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Blaney Elementary first KCSD school to participate in SCDE's leadership program

May 11, 2022
Leadership TeamBlaney Elementary School (BES) has been selected for the SC Department of Education's (SCDE) Collective Leadership Initiative for the 2022-23 school year. BES is the first Kershaw County School District (KCSD) school to participate in the program that focuses on a cohesive vision for teacher leadership roles within South Carolina’s schools.

"We are thrilled to be able to participate in the CLI cohort for the 22/23 school year," said BES Principal Nicole Kirkley. "In order to create sustainable change in education, we must start with those that are closest to the learning and leading the work: the teachers. The shifts that this initiative will bring in our staff will create an environment where teacher leadership is encouraged and celebrated."

According to SCDE, the program supports teacher and administrative leadership to drive student mastery of all elements in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.

Kirkley explained, "We hope to create a school culture and climate where leading together is the norm, and all voices are valued and heard. Collective Leadership will transform the way our teachers and staff feel about education, and we are very excited to embark on this journey!"

In its fifth year of operation, SCDE's program has served 25 schools; next school year's group includes seven schools.

SCDE held an orientation for the program this week that Kirkley said featured "a showcase of the work other South Carolina schools have done in the last two years. It was very enlightening and encouraging to see how motivated and enthusiastic they were and how much progress they've made in a short period of time."

Photo Caption: (left to right) BES first grade teacher Melissa Tomascik, principal Nicole Kirkley and fifth grade teacher Jonathan Hunt represented Blaney Elementary at SCDE's orientation for its Collective Leadership Initiative.
Mary Anne Byrd