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Samuel Fuller: Principal finds home at South Aiken High

South Aiken High School Principal Samuel Fuller tried on several careers before he became an educator.

Fuller, who graduated from The Citadel in 2004, sold insurance, managed a restaurant, and did odd jobs here and there.

“I went to school to be an educator, but going to The Citadel, I thought, you know what, I can make more money doing something else,” Fuller said. “I'd say I had at least seven jobs after I graduated, but none of them fit. Education fit.”

Fuller started his career in education as a paraprofessional, working as a teacher's aide with special-needs students at Goose Creek High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, near Charleston.

After earning his teaching certificate, Fuller, who majored in physical education, taught at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, South Carolina, near Greenville.

Next, he coached junior varsity basketball and taught PE and spent two years as the varsity head basketball coach at Sumter High School.

When Fuller got to Sumter High, he knew for sure that education not only fit, it was the perfect fit.

“If you talk to most educators, some place where they've worked is home,” he said. “South Aiken has become my home, but I first fell in love with teaching and coaching at Sumter High.”

But no offers for administrative positions came immediately.

“I learned that you don't leave a job until you have another one,” Fuller said. “I had everybody on the team coming back. People couldn't understand why I was getting out of it, but when you know it's the right time to make a change, you have to make that change.”

That change brought Fuller to Aiken.

He applied for and got a job teaching and coaching football at the former Aiken Middle School, now Aiken Intermediate. After a year there, he moved to South Aiken High to teach PE in 2015. When he interviewed with former South Aiken Principal Jill Jett, he told her he “would love to get into administration.”

uller was an assistant principal for three years and became South Aiken's principal in 2018.

Read the full Aiken Standard article here

Larry Wood/Aiken Standard
Photo Credit: Cindy Kubovic