Two Richland 2 principals honored

Dent Middle School principal Randall Gary thought something was up when reporters and television photographers interrupted a leadership meeting he was attending.

Forest Lake Elementary principal Kappy Cannon wasn't sure what was going on when a group of people interrupted the opening of a holiday luncheon she was hosting for district personnel.

Soon enough Friday, the Richland 2 administrators learned they were recipients of prestigious awards from the S.C. Association of School Administrators - with Gary named S.C. Middle School Principal of the Year for 2010 and Cannon named S.C. Elementary School Principal of the Year.

"Wow, and wow," Cannon gasped, as she accepted the award and praised her staff.

It was the third time in a week the association honored a local school administrator.

Last week, Karis Mazyck, an assistant principal at Richland 1's Hand Middle School, was named South Carolina's 2010 Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year.

Gary, who has been at Dent for nine years, was praised for his role in raising the profile of Dent, a school that hosts four magnet programs and is characterized by a diverse student body.

Cannon has been at Forest Lake since 1991, and principal of the technology magnet and NASA Explorer school for the past decade.

Gary's students honored him recently for completing his course work toward his doctoral degree. He said he told them, "I'm 40 and I'm a lifelong learner."

Gary goes on to compete in the 2011 National Principal of the Year competition. The elementary school principal competition ends at the state level.