unified educational approach for students.