Veteran Educator, Literacy Specialist Paige Leopard Named Director of Early Learning Program
From increased Pre-K classrooms to a successful 4K evening developmental program, Aiken County Public Schools has designated additional resources to its Early Learning program in recent years to develop increased capacity and offer new services to students and families.
Veteran educator and literacy specialist Paige Leopard, who has served twenty-six years in the Aiken County community, will now lead the program as its new director. Aiken County Board of Education members approved Leopard’s appointment as the Director of Early Learning for the 2020-21 school year during the school board’s April 21 regularly scheduled meeting, which was held virtually due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“Paige Leopard has been a valued member of our Aiken County Public Schools family for many years and we look forward to her leadership of our Early Learning program,” stated Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence. “Serving our youngest students to the best of our ability and providing them with a strong educational foundation is a primary part of our overall mission.”
“I am thrilled to have been provided with this opportunity to serve Aiken County students and families in yet another capacity,” Leopard stated. “I feel like my entire career, and most especially the last several years, have been preparing me for this new role. I am very excited about the opportunities it will present.”
Over the past three years, Leopard has served as Early Learning Content Interventionist at the Freedman Early Learning Center in Graniteville. During this time, she provided support to Early Learning teachers, facilitated Department of Social Services training for Early Learning teachers and assistants, while providing professional development for Early Learning teachers. She also analyzed important 4K student data, conducted classroom observations, and served as a member of the Instructional Services Division Team.
“In my current position as content interventionist I’ve had the opportunity to play a part in each of the responsibilities here at the Freedman Early Learning Center, which has provided important insight into what the role of a program director entails,” Leopard commented. “I’m looking forward to building upon our important community partnerships and ensuring that we are providing a high-quality environment at Freedman Early Learning Center and in our Pre-K classrooms across the school district as well.”
Leopard’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Charleston Southern University, and a Master of Education degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College, as well as an additional thirty graduate semester hours. She also holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Prior to her current assignment as an Early Learning content interventionist, Leopard served as an Instructional Coach at North Aiken Elementary School for five years, as a District-level Literacy Assessment Trainer for three years, and as a school-level Kindergarten and First Grade Literacy Coach. She served as a classroom teacher during the first 11 years of her educational career, teaching students in first through fourth grade.
During her time in the classroom Leopard displayed an advanced leadership capacity, serving as chairperson of the Accelerated Reader Committee and Writing Committee and directing the after-school tutorial program at Byrd Elementary. She also served as Primary Department chairperson and Curriculum Committee member at Gloverville Elementary.
Leopard says she is most looking forward to building new relationships and expanding her impact in her new role as Early Learning Director.
“I’m most looking forward to having more of an impact in what’s taking place at Freedman Early Learning Center and in our Pre-K classrooms in the District, as well as building even more relationships,” Leopard stated.
Leopard will begin her duties as the school district’s Director of Early Learning in July.
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2020 PR DIR OF EARLY LEARNING