Spring Valley’s loss is Manning’s gain.
Neshunda Walters, 38, assistant principal at Spring Valley High School, was chosen from 29 applicants from three states for the top job at Manning High School.
“I interviewed six for the position,” Clarendon School District 2 Superintendent John Tindal said Friday at a press conference introducing Walters. “All of the them were very good people but there was just something about her. I liked her references. They were really solid. Everyone felt she was ready to become a principal. She is very well organized and has good interpersonal skills.”
Tindal called Walters “smart and a hard worker.”
“I can see a lot of positives as a result of her leadership,” he added.
Tindal referred to Spring Valley as a “flagship” school which has an emphasis on honors classes.
“Fourteen of her 15 years have been spent working at a flagship school,” Tindal added. “She has been a part of that school’s success and we wanted someone who could bring that kind of success here. We’re going to look to her to beef up academics and she has the background to assist with that.”
Walters said she will re-institute Advanced Placement classes at MHS.
“We’re going to get those classes back in the curriculum,” she added. “We want to make our students competitive with larger schools and districts.
Walters said offering AP classes would allow students to increase their grade point average that will allow them to be more competitive when applying to colleges.
The new principal said she would continue an emphasis on career-based classes for students who aren’t interested in four-year degrees.
“We want our students to be college and career ready,” Tindal added. “She can help us get there.”
Tindal said Walters’ military service as an Army Reservist and a disciplinary officer highlight her leadership skills and abilities.
Walters was a member of the 175th Maintenance Battery. As a “63 Whiskey,” Walters was a wheeled vehicle repairman, perhaps better known as a mechanic.
During her eight years as a Reservist, Walters’ battery was activated once to Bosnia.
While Walters said she enjoyed her service to her country, she said she realized early on that she didn’t want to make the military her career and chose education instead.
Over the last week, Walters has been in and out of the district getting know the district and the area.
One area that Walters said she’d like to see improved is the transition from eighth grade to high school.
Tindal said he would be sitting down with the new principal probably the last week in June to talk about goals for the upcoming year and how she might structure the curriculum at the high school.
Walters is married to Marlon Walters, an employee of Bank of America. The couple has been married for 12 years.
“He can work anywhere that he can find Internet access,” Walters added.
Walters, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, holds several degrees, including a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a master’s in education and degrees in educational administration and education specialist. Walters and her husband are active in their church and community. The couple hopes to relocate to this area in the near future.
Walters will assume her new role as principal at Manning High School on July 1.
Preston Threatt, the former principal at MHS, has been promoted to assistant administrator and will assume the role of director of auxiliary services and special projects and work out of the district office on Major Drive.