Marie Gibbons is awarded the SCASA Lifetime Achievement Award

by | June 28, 2018 8:47 am

Last Updated: June 28, 2018 at 10:53 am

The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) Lifetime Achievement Award has been in existence for 40 years. Each year SCASA awards this to two or three people who meet the qualification standards as outlined on their website. Nominees must have a minimum of 10 full years in a school district or educational agency and be currently serving in an administrative capacity, or retired within the past year, and also must be an active SCASA member.

Any administrator may nominate himself/herself or be nominated by an affiliate of SCASA or anyone else who chooses to do so. However, those nominating someone must be able to provide proof their candidate meets the criteria of: exemplary leadership as an educational administrator, a record of service and leadership with SCASA, community service efforts and service to their profession above and beyond what the job actually requires.

This year Marie Gibbons of Clarendon School District Two was one of the winners announced on June 20, 2018 at the Innovative Ideas Institute held at the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach. Superintendent John Tindal nominated Gibbons for this award and stated, “She has had an exemplary career in education and she has worked unselfishly, not seeking recognition or rewards for her commitment to and service to the children and educators of her school district, community and the state of South Carolina.”

Gibbons has been in education for 37 years.

Gibbons graduated from Francis Marion in December of 1980 with a degree in Elementary Education and immediately landed a job as the Reading Lab Teacher in Sumter for grades 1-5 from January to June of 1981. While working full time, she continued her education at the University of South Carolina, earning a Master of Education in 1983 and another Master in Administration in 1988. She continued to build and expand by adding different teaching and learning tiers to her resume. She taught second grade, was a math lab teacher for grades 1-3 and completed the Principal’s Apprentice program at Manning Primary School. She then stepped up to serve first as the District Business Partnership Coordinator and Assistant Math Coordinator and then as the Education Improvement Act (EIA) Program Coordinator and Business Partnership Coordinator at the district level.

In 1991 Gibbons became principal at Alcolu Elementary School where she served for six years and then served as principal at Manning Primary School for three years. In 2000, Gibbons was selected to open the Manning Early Childhood Center and remained there for seven years. She then returned to the District Office as the Director of Early Childhood and Elementary Education for one year and then assumed the role of Chief Academic Officer, which she is currently doing.

Under her leadership in her various assignments she earned several honors including: MPS Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year. Further, MPS and MECC schools were both named as Exemplary Writing Schools, MECC was named as a Red Carpet School and Gibbons initiated accreditation under NAEYC, which was achieved the following year. She was also cited as Ambassador of the Year and served as the AdvancED District Accreditation Chairperson for 2008, 2013 and 2018.

At the State Department level, she completed numerous programs at the Assessment Center, the Springfield Leadership Institute, the Principal Induction and Principal Mentor programs and the School Leadership Executive Institute.

Over the years Gibbons has been involved with numerous SCASA affiliated divisions that include: Instructional Division, Early Childhood Division, Testing and Accounting Roundtable, served on the Summer Leadership Institute/Innovative Ideas Institute Planning, and served as the Innovative Ideas Institute Chairperson. She has also served on Palmetto’s Finest Committee, became a certified AdvancED Lead Evaluator and served on the AdvancED Accreditation Review teams in South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia and as an Associate Lead Evaluator on AdvancED reviews in South Carolina. She is also a member of South Carolina Leaders in Mathematics Education.

At the community level, Gibbons participated in the Leadership Clarendon Class of 2005 and at other times on the Economic Development Board, First Steps Planning Committee and the First Steps Board.

Gibbons was born and raised in Sardinia. She and her husband, Al, have three grown children and will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in August.

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