Sheldon Higgenbottom’s first opportunity to serve as a high school principal would come at a very familiar place. After six years as an administrator at North Augusta High School, Higgenbottom – a 1983 graduate of Midland Valley High School – will once again wear the blue, orange, and white of his alma mater during the 2020-21 school year as the school’s new principal.
Aiken County Board of Education members approved Higgenbottom’s appointment as the new principal at Midland Valley High School for the 2020-21 school year during the school board’s July 14 regularly scheduled meeting. Carl White, the school’s former leader, previously accepted a new position as the district’s new director of student services.
“It’s really overwhelming to think that I am back here at Midland Valley High School in this role as principal because this is home for me,” said Higgenbottom. “This is what I would probably say is my dream job. I’ve already started reaching out to folks in the community and I am just so excited to get started. There are three of us on staff now who were here when the school opened, and we will be here when the new addition opens so that’s just really cool.”
Higgenbottom’s mother, Brenda, also served as a secretary at the school for many years.
“I walked around the building for a while my first day here and so many things started going through my mind,” said Higgenbottom. “I walked by the classroom where one of my favorite teachers and people of all time, Mr. Bob Sawyer, taught for many years and I even found my old football locker. This is just a very special place to me and I’m thrilled to be back.”
His academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from USC Aiken. He also holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction and a Master of Education in administration, both from the University of Phoenix.
Over the last six years Higgenbottom has served as an assistant principal at North Augusta High School where his duties included student discipline, service on the district’s code of conduct committee, student attendance, school safety drills, student mentoring, teacher evaluations and observations, SAT supervisor, 504 and ESOL coordinator, special education administrator and more. He also organized the school’s Teacher of the Year and GEM of the Year award recognitions.
Higgenbottom said he is grateful for his time as an assistant principal at North Augusta High.
“My experience at North Augusta High School was awesome and I will never forget the time I spent serving in that community,” he said. “So many people from the North Augusta community have wished me well and sent me some very kind messages on social media. It does feel good to be able to wear some orange again, though.”
Prior to his time in administration Higgenbottom served as a special education teacher at Paul Knox Middle School and Aiken Middle School in Aiken County, while serving in a similar capacity at Cross Creek High School and Sego Middle School in Augusta, Georgia.
He says a couple of his focus areas will be on community engagement and branding.
“I am a community guy,” said Higgenbottom. “I enjoy meeting people and being with people and I want to get them excited about this place. We want to put together some new branding and just get people excited. I want them to feel the same way I did when I was 15 years old and I first walked into the building and thought this was the greatest place I had ever, ever been.”
Higgenbottom started in his new role as Midland Valley High School principal in July.