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New administrators named to posts in Florence 1 Schools

Florence 1 Schools has announced three new administrators for the 2020-2021 school year. LaTonya Yates-Ford will be the new principal at Savannah Grove Elementary School. Amy Williams will be assistant principal at McLaurin Elementary and Marci Gatewood will be assistant principal at Royall Elementary.

LaTonya Yates-Ford

LaTonya Yates-Ford most recently served as the assistant principal of Creek Bridge STEM Academy in Marion County. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Francis Marion University. She also holds two Masters degrees from Coastal Carolina University, one in Teaching and Learning-Instructional Technology and the other in Educational Leadership.

Aside from serving as an assistant principal, Yates-Ford has also served as a classroom teacher, instructional technology coach and basketball coach. She was the Marion County School District Teacher of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year.

“As an educator, I have facilitated and organized trainings for teachers to support the integration of technology and student achievement,” Yates-Ford said. “It is my belief that every child can achieve success with the proper motivation and support.” 

Amy Williams

Amy Williams has been with Florence One for 25 years. She most recently served as the Curriculum/Technology Coach at McLaurin. Williams taught in both Special Education and Montessori programs before moving into the coach role. 

She is certified in Special Education, Early Childhood, and Elementary Education. She holds a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a second Master's Degree in Educational Leadership/Administration. 

During her time with the district, she has added the Gifted and Talented endorsement to her certification. She is Montessori certified in Primary and Elementary Grades and is a Montessori trainer with Florence 1’s Montessori Training Program. 

Marci Gatewood

Marci Gatewood has 20 years of educational experience, most recently serving as Royall’s Curriculum/Technology Coordinator. She has served in the classroom as both a kindergarten and first-grade teacher. Prior to becoming Royall’s Curriculum / Technology Coordinator, she worked for two years in the school’s Innovation Center and served as facilitator of the Royall zSpace Lab.

Gatewood received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Francis Marion University and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. 

Michelle McBride, Assistant Superintendent for Pre K-6 Instruction said she was pleased to see passionate educators move into these administrative roles.

“Our district is excited to have Ms. Yates, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Gatewood joining our team of school administrators,” McBride said. “All three of these individuals bring knowledge of education and a wealth of experience. We are looking forward to forming relationships to ensure that we continue to move students forward in our district.”