Parents upset after Kershaw Co. school district shuffles around elementary school principals

Parents upset after Kershaw Co. school district shuffles around elementary school principals

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Parents in Kershaw County are upset that school principals in the district will be moved to different schools.

Midway Elementary Principal Charles King and Wateree Elementary Principal Gail Stehle will switch locations. Bethune Elementary Principal Estelle Benson will become the new leader at Jackson School while Jackson Principal Matia Goodwin will move to Camden Elementary and Camden Elementary Principal Carol Przybyla will assume the leadership role at Bethune Elementary.

“I understand. I’m compassionate to how they feel, but at the end of the day I’ve got to look at the big picture and the long range of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Robbins said. “I respect the opinions and how they feel, but I would also tell you I have received messages that were very much in support of some of these recommendations.”

One student from Jackson Elementary spoke at the school board meeting tonight in hopes that her school may be able to keep the principal they have.

“Please don’t take Ms. Goodwin away from us, we will be so sad,” she said.

Charles King says he loves Midway Elementary and was touched to see so many parents and students willing to share their concerns. But with the decision set in stone, he just hopes everyone will be able to look for the positives in what’s happening.

“I appreciate parents and community members being willing to be vocal, and saying they would like to keep who they have,” he said. “But I hope that they would be receptive and welcome a new person with open arms.”

Superintendent Robbins is hoping the switch can bring out the best in everyone.

“I hope it will,” Robbins said. “But it’s something that I have to keep a watchful eye on to make sure that it does and that there’s a seamless transition.”

In a news release from the school district, Robbins said:

“These moves will help us best match the skills and talents of our principals with the needs of our schools,” said KCSD Superintendent Robbins. “Having a new leadership perspective will be beneficial for these schools as we continue our focus on academic achievement and improvement. These persons will be making their physical moves after this school year is over, and I appreciate the help of all to make these transitions seamless,” said Robbins. “I know that sometimes change can be difficult, but I have confidence in all of these principals and look forward to a successful 2019-20 school year.”

The district hired Dr. William Shane Robbins as the new superintendent in August of 2018.

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