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New Principal at SHFA

As the new principal at Swansea Freshman Academy, Dawn Sargent is ready for the challenges that come with leading a school. Sargent taught English in Lexington 4 for twelve years before becoming the Instructional Coach at Swansea Freshman Academy for two years. All those experiences in the classroom and helping coach teachers in best practices shaped her views on administration. Knowing that she always wanted to get into administration, Sargent applied for the Assistant Principal position at Swansea High School when the job opened three years ago. “I wanted the challenge of applying what I knew about instruction and student engagement to the operational aspects of school.  I was passionate about working with students to overcome barriers to earn their high school diploma.  I wanted to give back to the Swansea and Gaston communities I had come to love,” Sargent said.  


During the 2019-2020 school year, she became Acting Principal at Swansea High School and quickly received experience in what it takes to run a school. “The high school was in a state of transition. The Fine Arts Center was finished, and SHS returned to the tradition of graduation on the football field in the middle of the COVID pandemic. In every decision, I felt such a sense of responsibility to the students and all other stakeholders," stated Sargent. 


During that 2019-20 school year, Sargent was a member of the Delta Class in Education Leaders Experience (ELE). ELE's purpose is "to develop stronger ties between education, business, and community leaders."  Those leaders in education toured businesses and met with government and corporate leaders to discuss economic trends, issues in education, opportunities in South Carolina, and the projection of the workforce.   


“ELE was a powerful experience in that it allowed me to meet with business, government, and educational leaders to discuss trends and opportunities for South Carolina.  It is essential that our educational system prepares students to meet the demands of the workforce, one that will have jobs not yet imagined.  To have a format where the three societal components work together to support each other is refreshing and what South Carolina needs to be competitive globally,” stated Sargent.  


On Thursday, September 24, she received her certificate of completion from Kaye Shaw, Regional Workforce Advisor from the S.C. Department of Commerce.  


Pictured: Dawn Sargent and Kaye Shaw