WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington Two schools will have two new principals for the 2020-21 academic year, both with ties to the district.
At Thursday’s board meeting, Superintendent Dr. William B. James Jr. recommended and the Lexington Two Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Christian “Chris” Earl as principal at Airport High School and Matt Schilit as principal at Northside Middle School. Earl is a 1996 graduate of Airport, having also attended Wood Elementary and Pine Ridge Middle, while Schilit’s first teaching job was in Lexington Two.
Earl is currently principal at Wagener-Salley High School in Aiken County Public Schools. He started his career as a teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he later served as assistant principal. He also has served as assistant principal at Hixson High School in Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga; director of summer school and district-wide summer programs and assistant principal at Keenan High School, both in Richland One; and principal at Dalewood Middle School and executive principal at The Howard School, both in Hamilton County Schools.
Earl, who serves as a mentor for aspiring principals in his current school district, has served on the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Multicultural Advisory Council, board of directors for HOPE for Chattanooga, and vice president of the Hamilton County Department of Education’s Principal’s Association. Earl holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and master’s and education specialist degrees from Tennessee Technological University. He is married with two children.
“As a student growing up and attending Lexington Two schools, I feel I was prepared to tackle life's challenges, and was given the tools needed for success,” Earl said. “Strong leadership and nurturing teachers shaped our community during my formative years, and it had a profound impact on who I am today. I look forward to contributing to this same community that nurtured and molded me while serving students at Airport High School. This opportunity is even more exciting, because I will be guided under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. James, who was the principal while I attended Airport High School.”
Schilit comes to Lexington Two from Branchville High School in Orangeburg County School District, where he is principal. He started his career at Lexington Two’s former Lakeview Education Center, where he worked with alternative school students in grades 6-12, and was the wrestling coach at Brookland-Cayce High School. Schilit later served as assistant principal at Dent Middle School and as assistant administrator and teacher at Ridge View High School, both in Richland Two; principal at Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield County School District; data, evaluations and testing coordinator in Allendale County Schools; and as principal at Dover Elementary School and North Middle/High School, both in Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five.
Schilit currently serves on the SC High School League Class A Executive Committee and is a region president. He also serves on the VirtualSC Advisory Board with the SC State Department of Education and was selected as a SCASCD Emerging Leader. Schilit holds bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina. He is married and has three children.
“I believe every person chooses their own path, and I am beyond excited that my path has brought me back to the district where my professional career started,” Schilit said. “It is a true honor to return and to lead a wonderful school like Northside Middle School. My focus will always be ALL of our students and I can't wait to support Northside Middle’s teachers.”
Both principals will assume their new roles July 1. Earl replaces David Damm and Schilit replaces Mary Paige Damm, both of whom are retiring.
The first day of classes for the 2020-21 school year is scheduled for August 17.