Richland One’s Popular Principal for a Day Initiative Returns
Dozens of business and community leaders stepped outside their normal duties November 17 to find out what it’s like to be a principal by serving as Richland One Principals for a Day.
Principal for a Day, one of Richland One’s most popular and successful community engagement initiatives, had been put on hold since 2019 due to the pandemic. Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon said school and district leaders were excited to be able to restart the initiative.
“This is a powerful initiative because participants leave with a greater awareness and understanding of the many wonderful things happening in our schools as well as the challenges they face,” said Dr. Witherspoon. “By ‘shadowing’ them and seeing what they do on a daily basis, they also learn that we have an amazing group of principals leading our schools who give their all for their students.”
Columbia Police Chief William “Skip” Holbrook has been participating in Principal for a Day since he took the position in 2014. This year, he was the Principal for a Day at Rosewood Elementary School.
“The spirit and enthusiasm in that school was contagious. There was order to the chaos. It just reminded me of how important education is to our citizens,” said Chief Holbrook. “It was really a positive experience. The kids were so polite. Their manners are a reflection of the teachers and staff.”
First-time participant Dr. Deborah Hazzard, who is the associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, was the Principal for a Day at Lower Richland High School. She graduated from Lower Richland in 1986 and was inducted into the Richland One Hall of Fame in September.
“What I learned from Principal Latayna Williams is that it’s truly about relationships,” said Dr. Hazzard. “When you nurture those relationships with students, it changes their trajectory. It reminded me of the people who did that for me.”
Columbia Police Chief William “Skip” Holbrook, who was the Principal for a Day at Rosewood Elementary School, visits Christine Pool’s fifth grade class.
Principal for a Day Dr. Deborah Hazzard speaks with Lower Richland High School seniors Malachi Moore and An’shaunta Anderson.