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Rene Harris named Elementary Principal of the Year

Rene Harris, principal of Beech Hill Elementary School in Dorchester School District Two, has been named 2022 South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year by the SC Association of School Administrators (SCASA). Amid cheering and tears from fellow principals, district staff, and school board members, Harris learned she had received this coveted award in a surprise announcement by Beth Phibbs, executive director of SCASA, during a district principals meeting on December 10th. Family members husband Paul, daughter Lillian, and son Paul also attended the event.

Harris began her teaching career in Dorchester School District Two at Newington Elementary School in 1988. She went on to serve as a Curriculum Resource Teacher at Beech Hill Elementary School from 1997-2003 before joining the State Department of Education as a teacher specialist in Charleston County for 3 years. In 2008, Harris took the helm as Principal at Beech Hill Elementary School and under her leadership, the school has garnered numerous state and national awards. In 2012, Beech Hill Elementary earned the prestigious title as a Palmetto’s Finest School as one of the top elementary schools in the state. The school also received designation as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2018 in recognition of their outstanding academic performance.


Harris graduated from the University of Alabama and did graduate work at Charleston Southern University. She received her master’s degree in Elementary Educational Leadership Program in Administration from The Citadel in 2001. During her career, she has been involved in many professional development programs from literacy to best educational practices. In every position she has held, Harris has exhibited extraordinary leadership skills. Among her many awards and honors, her selection as the South Carolina PTA State Teacher of the Year in 1996 was one of the highlights.


Superintendent Joe Pye congratulated Rene Harris as a consummate educator that always puts students first.