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District Announces Experienced Aiken County Educator Dr. Jason Holt as New Principal at Aiken High School for the 2019-20 School Year

Earlier in his educational career, Dr. Jason Holt thoroughly enjoyed his time spent at the high school instructional level as a social studies teacher and assistant principal. He knew if ever presented with a chance to return as an administrator he would have to look very closely at the opportunity.

The recent principal vacancy at Aiken High School provided just that opportunity, and after two years of service as principal of Paul Knox Middle School, Holt is looking ahead to a new challenge in 2019-20. Current Aiken High School Principal Garen Cofer has accepted a new position during the 2019-20 school year as the new director of the Aiken County Adult Education Center.

Members of the Aiken County Board of Education approved Holt’s appointment during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting (May 14).

“My time as a high school teacher and administrator was so rewarding. Ever since I left that environment, I have really missed a lot of the things I enjoyed at the high school level and felt I had a good skill set for,” Dr. Holt stated Wednesday.

“I am really looking forward to being involved with the Cambridge International program at Aiken High because it really combines High Schools That Work and the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate all into one and that’s very exciting,” Dr. Holt added. “Having spent the majority of my life in Aiken County, I have always been impressed by the tradition, community and pride that has been present at Aiken High School and displayed by teachers, students and alumni, and being a part of that legacy as an administrator was very attractive to me.”

Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford says Dr. Holt has a proven track record as a dedicated, community-focused principal and forward-thinking administrator in Aiken County Public Schools.

“Dr. Holt has performed in an outstanding capacity in his administrative assignments and we are thrilled to have his expertise and energy at Aiken High School for the 2019-20 school year,” Dr. Alford stated. “Aiken High School has been uniquely positioned in our school district for great things in the future and we look forward to everything they will accomplish and achieve under Dr. Holt’s leadership.”

Dr. Holt’s previous assignments in Aiken County have included service as a middle school principal at Jackson Middle STEM Magnet School, and a social studies teacher then assistant principal at South Aiken High School. He has received numerous awards and been recognized for excellence during his time as a middle school principal at Paul Knox middle and Jackson Middle STEM Magnet School and is a member of the 2019-20 ACPSD Principal of the Year Honor Court.

At Paul Knox Middle, Holt established a unique, restorative framework for discipline that has decreased the total number of student referrals and repeat offenses. Under his leadership, Paul Knox has advanced its academic performance and received its first-ever “Good” rating on a state report card. While serving as Principal at Jackson STEM Middle, Holt received the Robert E. Alexander STEM Principal of the Year Award from USC Aiken, the Augusta University JAG 20 Excellent Young Alumni Award, and the Inez Tenenbaum Award from the S.C. State Department of Education. Additionally, he led Jackson STEM Middle to secure AdvancEd National STEM Accreditation.

Dr. Holt says Paul Knox Middle is in a position to soar in the future as it introduces a new thematic focus as a School of Science.

“The great thing about the success we’ve had at Paul Knox Middle has been the fact that it has been led in large part by the school’s outstanding teachers,” Dr. Holt commented. “At each grade level they have really embraced the challenge and opportunity associated with teacher leadership, and it has truly been an organic process that does not depend upon the presence of a single person. That’s why I am really excited for the future of Paul Knox Middle, most especially with the new opportunities available for students as a School of Science.”

Dr. Holt completed his doctoral studies in Educational Innovation at Augusta University after earning an Educational Specialist degree in Educational leadership at Georgia Regents University. He also earned a Masters of Arts degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina at Aiken.

Dr. Holt will begin his new duties with the District in July.

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LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2019 PR AIKEN HIGH PRINCIPAL

ACPSD Communications Department