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New Midway principal ready to share excitement of learning

Posted: July 19, 2011 4:25 p.m.
Updated: July 20, 2011 5:00 a.m.
Ashley Lewis Ford/C-I

New Midway Elementary School Principal Dell Brabham said she hopes to bring a “culture of excitement” to the school this year. A former assistant principal in Richland County School District Two, Brabham said she will also concentrate on attendance in the upcoming school year.

Not even a month has passed since Dell Brabham assumed principalship of Midway Elementary School (MES), and she’s already outlined two major goals for the upcoming school year: increasing ongoing student achievement and student attendance.

“I want to see some exciting news, and if you’re going to look for exciting news you have to make good news,” she said, sitting in her new office. “And I anticipate that here at Midway, we will be making good news.”

A native of Mt. Pleasant, Brabham has 17 years of experience in education -- 16 of which were spent working in neighboring Richland County School District Two. Brabham received her Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State University, a Master of Arts in teaching from Columbia International University and a Master of Education from the University of South Carolina.

After spending the past eight years working as assistant principal at Round Top Elementary School, Brabham said she is excited to have been appointed principal of MES -- and that excitement is one thing she said she will bring to the elementary school.

“Our phrase is ‘We’re wild about learning.’ I want students to be wild about learning, I want students to be excited about coming to school, and with that excitement, I want teachers to authentically engage our students,” she said. “Because if students are excited about school, they’re going to want to come. They’re not going to want their parents to let them miss the bus .. and that’s a culture that I hope to build at Midway.”

This week, Brabham said, she will look at individual and class PASS test results from the past year in an effort to see what areas students need the most work in. And with a daily to-do list of more than 15 items, Brabham said there are so many things she wants to set up and accomplish before the first day of school.

“I just want kids to come up and just be excited and say I’m not going to miss school tomorrow. As a child growing up, I loved school and there wasn’t a day that I didn’t want to be at school,” she said. “And I want kids to have that same type of feeling about coming to Midway.”

While she’s already had the opportunity to meet with her staff and some students, Brabham said she’s looking forward to meeting parents at next week’s registration. She also had an initial introduction during Tuesday night’s “Meet and Greet.”

Acknowledging she is new to the community, Brabham said she will spend a day not only riding on the bus routes the students will travel on when coming to school each day but also touring their communities.

“That’s something that we’re going to do so that we not only see our kids but seek to understand and relate to the situations that they’re coming from,” she said. “Kids are kids, whether they are from poverty or whether they are from affluence. You have to set that expectation. And when you set the expectation at a level you want kids to reach, they will rise to it.”

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