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Indian Land Middle School Principal David McDonald announced this week he is stepping down at the end of the school year to take a job at a school in Travelers Rest.
McDonald, ILMS’ first principal, led the school to state and national acclaim for its performance and was himself recognized in 2012 as the South Carolina Middle School Principal of the Year.
McDonald, who was unavailable for comment by press time Thursday, announced his decision to staff Wednesday via email, acknowledging it “didn’t seem personal enough” in light of their years of support, but was the most efficient way to get the message out.
He said his last day at ILMS will be June 30.
“This has been a tough decision, but it is a great opportunity I could not turn down,” McDonald said. “I am proud to have served the first 12 years of my career here in Lancaster.
“I know that I will never be able to duplicate this experience nor will I ever be able to thank you for the many memories you have provided me over the years,” he said.
McDonald began his education career as a teacher at Lancaster High School.
He later served as assistant principal at Indian Land’s combined elementary/middle school until 2008 when the two split and ILMS opened in the former high school building.
During his tenure, Indian Land Middle School has consistently improved its performance on standardized tests, earning Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards for several years in a row.
“Obviously we’re losing one of the top administrators in the state. He will be difficult to replace because he set the bar extremely high. He has a bright future ahead,” said Lancaster County School District Superintendent Dr. Gene Moore.
ILMS earned national recognition for academic excellence in both 2010 and in 2012 as a national School To Watch, an honor reserved annually for less than 350 schools nationwide and awarded to only 14 schools in South Carolina to date.
“As I move on to another school, I will often think of the many friends and experiences I have had here in Lancaster County,” McDonald said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support, encouragement and opportunity you have provided me over the years.”
Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151