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RNE News

The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

Leaving his mark

Principal Mark Sims makes a statement for his final year here.
Sam Helman
Principal Mark Sims opens the assembly with words of encouragement.

Many of our faculty and staff members are leaving; some are retiring, others are leaving education, and a few are advancing in their careers. Principal Mark Sims happened to be one of them and decided to take the next step to advance his career.

On April 10, students and staff received an email from Regina Cherry about an important staff member transitioning from their previous work position. Realizing she left students confused, she sent a follow-up to reassure everyone that she was staying, but our principal was not.

The district is currently on a search for someone to fill his position. You should expect to see

Sims said it was hard to break the news to the school community.

“It is bittersweet for me. It’s a positive thing, but it’s also sad,” Sims said. “I’m going to miss interacting with students, faculty, and staff.”

As a leader, however, he believes it is right to advance to the next level. This way, he can assist all schools in the Richland Two School District.

“This is year 28 in education for me as a teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. My next goal is to be at the district level mix so that I can help and support from a wider scope than just one school,” Sims said.

He will be stepping into a new position as the district’s ombudsman, allowing him to communicate with and assist parents when they have questions or concerns about how schools are being run and assist with student advocacy.

While Sims may be leaving, Monique Flowers, assistant administrator, doesn’t think he’ll truly be gone.

“While he may no longer be in the building, I think his legacy speaks for himself,” Flowers said.

Eronda Jackson, Sims’ administrative assistant, is sad to see him leave. She and Melissa Myers, the assistant principal, wish him the best.

“Working alongside Sims for the last four years has definitely been a pleasure. I am sad to see him go as I think he was a good, strong leader for Richland Northeast, but I am excited about what the future holds for Richland Northeast as a whole to see what new Cavaliers are going to join us,” Jackson said.

“I’ve not been here as long as Jackson, but I agree with her, and I have enjoyed my time here. I’m going to miss him, but I love new things and excitement. Am I a little nervous? Yes, but that’s normal for me and I’m mostly excited,” Myers said.

Some people are nervous about the new changes, but the admin team is confident that our new principal will fit our school. Flowers mentioned how she felt about next year.

“We may be losing some of his presence here at Northeast, but at the same time, I feel like he has imparted a lot of wisdom and knowledge not only in the leadership team, but in teachers, students, and everyone here as we talk about the culture here at Northeast,” she said.

Another assistant administrator, William Clark, shared how he felt, as well as how Sims has impacted him.

“Change is always scary to anyone. Nobody likes change because it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing,” he said. “I’ve only worked for him for two years, but he’s been very influential in my growth as an administrator, so I can only imagine what another two years would have done.”

As Sims enters the final weeks of being the principal, he reflects on the job he’s done here and what he could improve on.

“Number one, we have focused on SEL and SEW (mental health) for our students, we have increased the awards for our magnet programs, and we are moving the academic needle for our graduation rate and within the school,” Sims said.

Before he moves on, Sims has a final message for the students, staff, and the incoming principal.

“I believe in every student and faculty member here. I want the school community to continue to celebrate all the positive things we’re doing within our community, and I will be forever grateful for that,” he said. “To the new principal, embrace the culture here. Build relationships, be transparent with, and be open to feedback from everyone.”

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About the Contributors
Jayden Gaskins
Jayden Gaskins, Editor
Jayden Gaskins is a sophomore in PCA orchestra, PCA theatre, and the Convergence Media program at RNE. He is a writer for The Saber's online publication and a co-host for The Saber's new podcast, "The Saber's Edge," where they take on different areas to see what goes on throughout the school, and even outside of it. He is also in the symphonic South Carolina Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and RNE's interact club to help the environment in his community. When he isn't busy, Jayden enjoys composing and listening to music, writing, playing instruments, and taking pictures of nature. In the future, he hopes to go to school for music or drama to pursue a career in education or performance.
Sam Helman
Sam Helman, Editor-in-Chief
Sam Helman is currently a senior at Richland Northeast High School, and is an editor-in-chief of the Saber online publication, cross country runner, member of National Honor Society, member of Science National Honor Society, and will be a co-captain on the soccer team this year. He has been in the Cavplex Convergence Media program for four years, and is also a member of the Quill & Scroll International High School Journalism Honor Society. Outside of school, Sam is an active volunteer at Transitions homeless shelter, and a congregant of Tree of Life Synagogue. He enjoys taking care of his fresh and saltwater aquariums, photographing nature, as well as thrifting. After graduating from high school, Sam plans to obtain his undergraduate in philosophy and then scope out his options for a career.  "Be as you wish to seem." -Socrates

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