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Winthrop Alumna Named S.C. Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year

Quick Facts

 Lowdermilk was selected for her leadership abilities and commitment to her students' success.
 The Conway, South Carolina, native started at Castle Heights Middle School as a teacher.

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Carie Lowdermilk

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has named Winthrop alumna Carie Lowdermilk ’97, ’03, ’08 the 2016 Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year.

Lowdermilk, sixth-grade assistant principal at Castle Heights Middle School in Rock Hill, received the award during a surprise announcement Dec. 2 at her school. She was selected for her extraordinary leadership abilities and commitment to her students’ academic success, said Beth Phibbs, executive director of SCASA.

The Conway, South Carolina, native joined the CHMS staff in 1999 as a teacher before transitioning to her current role as assistant principal for the sixth grade. Lowdermilk earned three degrees at Winthrop: a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in educational leadership, and a M.Ed. in middle level education.

"Being honored with this award is amazing, and I am still in disbelief that I was nominated, much less the recipient. I love my job working with middle-level learners and getting to see them grow over the years fills my life with purpose and joy. Days are often long and sometimes wearing, but I know I serve a bigger purpose," said Lowdermilk. "Winning the award was wonderful, but seeing my former students years later, hearing about their college plans, sharing in their excitement of becoming an adult, and getting those heart-felt hugs as we part ways? That is better than any award I could ever receive, and I am grateful to and for them every day," she added.

According to Lowdermilk, she came to Winthrop in 1993 to follow in the footsteps of one of the best educators she knew- her mother, Mae E. Hucks '65. 

"I continued my education at Winthrop because it has such a strong educational program. My passion is working with adolescent students, so it was only natural to gain my first master's degree in middle level education," said Lowdermilk.

She grew in her practices as a classroom teacher, but soon realized she wanted to impact more than just the students she taught. 

"That is when I took the next step of getting my master's in educational leadership. Under the leadership of Dr. Mary Martin and former Professor Dr. Mark Mitchell, I formed a firm foundation of leadership qualities that I still use daily. Along with my former grad school professors and under the guidance of Kelly Kane, my principal, I have been able to impact so many students in my educational leadership role," said Lowdermilk.

For more information, contact Monica Bennett, director of communications, at 803/323-2406 or email

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