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Denise Khaalid
ALUMNI PROFILE
Name: Denise Reeves Khaalid
Residence: Rock Hill, S.C.
Degree: English
Occupation: Assistant Principal


Denise Khaalid

Rock Hill’s South Pointe High School earned major bragging rights in April when Assistant Principal Denise Reeves Khaalid ’95, ’02, was named the 2012 NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year. The top national honor came after Khaalid, in November 2011, was named South Carolina's Assistant Principal of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators.

“I was shocked and it’s actually still sinking in,” said Khaalid, an English undergraduate major, who accepted the award in April during a three-day event in Washington, D.C. “This national honor means a lot, but there are great folks working hard in schools throughout the country every day.”

Khaalid’s vision of transforming the assistant principal position into that of an instructional teacher is possibly what set her apart from the other finalists.

In charge of curriculum and instruction, Khaalid has made significant improvements to South Pointe’s operations. She and her staff redesigned the master schedule, developed common syllabi and exams within departments, established a uniform grading policy and set a standard homework policy. In addition, she helped launch a freshman academy as a way to ensure that freshmen thrive in the classroom and progress to the next grade level. She also worked with teachers to implement the school’s open-access International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs that allow all students, not just a select few, to challenge themselves with advanced course work. Finally, Khaalid, who also oversees a number of community and parent partnerships, coordinates the school’s dual-credit and High Schools That Work programs, increased the school’s emphasis on literacy by reducing class sizes, and providing high-interest reading material, professional development for teachers, and targeted small group instruction.

“Professional development is very important,” said Khaalid. “We encourage teachers to work with others within their departments so that they continue to grow and learn in their fields, all of which ultimately trickles down to our students.”

In the fall, she will be principal of Oakdale Elementary.

Even with all of her success Khaalid is quick to point out that it’s truly a collaborative effort. And she also notes that her time spent at Winthrop has contributed to her career success. “I had a wonderful Winthrop experience,” said Khaalid, who also earned a master’s degree in education. “Winthrop truly has played a key role in all that I’ve done.”

Last updated: 04/08/13

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