FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Richard O’Malley, the Superintendent of Florence 1 Schools, recognized Tara Newton of Briggs Elementary School as Principal of the Year for 2022-2023 on Wednesday.

Newton has served at Briggs Elementary School since 2014. The school has been recognized locally, statewide and even nationally in recent years, according to a press release.

The Briggs Farm-to-School program, which displays how the school works with other state agencies to connect students with local agriculture, has been featured on South Carolina Educational Television.

Briggs Elementary School was recognized as a Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence Lighthouse School last year for its commitment to providing students with the education they deserve while coping with disruptions that came of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school has also received its Lighthouse Certification.

“We are thrilled to recognize Briggs Elementary School as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. Schools that achieve this Lighthouse Certification are great examples of a strong leadership model, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school,” said Sean Covey, the President of Franklin Covey Education.

“This school has experienced incredible results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me. And we are so pleased and honored to be their partner and to celebrate the success they are experiencing,” Covey said.

Newton was nominated for Principal of the Year by several peers, including principals and school administrators from Florence 1 Schools, according to the press release.

“Mrs. Newton is an outstanding leader, and she has been the driving force behind the accomplishments received at Briggs,” one of Newton’s nominating colleagues said in a statement. “Her students have grown academically each year, and she continues to seek out new and innovative ways to reach her students.”

“Mrs. Newton exhibits excellent leadership within her school and community at large. She consistently supports her students and advocates for their success daily,” another colleague said in a statement.

O’Malley announced that Newton will now compete for the title of South Carolina Principal through the South Carolina School Administrators Principal of the Year awards program, according to Florence 1 Schools.