Principal of the Year 2020-2021

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Deborah Cribb

Deborah Cribb Named Florence 1 Schools 2020-21 Principal of the Year

Dr. Richard O’Malley, Superintendent of Florence 1 Schools, announced today that Deborah Cribb, Principal of McLaurin Elementary School, has been named the Florence 1 Schools 2020-21 Principal of the Year. 

Nominated for this recognition by a group of her peers, including fellow principals and school administrators in Florence 1 Schools, Principal Cribb has served at McLaurin Elementary since 1999-2000. Cribb began her career in education in Sumter County, and in 1982 joined Florence 1 Schools as a teacher at Briggs Elementary School. She then advanced to serve as a Basic Skills in Reading teacher, later becoming the Curriculum Coordinator. In 1994 Cribb became Principal of  the Moore Intermediate and remained there until she became principal at McLaurin. 

“Mrs. Cribb is very passionate about her role of being a school leader for Florence 1 Schools.  She has created an inviting culture that is centered around student achievement and building relationships with students, staff, parents and the community,” said Michelle McBride, Assistant Superintendent for K-5 Instruction.  “Debbie truly deserves this honor, and I'm glad that she is being recognized for her efforts at McLaurin Elementary.

McLaurin is Florence 1 Schools largest elementary school, serving over 800 students. Under Cribb’s leadership, McLaurin Elementary is the only school in Florence 1 which serves as a Montessori school.  Developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori, Montessori is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. The method views the child as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. Montessori's method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world. 

Since its implementation at McLaurin, Cribb has been a torch bearer for the Montessori program, a program which educators in Florence 1 state, offers a choice to parents within the Florence 1 School District.  

Other distinctions of McLaurin Elementary include the involvement of an array of community partnerships supporting the school’s annual walking celebration which feature a specialized theme along with a celebrity guest.

On Thursday afternoon, amidst educators and community members at the Teacher of the Year Dinner sponsored by the School Foundation, Dr. O’Malley congratulated Cribb for receipt of the honor.  He also announced that Principal Cribb will now vie for the title of South Carolina Principal of the Year through the South Carolina School Administrators Principal of the Year awards program.