Three Darlington County principals to retire at year’s end

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)—Darlington County School District officials have announced that three principals will retire at the end of the school year.

Terry Martin, principal of Pate Elementary in Darlington, Wanda Odom, principal of Cain Elementary in Darlington, and Dr. Kay Howell, principal of West Hartsville Elementary in Hartsville have all declared their plans to retire.

Terry Martin has been in education for 33 years, beginning as a second grade teacher at St. John's Elementary School before becoming the Title 1 Reading lab teacher at the school. Martin began the school district's English as a Second Language (ESOL) program and served as the district's elementary coordinator prior to taking on the role of principal at Pate Elementary. She has served as principal at Pate for the past ten years.

Wanda Odom has also been in education for 33 years. She started as an assistant at St. John's Elementary School in the Title 1 Reading Lab, taught kindergarten, second grade and fourth grade, and then served as the coordinating teacher and principal intern at Pate Elementary. Odom has been the principal of Cain Elementary School for the past 12 years.

Over the past 40 years, Dr. Kay Howell has been a teacher, director of the Darlington Summer Academic Program, district elementary curriculum coordinator and principal. Howell led Washington Street Elementary School as principal from 1996-2003. She has been the principal at West Hartsville Elementary since 2003.

"We are going to miss these leaders," district superintendent Rainey Knight said in a recent press release. "Between them, they have more than 100 years of education experience. They have guided thousands of our children through their elementary years with support, guidance and love. I wish each of them the very best as they move forward into their next adventures."

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