Sumter School District names new CFO, principals at Lakewood, Willow Drive

Lakewood head, finance lead have ties to Sumter

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 6/20/18

Sumter School District has two new school principals and a new chief financial officer, and a couple of them have Sumter connections.

District spokeswoman Shelly Galloway released the administrative personnel information late Monday after it took …

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Sumter School District names new CFO, principals at Lakewood, Willow Drive

Lakewood head, finance lead have ties to Sumter

Posted

Sumter School District has two new school principals and a new chief financial officer, and a couple of them have Sumter connections.

District spokeswoman Shelly Galloway released the administrative personnel information late Monday after it took two rounds of votes last week for the district's board of trustees to agree on the three new positions.

Sumter native Cedric McKnight will be returning to his alma mater as Lakewood High School's new principal. McKnight was a 2001 graduate of Lakewood.

He said he began his career in public education in 2009 as a social studies teacher at Conway Middle School in Horry County. He moved into administration at Blythewood High School in Richland School District 2 in 2013, serving under Sumter's current interim superintendent, Debbie Hamm. Hamm was previously Richland District 2's superintendent.

For the last two years, McKnight has been an assistant principal at Blythewood.

He said he's overjoyed with the opportunity to come back home.

"I'm excited," McKnight said, "and I can't even put it into words how excited I am to get there and get to working and do some great things at Lakewood."

McKnight will also begin his post in July. He's replacing John Michalik, who retired at the end of the school year.

In the other principal change, Preston Spratt has been named new principal at Willow Drive Elementary School.

Spratt will be moving to Sumter from the Denver, Colorado, area, where he served in school administrative posts for four years, according to his resume. Before that, Spratt served as a classroom teacher and curriculum coordinator in Charlotte.

Spratt will replace Trevor Ivey, who, after completing the school year, accepted a position with the district office.

Regarding the school board's two executive sessions and two votes needed on June 11 to pass the administrative personnel report, Galloway said again Tuesday that she couldn't discuss items that were handled behind closed doors in executive session.

On the administrative personnel side, Jennifer Miller, a certified public accountant with public accounting and consulting firm WebsterRogers LLP, is the district's new CFO. Miller is currently regional managing partner with the firm's Sumter office at 380 W. Wesmark Blvd.

With nine regional offices in South Carolina, WebsterRogers is the second-largest government accounting and consulting firm in the state and in the top 175 in the U.S., according to its website.

Miller has worked in government accounting since 2002 and graduated from the University of South Carolina. She has performed school districts' audits since joining WebsterRogers in 2005.

Miller said she has always enjoyed conducting school district audits and has been interested in moving to the other side as a district financial officer.

"Of all my governmental clients, I have enjoyed the school district audits the most," Miller said, "and I saw that there was a need at Sumter School District, and it just kind of all fell into place. It's a big change, but I am looking forward to the new challenges, and I'm excited about it."

A native of New York, Miller said she moved to Sumter about a year after high school graduation in 1995 when her husband was reassigned to Shaw Air Force Base. They have lived here ever since.

Miller replaces the district's previous CFO, Chris Griner, who left May 31 for another job opportunity in his home state of Georgia.

Miller said she will begin with the district in mid-July.

Board meeting rescheduled again

In other district news, the school board has rescheduled its regular June monthly board meeting again, moving it from Thursday to June 28. Because Sumter County Council postponed taking action last week on the district's 5.48-mill-increase request, the board has pushed its own meeting for third and final reading and adoption of its $131.8 million budget until after county council meets again on Tuesday.