Saxe Gotha Elementary assistant principal named state’s best for 2017

When it comes to which region of the state has the top school administrators, the Midlands is simply crushing it this year.


Janet Ricard (Photo provided)

Latest proof? On Tuesday, in a surprise ceremony at her school, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) named Janet Ricard, assistant principal of Saxe Gotha Elementary School, the 2017 Elementary School Assistant Principal of the Year.

This latest verdict from SCASA comes after elementary, middle, and high school principals in Richland School District Two and Lexington-Richland School District Five swept top honors from their statewide peers within the past two weeks. (Stories on that here and here).

And, not to mention, Ricard’s runner-up this year was another Midlands assistant principal, Tia Stewart, from Catawba Trail Elementary School in Richland Two.

In making the announcement Tuesday on Ricard’s selection, SCASA Executive Director said: “She is an exceptional leader who encourages each one of her students to strive for excellence, to love learning, and to respect each other.”

First-year Lexington School District One Superintendent, Greg Little, also had praise for Ricard.

“Janet is a great example of the leadership we have here in South Carolina,” he said. “She has a huge heart for children and works to establish a culture where each child can succeed. We are thrilled to have her represent Lexington One.”

Saxe Gotha Principal, Beth Houck, concurred.

“Mrs. Ricard is a true example of someone who has been called to the educational profession,” she said. “She encourages each one of our students to strive for excellence, to love learning and to respect each other.

“And, she teaches all of us to give our best to our students, to wear a smile, to have faith, and to remember that we can never go wrong when decisions are made in the best interest of the student,” Houck added.

Ricard began her career 18 years ago as a first-grade teacher at Batesburg-Leesville Primary School in Lexington County School District Three.

An assistant principal for Lexington County School District One’s Saxe Gotha Elementary since 2011, Ricard received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management concentration, and her certification in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of South Carolina.

Ricard is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa and the Phi Chapter and is chaplain for the South Carolina Alpha Delta Kappa. She is vice president of the Woman’s Society of Batesburg-Leesville and received the 2010–2011 S.C. Volunteer of the Year Award from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Carolina.