Anyone who knows Ed Yount knows his blood is probably Carolina blue. But they also know his love for the UNC Tar Heels is nothing compared to his love for children.
That caring nature and other leadership qualities are what earned Yount the title of 2011-12 Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Principal of the Year, an honor bestowed by his administrative peers.
“This is very overwhelming,” said Yount. “I’m extremely humbled and greatly honored. I think this award reflects the outstanding things that are going on at Camden Elementary.”
Yount said Camden Elementary School’s state-level honors include being named a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School, having the School Improvement Council named as a finalist for the Dick and Tunky Riley Award twice and receiving the Red Carpet award.
“We provide a very family-friendly environment,” Yount said.
The students and staff commemorated Yount’s award with a parade featuring balloons and banners. Each of the more than 600 students received a “high five” from Yount as part of the celebration.
Yount describes his philosophy as “doing whatever it takes” to make sure students are focused on learning. In the past, he has challenged students to increase their performance and rewarded them by sleeping on the school’s roof and being made into a human ice cream sundae.
“I’ll do anything to help them,” he said.
He said he is also proud of the school’s willingness to give back to the community.
“Teaching kids how to be good community citizens is an important part of what we do at Camden Elementary,” Yount said. The school participates in fundraisers for Relay for Life, the March of Dimes and local food drives.
Yount, whose wife, Gina, is a SEAGUL teacher, has three children: Ashton, who is preparing for a job with Campus Outreach; Ward, a student at Anderson University; and Claire, a Lugoff-Elgin High School student.
Yount was named principal at Camden Elementary in 2005. Prior to that, he was an assistant principal at Pine Tree Hill Elementary School and East North Street Academy in Greenville. He did his undergraduate work at Lander University. After completing his graduate studies at Western Carolina University, Yount started his career at Presbyterian College and later taught at several schools in Greenville County.
He will be formally recognized as the KCSD Principal of the Year at the district’s gala April 30 when the district’s new KSCD Teacher of the Year and Outstanding First Year Teacher will be named.