Siblings make history as principals of separate schools in same district

Mildred Europa Taylor August 10, 2023
Sibling principals lead schools in Richland School District One. Photo: ABC Columbia

Richland School District One will for the first time have a brother and sister leading as principals within the district. Dr. Greg Pickett is starting his first year as a principal at Heyward Gibbes Middle School while his older sister Dr. Tracy Pickett is beginning her eighth year as principal at Pine Grove Elementary School, ABC Columbia reported.

The siblings, who were both educated in Richland County School District One from pre-kindergarten all the way through high school, said their parents inspired their career choice. Their mother and older sister were also educators, with their father being a retired instructor in the Army National Guard.

Greg recalled Tracy teaching him at their kitchen table when he was around three years old. “I was her first student, and so I’m still her student. I still learn from her. But sometimes a student can teach a lesson too,” said Greg.  

Tracy advised her younger brother to take one day at a time as he begins his first year as a principal. “It will get done. It’s not going to get done in a day, but it will get done, and I will tell him to make the most of his experience and try to find some joy in it because if you enjoy what you do you’re going to put your whole heart in it and you don’t want to let anybody down, and I would just tell him to enjoy the ride so he can have some longevity,” she said.

The history-makers, who have a deeply personal connection and attachment to their community, said they wouldn’t stop supporting each other and their students.

“Tracy and I had teachers, assistant principals, principals and school counselors when we were students in this district who took an interest in us. They loved us. They cared for us. They prepared us for the next phase of our educational journey. That’s simply what we want to do. As brother and sister, we just want to give back,” Gregory said.

He began his career in 2012 as an English teacher and coach at C.A. Johnson High School and later became the athletics director of the school. He left C.A. Johnson to serve as a lead teacher at Olympia Learning Center and was subsequently made an assistant principal at Alcorn Middle School for three and a half years before being appointed to his new role.

His sister Tracy also started as a teacher at South Kilbourne Elementary School in 2002 and later taught at Pine Grove for a year and in Allendale for three years. In 2012, she started teaching again in Pine Grove before being named an assistant principal in 2014 and principal in 2016.  

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 10, 2023


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