Laird and Starling Approved by Laurens County School District 55 School Board to Fill 2023-2024 Administrative Positions

May 26, 2023

The School Board of Laurens County School District 55 (LCSD 55) held their regularly-scheduled School Board Meeting on Monday, May 22, 2023, at Gray Court-Owings School. The LCSD 55 School Board approved recommendations for Lisa Laird and Emily Starling to fill vacated administrative positions.  

Lisa Laird was approved by the LCSD 55 School Board as the new Director of the Office of Special Education Services (OSES) beginning July 1, 2023. Mrs. Laird holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Winthrop University and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from the University of South Carolina. She currently serves as the LCSD 55 District Testing Coordinator. She has been in that role since 2018. She has also served in numerous capacities in LCSD 55 since 1985. Her first role in the district was as Preschool Counselor for Children with Disabilities. In 1998 she served as an Elementary and Middle School Counselor at Hickory Tavern School. In 2004, she became the Director of Guidance at Laurens District 55 High School. She served as Elementary School Counselor at EB Morse Elementary starting in 2014, then moved to Laurens Middle School to serve as Middle School Counselor.

Mrs. Laird expressed her excitement for her new role. “I am very excited to begin this new chapter in my Laurens County School District 55 career. My goals for this new role are to focus on providing the best possible opportunities for all of our students while encouraging an inclusive environment in which they can learn. It is our responsibility to provide students with the tools needed to become productive adults in an ever-changing society,” said Laird.

Emily Starling was approved by the LCSD 55 School Board as the new Principal at Hickory Tavern School (HTS) beginning July 1, 2023. Mrs. Starling is a highly competent educator and leader. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education from Lander University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a certified South Carolina Elementary Education Educator and Special Education Educator. She holds South Carolina Read to Succeed Literacy Teacher and Instructional Coach endorsements. She began her career at LCSD 55 in 2005. She currently serves as an Assistant Principal (AP) at HTS and is the perfect fit to be the lead administrator at HTS. She has been an AP at HTS since 2018. Her previous roles in LCSD 55 include AP at Ford Elementary School, Instructional Coach at HTS, and District Special Education Instructional Coach and Special Education Teacher. 

Mrs. Starling is delighted with the opportunity to serve as HTS Principal. She said, “I am looking forward to moving into the role of Principal at Hickory Tavern School. As we continue the excellent work already in place at HTS, I am eager to work with our amazing team as we grow in academic achievement. I will continue to focus on the goals set by Laurens 55 to provide a safe environment, quality instruction, and strong community engagement.”  

LCSD 55 Superintendent Dr. Thomas is confident with the capabilities of our new administrators. She said, “We are thrilled to congratulate these administrators on new positions as they change roles in our school district. Their vast experience and expertise will be invaluable as we strive to provide the best possible education for our students. We have no doubt that they will make a significant impact on our district and contribute to our ongoing success.”