Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts from Charleston Southern University Master of Education from The Citadel in School Administration. Currently, he is enrolled in the doctoral program at Gardner-Webb University.
Mr. Robert Craig Washington
Robert Craig Washington, known as Craig, was born in Lake City, SC, and at the age of three, his family relocated to Johnsonville, SC, where he began his educational journey in Florence School District Five. In June 1991, Mr. Washington graduated from Johnsonville High School and embarked on his higher education at Charleston Southern University, majoring in Music Education, with the aid of a scholarship.
Upon completing his studies, Mr. Washington commenced his teaching career in the Charleston County School District at McClellanville Middle and Lincoln High School. After two years, he returned to Florence, where he taught in Florence School District Four before earning a promotion to Assistant Principal at Sumter High School in Sumter School District. After three years in this role, Mr. Washington assumed the position of Principal at Crosswell Drive Elementary School, where he served for five years. Subsequently, he became the Principal of Southside Middle School in Florence School District One, a position he held for thirteen years.
Under Craig's leadership at Southside Middle, the school achieved numerous accolades, including recognition as an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) School, a Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) Recipient, and the recipient of the Palmetto Silver Award. The school also received the National Bronze Healthy School Award, SC Healthy Schools Award, 2010 Red Carpet School, 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and a 2012 and 2013 ESEA rating of "B." Additionally, Southside Middle School was awarded AdvancED STEM Certification. Craig's outstanding contributions earned him recognition as the 2013 SCAEA Outstanding Principal of the Year, the 2015 SCMEA Honor Administrator of the Year, and the 2017 Florence School District One Principal of the Year.
Transitioning to Columbia High School, Mr. Washington took on the role of Principal in 2019 in Richland One School District. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, he led the school to a "Good" rating on the SC Report Card. Mr. Washington established a federal magnet school at Columbia High School, aiming to transform the narrative of the school to better support student learning and growth.
As the principal of Heyward Career and Technology Center, Mr. Washington remains dedicated to fostering a culture of excellence and innovation. Under his leadership, the school has significantly expanded its program offerings to include Pastry and Baking and CDL. Looking ahead to the 2024-2025 school year, Heyward Career and Technology Center is poised to introduce Law Enforcement, Gaming, and Design programs, and plans to enhance its dual enrollment opportunities. Remarkably, the school has experienced substantial growth, welcoming over 250 additional students. Notably, Heyward Career and Technology Center has received acclaim as a Health Generation School, recognized for its commendable efforts in promoting wellness. Additionally, the school has been honored as the SC State Newspaper Career Center of the Year, a testament to its commitment to preparing students for successful and fulfilling careers. Mr. Washington's visionary leadership continues to propel Heyward Career and Technology Center to new heights of success and distinction.
Educationally, Mr. Washington holds a Bachelor of Arts from Charleston Southern University and a Master of Education from The Citadel in School Administration. He has pursued further education, accumulating thirty hours above his Master of Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina. Currently, he is enrolled in the doctoral program at Gardner-Webb University.
Mr. Washington resides in Florence with his wife, Barbie Washington, and their two daughters, Mya and Briana. His career has been marked by a deep commitment to education, a passion for student success, and a transformative leadership style that continues to positively impact the educational institutions he serves.