Renae Enlow, currently assistant principal at Greendale Elementary School in New Ellenton, will return home to the Horse Creek Valley Area in July to lead Byrd Elementary as principal beginning in the 2017-18 school year, according to a news release from the Aiken County Public School District.
Enlow's move to Byrd will follow the retirement of the school's longtime principal, Russell Gunter.
An employee of Aiken County Public Schools since 1990, she attended Area 3 schools for her elementary, middle and high school education. She graduated from USC Aiken in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and in 2004 from USC Columbia with a master's degree.
Enlow completed her student teaching at Jefferson Elementary School and continued at Jefferson after graduation, teaching grades one and four, and later, serving as a Read 2 Succeed coach. At Jefferson, she was the school's Teacher of the Year in 1994-95, an Area 3 High Flyer in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2005 and 2008, and an Aiken County International Reading Association Distinguished Teacher of Reading in 1995-96.
She also served as Jefferson's United Way Representative for six years and received two WSRS Excellence in Teaching Mini-Grants.
In 2014, Enlow received an educational administration certificate from USC Columbia, and soon thereafter, began her administrative career as an assistant principal at Greendale.
"Greendale has grown to be quite the home for me," she said. "I'm really attached to our students, teachers and families. Having moved to a new school two years ago will help me through the process of saying goodbye."
Enlow was one of 24 assistant principals in an 18-month district leadership development course taught by school superintendent Sean Alford to prepare assistant principals for future leadership roles.
"The course exposed me to other aspects of leadership that I hadn't yet encountered," she explained. "I have many more tools in my toolbox now, including effective communications, successful interviewing, understanding instructional leadership, management skills, mentoring and coaching. It is not just about being the principal; it is the wearing of many hats. Dr. Alford prepared us very well in each one of those areas."
The interview team, including district administrators, parents and teachers, was impressed with Enlow's strong instructional background, especially as it relates to literacy.
"Instructional leadership is a strength for her," Laurie Reese, executive director of elementary schools said. "She is well-experienced in balanced literacy and blending technology to support reading in our schools."
For Enlow, the position at Byrd Elementary allows her to serve her own community, the place where she and her husband were educated, raised their two children, where they worship, and have volunteered as Little League and recreation association coaches.
"It is sad leaving Greendale when I think about all that I'll miss," she admitted. "But I'll have new faces at Byrd that I'll be attached to, and I am really looking forward to transitioning over the summer and jumping right in."