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Faris left her mark on Indian Land High

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The start of the 2011-12 school term will feature David Shamble in the principal’s office at Indian Land High School. Shamble, a former assistant principal since 2007, is replacing Kathy Faris.

Faris, the IL principal for the last five years, resigned her post in mid-July, about a month before the start of the upcoming school term.

Shamble, who considers Faris his mentor,  will no doubt continue many of the initiatives she started. But he will also have his own  agenda for the Class AA high school.

Faris made quite an impact on the school, including overseeing the move into the new, state-of-the-art school in 2007.

While Faris was in charge, the school earned two Palmetto Gold Awards for academic achievement from the S.C. Department of Education and another for closing the achievement gap, the latest this year.

The state Department of Education also honored the school with the Magna Cum Laude award for high improvement on the ACT college-entrance exam and the Summa Cum Laude award for high improvement on the SAT test.

Faris also left her mark on the school’s curriculum, working with the staff to incorporate nine AP, or advanced placement, classes, and increase the number of technical courses available to students not interested in attending college after graduation.

In both cases, it was an effort to help as many students as possible with their futures after earning their high school diplomas.

Nearly half the Indian Land Class of 2011 graduated with honors last May.

Faris also guided the students in different areas within the school, one of the few schools in the state to offer classes in American Sign Language, engineering and bio-medical sciences. Again, this was a notable effort by the school to develop well-rounded students.

Athletics are a vital part of a high school program and Faris, a former cheer coach, knew it well. She was honored on the regional and state level for her support and leadership with the Warriors sports program.

The 2010-11 school term, IL’s first as a Class AA school, saw Indian Land produce its best overall year in athletics – from a banner football season, stellar boys basketball campaign and shining moments in boys track and soccer in the spring, just to mention a few.

“We will certainly miss her (Faris) and want to thank her very deeply for her contributions to Indian Land High School, the LCSD (Lancaster County School District) and to the community,” said Lancaster County school board member Don McCorkle, who represents the Indian Land area.

Faris, who said her passion is teaching, is planning to return to the classroom to teach high school math in a neighboring school district.

Faris said she departs with a sense of pride.

“I can honestly say it was an honor and a privilege to be a small part of the success Indian Land (High School) has experienced in the last five years,” Faris said. 

“I know they’re going to go a lot farther than they are now and they’re well on their way to being the best school in South Carolina.”

Faris, in her short time at ILHS, played a large role in helping the school make strides in that direction among its Palmetto State peers.