(Columbia, SC) — The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has named Dr. Tia Jones the 2022 South Carolina Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year. Dr. Jones is an assistant principal at Catawba Trail Elementary School in Richland School District Two. She was a finalist for this award in 2017 and 2020.
Dr. Jones began her educational career 23 years ago working as an instructional assistant at Forest Lake Elementary School in Richland Two. She taught kindergarten and second grade at Rice Creek Elementary and was a National Board Certified Teacher at Sandlapper Elementary school prior to becoming assistant principal eight years ago at Catawba Trail.
“As an educator the work we have before us is paramount to our success and to the success of our students. It is our duty to act selflessly in the realm of education because no one person can do it alone. This accomplishment is a salute to the trailblazers who came before me and signifies our work together…everyone achieves more! It is an honor and a privilege to be a generational change agent in Richland School District Two,” said Dr. Jones.
Jennifer Gillespie is principal of Catawba Trail Elementary School. “It’s no surprise that Dr. Jones was nominated more than once and has now won this award. She prides herself in developing positive relationships with students, their families, faculty, staff and district colleagues. She empowers people around her to shine and is her happiest when they do. Dr. Jones is such a humble and unselfish person and I am extremely proud to have her on our team,” said Gillespie.
“Dr. Jones is the fourth assistant principal in a row in Richland Two to be recognized by SCASA. This is a true testament to the culture and environment being established in Richland Two that nurtures talent in our school district. Congratulations to Dr. Jones for the work she is doing for our children, school district and community,” said Dr. Baron R. Davis, Richland Two Superintendent.
Ridge View High School’s Brandon Rosswon the secondary assistant principal of the year award last year. Dr. Twanisha Garner, currently principal of L.B. Nelson Elementary School, won the award in 2020 while an assistant principal at Langford Elementary School. While at Muller Road Middle School Lakisha Cook won the 2019 Middle Level Assistant Principal of the Year honor.
Dr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from S.C. State University in Orangeburg, Master of Education degree in divergent learning from Columbia College, an Educational Specialist degree in educational administration from Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA, and Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC.
She and her husband Woodrow have five children, all graduates of Richland District Two, one of whom is an elementary school teacher in the district. Tragically, she recently lost one of her daughters, 1st Lieutenant Justice R. Stewart who was struck and killed by an impaired driver in June while jogging near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.