AP NEWS

School board approves new principal at Aiken High School

May 16, 2019

Dr. Jason Holt has been named the new Aiken High School principal.

Holt, who has been the principal at Paul Knox Middle School in North Augusta for two years, will start his new position in July. Before going to Paul Knox, Holt was the principal at Jackson STEM Middle School.

He is a member of the 2019-20 Aiken County Public Schools’ Principal of the Year Honor Court. The winning principal will be named June 4 during the annual Stars of Public Education staff recognition banquet.

The Aiken County School Board approved Holt’s appointment Tuesday at its regular meeting.

“My time as a high school teacher and administrator was so rewarding. Ever since I left that environment, I have really missed a lot of the things I enjoyed at the high school level and felt I had a good skill set for,” Holt said Wednesday in a news release from the Aiken County Public School District. “Having spent the majority of my life in Aiken County, I have always been impressed by the tradition, community and pride that has been present at Aiken High School and displayed by teachers, students and alumni. Being a part of that legacy as an administrator was very attractive to me.”

Holt said he especially is looking forward to working with Aiken High’s Cambridge International program.

“It really combines High Schools That Work and the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate all into one, and that’s very exciting,” he said.

Aiken High is the first Cambridge International school in South Carolina. The Cambridge model focuses on creative thinking, inquiry and problem solving to prepare independent learners for an increasingly globalized world, according to the school district. The program also allows students to earn college credits while in high school.

Aiken County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said Holt has a proven track record as a dedicated, community-focused principal and forward-thinking administrator in Aiken County Public Schools.

“Dr. Holt has performed in an outstanding capacity in his administrative assignments, and we are thrilled to have his expertise and energy at Aiken High School for the 2019-20 school year,” Alford said. “Aiken High School has been uniquely positioned in our school district for great things in the future, and we look forward to everything they will accomplish and achieve under Dr. Holt’s leadership.”

In addition to his two principal positions in Aiken County, Holt has been a social studies teacher and then an assistant principal at South Aiken High School.

Holt completed his doctoral studies in educational innovation at Augusta University after earning an Educational Specialist degree in educational leadership at Georgia Regents University.

He also earned a Master of Arts degree in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from USC Aiken.

Current Aiken High School Principal Garen Cofer has accepted a new position during the 2019-20 school year as the director of the Aiken County Adult Education Center.