062917 Schools: Ashley Cameron is new Waccamaw principal
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Ashley Cameron, right, chats with Vervatine Reid, who is retiring.
Schools: Ashley Cameron is new Waccamaw principal

By Nikki Best

Goodbye Mrs. Reid. Hello Mrs. Cameron.

In the flurry of musical chairs among administrators in the Georgetown County School District, the school board named Ashley Cameron principal at Waccamaw Elementary. She has been assistant principal at Georgetown Middle School for four years and will replace Vervatine Reid, who has retired.

“I’ve done my whole career here,” Cameron said of her 12 years in education. “I’m in Georgetown County and that’s where I want to be.”

She is fond of the Waccamaw Neck, though. Before Georgetown Middle, she was an English teacher at Waccamaw Middle for seven and a half years. “I’m excited about going back to the area,” she said.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Coastal Carolina University and her family recently moved to Georgetown from the Horry County side of Murrells Inlet. Cameron’s husband Ryan grew up in Georgetown, and he works for Santee Cooper there.

But her new commuting situation may have her heeding the advice of her predecessor.

“It’s going to be a great 20 minute ride for you,” Reid told Cameron. It will allow time to shift focus from family toward the students, teachers and parents she’s there to serve, Reid said. At the end of the day the ride will allow time to shift back to focusing on family. “I liked crossing the bridge.”

Reid served as principal at Waccamaw for more than half of her 35 year career. She’s as excited as Cameron for the transition. “I have other aspirations, but it will still be under the educational umbrella,” she said. “I’ll assist the district with special projects occasionally.” With emphasis on the occasionally, Reid is looking forward to her new chapter.

“Mrs. Cameron will do a great job for Waccamaw,” she said. “We left things in order and she will just continue to take us to higher heights. We’ll remain that excellent school that we are, Palmetto Gold.”

In other changes announced this week, Jamie Thompkins will step down as principal at Kensington Elementary to head the ADEPT teacher training program; assistant principal Maurice Cobb will become principal. Tripp Hartley, assistant principal at Georgetown Middle, will shift to Kensington.

Bethany Giles-Burgess, principal at Browns Ferry Elementary, will become interim principal at Carvers Bay High. Kimberly Nesmith, an assistant principal at Andrews Elementary, is now interim principal at Browns Ferry.

Mack Burgess, an assistant principal at Andrews Elementary, was named principal at McDonald Elementary. He replaces Genia Smith, who took a job in the district office.

The moves leave four assistant principal vacancies.

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