Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2016

Damon QuallsJake GambrellKelli CoonsThree Greenville County Schools educators have been named to the South Carolina ASCD Emerging Leaders Class of 2016. They are Kelli Coons, Instructional Coach at Bryson Elementary; Jake Gambrell, Second Grade Teacher at Oakview Elementary; and Damon Qualls, Assistant Principal at Berea Middle School.

The South Carolina Emerging Leader Program is comprised of an accomplished group of educators, typically with five to 15 years of experience, who desire to become more involved in the state's educational community. Emerging Leaders are passionate and committed to the "Whole Child," a belief that every child in that state of South Carolina deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

“I want to promote teacher leadership and foster a love of professional development,” said Instructional Coach Kelli Coons. “I feel that teachers need to feel supported and constantly be given resources. These teachers need to feel invested in both personally and professionally.”

Second Grade Teacher Jake Gambrell said he became a teacher because he truly believes educators change the world. “Growing up, I saw the huge void that was left from a lack of education. My grandfather wasn’t able to finish school. He had to leave the classroom and go to work in order to help provide for his family. This caused a deficit, which, luckily, he overcame; however, seeing that first hand left an impression,” he said.

Assistant Principal Damon Qualls has a passion for people. “I can quickly recognize the strengths and talents of those around me and effectively collaborate with them to generate superior results in a variety of settings. As an assistant principal, this quality permits me to discover the gifts of individual teachers, as well as students, in an effort to unlock their potential in ways that develop strong leadership skills that lead to academic successes.”

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