Richland Two names new Bethel-Hanberry Bookman Road Elementary School principals

June 27, 2024

Richland School District Two announces new leadership for two elementary schools starting July 1. Linard McCloud will lead Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School while Dawn Smith will take the helm at Bookman Road Elementary School.

“Dawn Smith and Linard McCloud bring a wealth of experience and passion to their new roles, promising bright futures for their respective school communities,” said District Superintendent Dr. Kim D. Moore.

Linard McCloud – Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School

Linard McCloud brings a wealth of experience to his new role as principal of Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School. His 11-year career in education began as a music teacher at CDA Public Charter School, where he honed his instructional skills. McCloud’s leadership potential emerged during his tenure at Dutch Fork High School, where he served as an administrative assistant principal before advancing to assistant principal in 2019. Since 2022, he has successfully led Oak Pointe Elementary School as principal, further developing his administrative expertise. This diverse background in both arts education and school leadership equips McCloud to guide Bethel-Hanberry’s academic vision and foster a vibrant learning community.

“It is a blessing and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead a school with such a rich history of ensuring that all students have access to high-quality teaching and learning,” McCloud said. “I am committed to working with the entire Bethel-Hanberry community as we continue to nurture learners to lead and succeed.”

McCloud’s educational background includes an Ed.S. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina (2023), two M.Ed. degrees in Educational Administration (Charleston Southern University, 2018) and Curriculum & Instruction (Concordia University-Portland, 2015), and a B.M. in Music Performance from the University of South Carolina (2012).

McCloud is married to Ashley McCloud, a Richland Two teacher, and they have three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, working out, watching movies, and reading. He is also a licensed minister.

McCloud succeeds Shannon Holland who is retiring.

Dawn Smith – Bookman Road Elementary School

Dawn Smith’s career in education comes full circle as she prepares to assume the role of principal at Bookman Road Elementary School. Smith’s connection to Richland Two began over three decades ago as a parent and volunteer. Her professional journey with the district started in 1995 as a substitute teacher, followed by a role as a teaching assistant at North Springs Elementary in 1996. In 2001, Smith joined Bookman Road as a fourth-grade teacher, laying the foundation for her future leadership. Her administrative acumen developed further during her decade-long tenure as lead teacher for the Academy for Civic Engagement at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary from 2008 to 2018. Smith then honed her leadership skills as an assistant principal, first at North Springs Elementary and currently at Sandlapper Elementary, preparing her for this pivotal role.

“I am thrilled to return to the Bookman Road community with a renewed commitment to service,” Smith said. “Building on BRE’s rich history of excellence, I am dedicated to fostering a nurturing environment where teachers, staff, and students can thrive and achieve success.”

Smith’s dedication to education has earned her numerous accolades, including school and district teacher of the year honors. She was also a top 5 finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 2007-2008. Her academic credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Education and Psychology) and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching, Early Childhood Education. Smith is also a National Board Certified Teacher.

Smith lives in Blythewood with her husband, Ken, and their three dogs. She has two adult daughters. In her spare time, she loves to read, garden, swim and spend time with her family and friends.

Smith succeeds Dr. Kendra Hill who will transition to a position at the district office.