UNION COUNTY — The new Assistant Principal at Union County High School has spent his entire career as an educator at the school and is looking forward to using the experience and knowledge gained during that time to continue have a positive influence on students and faculty by promoting “CAK.”
At its June meeting on Monday, June 25, the Union County Board of School Trustees voted unanimously to approve changes in administrative personnel at four of the district’s six schools for the 2018-2019 school year.
The changes included the appointment of Ken Ellis as Assistant Principal at Union County High School, succeeding Dennis Cooper in the position.
The board’s vote is a confirmation of its decision in May when it voted 8-0 — Trustee BJ McMorris was absent — to appoint Ellis Assistant Principal at the high school for the new school year which started Monday.
Ellis, who previously served as Curriculum Coach at UCHS, has been with the high school his entire career as an educator (6 years) serving as a teacher, coach, and club sponsor. He began his career at UCHS by teaching Social Studies and coaching boys soccer; then built the AP World and AP Human classes in its Social Studies Department; taught subjects ranging from World History to US History; and served as one of the sponsors of the Interact Club.
A resident of Boiling Springs, Ellis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from USC Upstate. Following his graduation, Ellis initially attended law school at Campbell University in North Carolina but didn’t like it and left after one semester. Ellis then went back to USC Upstate serving as a supplemental instructor for some classes while working toward his Secondary Education certification for Social Studies. He received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.
Even as he serves as Assistant Principal, Ellis plans to continue his education by seeking a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. He said Monday that he will begin the process of working towards that degree within the year.
When he was first appointed Assistant Principal in May, Ellis said his six years at UCHS and his experiences as a teacher, athletic coach, and Curriculum Coach, coupled with a nearly lifelong interest in being a leader are what inspired him to apply for Assistant Principal and go through the interview process that ultimately lead to his appointment to that position.
“I’ve always kind of wanted to do something in leadership, even in high school,” Ellis said. “Since I’ve grown as a teacher and a coach I seem to have picked up different leadership opportunities along the way. I have enjoyed developing stronger relationships with the students and faculty at UCHS. Being assistant principal will allow me to continue to be a positive influence on everyone in the building.”
Ellis said Monday that having that positive influence includes promotion of his motto CAK or “Care About Kids” at the school. He said that at UCHS “we all go around here saying ‘Do you CAK?’ We just keep each other on our toes, making sure we keeping putting kids first.”
In addition to appointing Ellis Assistant Principal, the board also approved the appointment of former English Teacher Renee Rogers as Instructional Coach succeeding Ellis.
The board also approved administrative changes at Buffalo Elementary School, Foster Park Elementary School, and Sims Middle School
At Buffalo Elementary School, former Director of Adult Education Jarrett Pendergrass was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Jason Koepke.
At Foster Park Elementary School, Jason Koepke was appointed Principal while Dr. Fran Adams from Georgia was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Dr. Erica Murdaugh.
At Sims Middle School Dr. Latunya Means from Cherokee County was appointed the new Principal for Sims Middle School succeeding Eric Childers; former Physical Education Teacher Rocky Cooper was appointed Assistant Principal succeeding Amber Comer; Jennifer Stepp was appointed Administrative Assistant; and Andrew Ormand was appointed Business Teacher and Coach.
There are no administrative changes at Monarch Elementary School and Jonesville Elementary/Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.