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Graduate, Ed.D. student new principal at Wagener-Salley High

Graduate, Ed.D. student new principal at Wagener-Salley High

    07.09.20 | Success Stories: Education Education

    Rasheem Neloms spent several years in teaching and administrative roles in South Carolina before accepting a district-level position at Birmingham, Ala. Now he’s returning to South Carolina as the new principal of Wagener-Salley High School, located in the Aiken County Public School District.

    “I’m excited about this next chapter of my educational career because being a principal allows me to positively influence all of the students in a building, as opposed to only influencing those I teach or coach,” Neloms said, adding that he looks forward to being part of a close-knit community, which is also not far from where his wife’s family resides.

    Neloms received his master of education in administration and supervision from Southern Wesleyan University in 2013 and has just completed his first year in the university’s doctoral program in curriculum and assessment (Ed.D). He also has a bachelor’s degree in education from the Citadel.

    Neloms feels that the MEDAS program at Southern Wesleyan gave him a good foundation when he became an administrator and looks forward to completing his doctorate program at Southern Wesleyan.

    “Many of my classmates in the MEDAS cohort have moved on to instructional leadership positions,” said Neloms, adding that he continues to stay in touch with classmates.

    Prior to his new role, Neloms was an instructional coordinator for Birmingham City Schools. Before that, he was an administrator at James Island Charter High School and also taught at Military Magnet Charter School in North Charleston, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2013.

    As an educator, Neloms gets a feeling of accomplishment, especially when helping students to stay on track and not drop out of school.

    “I had a student who was overage in the ninth-grade – he was already 17 years old. Another student told me he was looking to drop out because he didn’t want to be in school when he was 20,” Neloms said. “I talked to him and said, ‘the way the system is set up, you could possibly increase the amount of required core classes you take and graduate in three years. It’s going to be difficult and you have to get permission, but if you’re willing to put in the work, I can go talk with some people and see what we can do.’ It just so happened the director of guidance was my wife Amy. I talked to her and the assistant principal and we were able to work out a schedule with him and he was able to graduate in three years.

    Neloms, who along with other Ed.D. candidates is preparing for his doctoral program’s residency at Southern Wesleyan, feels he can relate well to topics taught in the program, recalling his work as an instructional coordinator. He is working also to narrow his dissertation topic, which will be devoted to identifying predictors for academic success.

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to

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