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Shand Josey named principal at Southside Middle School

Southside Middle School will have a new principal at the start of the 2019-2020 school year, though her face will be a familiar one to many people in Florence 1 Schools. Shand Josey


Shand Josey, currently an assistant principal at Williams Middle School, will assume the role on July 1, 2019.

Josey has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Clemson University, a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Winthrop University, and is National Board Certified.

She began her teaching career in Charleston, teaching first grade, and also worked in Columbia and Clover before moving to Florence 1 Schools in 2005, where she taught at Royall Elementary for nine years.

Aside from working as a teacher and an assistant principal, Josey also worked for two years as a Curriculum Coordinator at Moore Intermediate.

“Being in education is what I knew I wanted to do from the time I was old enough to think about it,” Josey said. “My mom was a teacher and my grandmother was a teacher. I watched my mom, who was a first-grade teacher for 32 years, and saw the impact that she made, not just on her students but on her school and her community as a whole. I never questioned what I wanted to do because I wanted to be just like her and I am fortunate enough to be beginning the next phase of this incredible journey.”

Josey said that the timing was right for her now to become head principal and she hopes that her years of experience will help her connect with the faculty, staff and students at Southside.

“I am firm believer in not asking teachers to do anything that I am not willing to do or have not done myself,” she said. “I have run the gamut of early childhood education all the way up through middle school. I feel like I have a firm grasp on where students have come from in elementary school and where they are headed to in high school and what we need to do to prepare them for that.”

Middle school is an especially significant part of a student’s education, Josey said, because it is when students begin transitioning into young adulthood and making decisions that define who they will become.

“Middle school is a critical time in the life of a student, equally  as important as elementary school, where we build on their foundation from the early years and help guide them toward the path of success in high school” Josey said.

Having worked at Williams where the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program is a vital part of the school, Josey said she is excited for the new challenge of an arts-centric school.

“I am thrilled about being at Southside as I am a huge proponent of the arts,” Josey said. “We tell our students when they walk into math class that we need to do step 1, 2, and 3. Everything has an order and a procedure. We are sending our children off into a world in which they are encouraged to be a creative thinker, innovator, and a leader. The arts feeds into all of that because you are asking them to put their unique perspective on things and think outside the box. When you take the arts foundation and you infuse that into the curriculum, you are creating a well-rounded person who becomes a creative, innovative thinker. It also gives everybody a chance to shine. Some students may never receive an award for all ‘A’ Honor Roll and will never get the math department award but they can sit First Chair in the orchestra and they can shine in that capacity. Everyone needs a place to shine.”