The Aiken County School Board recently approved a new principal at Wagener-Salley High School, a new director at the Aiken County Career and Technology Center and a new executive director of middle schools for the 2018-19 school year.

Chris Earl will be the new principal at Wagener-Salley High.

Earl, who is a 1996 graduate of Airport High School in nearby West Columbia, currently is the executive principal of The Howard School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“It is very exciting for me to be a part of a school district that is as progressive as Aiken County Public Schools is, and it is in more of a rural type setting, which is what I experienced growing up,” Earl said. “Of course, I have family nearby, and at Wagener-Salley High School, it will be a smaller school setting, and I really want to get to know the students and teachers as individuals. I want to get to know my colleagues and dig into the community.”

Earl’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he also played college football, and a Masters of Education in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University. He also holds an Educational Specialist degree in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

Before positions as principal with two schools in the Chattanooga area, Earl was an assistant principal at Keenan High School in Richland District One. He also has been a classroom teacher of world geography and African-American history at the high school level.

Earl will begin his duties in July.

Current Wagener-Salley High School principal Ute Aadland previously accepted a new position within the District for the upcoming school year.

Kenneth Lott will be the new director of the Aiken County Career and Technology Center starting in July.

Lott currently is the program specialist for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education for the Richmond County School System, a position he has held since 2016.

Before his current position, Lott was an assistant principal at Langford Middle School in Augusta and was leader of the school’s summer educational programs. He also was a summer school administrator and lead teacher at the Academy of Richmond County, in addition to teaching experience at A.R. Johnson Health, Science and Engineering Magnet School and East Augusta Middle School (currently Hornsby K-8 School).

His business experience includes work as a cost analyst and project assistant and production operator for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He also has nearly a decade of military experience as an automated logistical specialist for the S.C. Army National Guard.

Lott’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Voorhees College in Denmark and a Masters of Business Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also holds an Education Specialist degree in curriculum and Instruction from Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity,” Lott said. “For me it is like the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to be a building administrator and have that interaction with students and staff, while also helping to shape our future workforce and oversee one of the most critical components in education, and that is career development. It is really about ensuring that we are preparing our students for life beyond high school.”

Phyllis Gamble, currently the principal at North Augusta Middle School, will become the school district's executive director of middle schools in July.

Gamble’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and a Master of Arts degree in Education in educational leadership from Augusta State University. She is a doctoral candidate in the Education Innovation and Curriculum Instruction program at Augusta University.

Gamble has had an active duty role with the U.S. Army for seven years and completed an overseas tour in Afghanistan with the Army Reserve. She said her experience in the military will serve her well.

“Some of the experiences during that part of my career, things like mediation and working with people collaboratively, will have a direct impact on this position,” Gamble said.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.