New principal hired for WEHS

A new principal is on the way to Williston-Elko High School.
During its June 10 meeting, the Williston District 29 School Board unanimously approved the hiring of Joel McKeon Mitchell as principal of WEHS. Mitchell, who begins duties July 1, takes over for Dr. Brian Newsome who is leaving to be Superintendent of Schools for Orangeburg Preparatory Schools.
"I look forward to working with the teachers, parents, students and community members, and building on the stellar reputation the district and school have," said Mitchell, a native of Newberry.
District 29 Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler said Mitchell was among a "strong pool of candidates" who applied and interviewed for the job. "The selection committee made up of school office staff, teachers and district administrators gave vital input in this transition of leadership," he said.
Mitchell comes to Williston from Lugoff-Elgin High School where he served the past school year as assistant principal. "Joel has always gone above what was required for the position to help students and staff be successful," said LEHS Principal Tommy Gladden.
"I knew Joel would only be with us for a year or two because of his leadership capability. We hired him because we knew he would be successful," added Kershaw County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan.
Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from Clemson University in 2004 with a degree in aquaculture, fisheries and wildlife biology. He was a wildlife biologist with TruTech Inc. for a short while before receiving his teaching certificate in Biology and general science from Newberry College.
In 2010, he earned a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University. He is completing an Education Specialist degree in Administration with superintendent certification through Converse College.
He taught science in Lexington District One and Newberry County Schools and served as assistant football coach, head girl's track coach and strength and conditioning coach, according to a press release from District 29.