District announces new administrative changes

June 24, 2021

Three schools in Richland School District Two will have new principals for the 2021-2022 school year.

Mr. Benjamin Jackson, currently an assistant principal at Forest Lake Elementary NASA Explorer School will become principal-elect at Forest Lake effective July 1, 2021 and take over as principal after Dr. Kappy Steck retires in December 2021.

Dr. Andrea Berry, currently principal of Lake Carolina Elementary School – Lower Campus, will become principal at Pontiac Elementary School effective July 1, 2021. She will replace Dr. Katie Barber who has accepted the position of executive director of Elementary Education for Rock Hill Schools.

Dr. Jackie Norton, currently an assistant principal at Lake Carolina Elementary School – Lower Campus will become principal of Lake Carolina-Lower effective July 1, 2021 when Dr. Berry moves to Pontiac Elementary.

Dr. Jackie Norton, Benjamin Jackson, Dr. Andrea Berry

“Richland Two is known for growing its leadership. These new personnel changes indicate that our administrators are developing professionally, can take on top positions and can transition to lend their talents at different schools within the district,” said Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis. “I want to personally thank Dr. Steck for a superior career in education that spans nearly 40 years and to Dr. Barber who has also been a champion for our children in Richland Two for many years.”

Benjamin Jackson
Principal-elect at Forest Lake Elementary NASA Explorer School

Ten years ago, Benjamin Jackson began student teaching in Orangeburg County. He was hired at Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4 in 2012. There he taught sixth grade English and social studies and served as a leadership coach at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary School. He worked in Richland School District One as an assistant administrator for one year prior to coming to Forest Lake Elementary in 2017 as an assistant principal.

“With humility, I am honored by the opportunity to serve as principal at Forest Lake Elementary School. I am excited to continue supporting the students, faculty, staff, parents and community. I truly appreciate Dr. Steck for her leadership and continuous support since joining the Forest Lake family. I promise to lead with the kind of passion and enthusiasm that breeds achievement and PREMIER results,’’ said Jackson.

Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from South Carolina State University, Master of Education degree in divergent learning from Columbia College and Master of Education in elementary school administration and supervision from Charleston Southern University. He is pursuing a Doctorate in leadership at Charleston Southern University.

Dr. Steck recommended Jackson for hire in Richland Two and takes pride in him taking the helm at Forest Lake in December.

“I am confident that Benjamin Jackson is well prepared for the principalship and is uniquely qualified for our school. He is respected by his colleagues and loved by our students,” said Dr. Steck.

Dr. Steck has been an educator for 38 years, 35 of them have been in Richland Two. She has served at Forest Lake for the last 30 years.

Dr. Andrea Berry
Principal at Pontiac Elementary School

Dr. Berry has served as principal of Lake Carolina Elementary School – Lower Campus for more than a decade. She came to the district in 2001 to teach at both E.L. Wright and Kelly Mill middle schools. Dr. Berry worked at Joseph Keels Elementary School for two years as an assistant principal before moving to Lake Carolina Elementary where she served for one year as an assistant principal before becoming principal. Dr. Berry has taught in places as diverse as an inner-city school in Texas to an international school in Bangkok, Thailand.

“I have loved my years at Lake Carolina Elementary and I am deeply grateful to Richland School District Two for this opportunity to join a school with such a wonderful legacy. I look forward to serving the students, faculty, and families at Pontiac Elementary as we continue creating joyful leaders and learners,” Dr. Berry said.

She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in education at the University of Texas, received a Master of Education in administration at Columbia International University and Doctor of Education in educational leadership at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Berry also earned National Board Certification in early adolescent science in 2000.

Dr. Jacqueline “Jackie” Norton
Principal at Lake Carolina Elementary School – Lower Campus

Dr. Norton has been an educator for more than 22 years. She began her educational career in Kershaw County working as a fifth-grade teacher at Jackson Elementary School, and then a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Lugoff Elementary School where she earned the honor of being named the 2008 Teacher of the Year.

In 2011, Dr. Norton was promoted to assistant principal at Camden Elementary School and in 2015, she brought her talents to Richland Two also serving as an assistant principal at Lake Carolina Elementary.

“What a great honor to serve as the principal of Lake Carolina Elementary. My role will change, but not my dedication and service to the teachers, students, and the community of Lake Carolina Elementary,” said Dr. Norton.

Dr. Norton received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University, a Master of Education in educational leadership from Winthrop University and a Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Gardner-Webb University.