LEXINGTON, SC – At the May 20, 2014 regular monthly meeting of the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees, the board approved the hire of Zan Tracy Pender for the position of Director of School Counseling and Advisement effective July 1, 2014.
Pender replaces Georgia Mason who is retiring at the end of the year after more than 26 years of education experience.
Georgia Mason began her education career as a teacher at the Thornwell Home for Children in 1974. She moved to the American Preparatory Institute’s Army Education Center in Berlin, Germany, in 1975. After moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, she was a case manager for the James River Alcohol Safety Action Program. She joined Charlottesville High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a guidance counselor in 1986, then moved to Prince William County, Virginia, where she was a guidance counselor at Woodbridge High School and Hylton High School until 2000.
Mason joined Lexington One as a guidance counselor at White Knoll High School in 2000. She was promoted to director of guidance at Lexington Middle School in 2003, became White Knoll High School’s director of guidance in 2006 and became Director of School Counseling and Advisement for Lexington One in 2008.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Erskine College and her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Mason is a member of the American School Counselor Association and the S.C. School Counselors Association. She is a global career development facilitator.
Zan Tracy Pender, who currently serves as student counseling services coordinator for the Sumter School District, has 12 years of public education experience and 20 years of service with the United States Air Force.
He began his military career in law enforcement and moved to the Military Equal Opportunity office in 1992. He began his career in public education in 2002 when he joined Sumter School District 2 as a school counselor at Manchester Elementary through the Troop-to-Teachers program. He moved to Lemira Elementary in Sumter School District 17 in 2004 and was promoted to student counseling services coordinator in 2012 after the two Sumter districts merged.
Pender holds an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and an Associate Degree of Social Services from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management from Saint Leo University in Florida and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Webster University in Missouri.
A National Board Certified Teacher/Counselor, he is a SAFE-T Evaluator, Love and Logic Parent and Classroom Management Facilitator, and Certified Mediator.
He is a member of the American School Counselor Association, Mental Health America of Sumter County, Elementary Vice President and Executive Director Elect of the Palmetto State School Counselor Association, Chair of the South Carolina United Methodist Native American Committee, Council President of the United Methodist Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Native Americans, Elder and Past National Chair of the American Indian Scouting Association, and Chair of the Sumter County IPTAY.
Recipient of many awards and honors, Pender has received the Mental Health America of South Carolina Volunteer of the Year, South Carolina Counseling Association Human Rights Award, National Runner Up for the National Consortium of State Guidance Leadership’s ABC Award, South Carolina Commission of Higher Education’s Higher Education Awareness Transition (HEART) Award, and Inductee to the National Civil Rights Memorial Center’s Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama.