The South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association (SCAAA) announced that Union County High School Principal Joe Walker has been selected as the Class AAA Principal of the Year.
The award will be presented at the SCAAA Eighteenth Annual Spring Conference for Athletics. This conference includes high school athletic directors, principals, the SC High School League, SC Athletic Coaches Association and SC Association of School Administrators. These groups come together for professional development courses, information, discussions of current issues facing high school athletics and conducting business for the upcoming school year.
Recipients of the Principal of the Year award must be nominated by their region, and Walker’s nomination came by way of Travis Perry — Athletic Director at Greer High School, Ray Riley — Athletic Director at Blue Ridge High School and Mike Massey — Athletic Director at Union County High School.
“This is a tremendous award because it comes from your peers,” Walker said. “I was honored that enough people thought of me for it.”
“We are pleased with the recognition given to Mr. Walker by his colleagues for his support of athletics,” added Union County Schools Superintendent Kristi Woodall.
One determining factor of Walker’s selection could have been the fact that he was thrust into the statewide position of Class AAA president in August of this year. Walker was already the president-elect for 2012, but when the former president changed schools in August and was no longer at a Class AAA school, Walker had to take the reigns earlier than planned.
“I think people recognized that,” Walker said about beginning the role with less preparation than he would have preferred.
He now serves Class AAA throughout the entire state, covering 48 schools in 8 regions. As part of his duties, Walker coordinates and provides information for three meetings per year. He added that many have complimented him for keeping the meetings timely and efficient.
Walker says the experience has given him a chance to get to know more names and faces from school districts in the lower regions of the state.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the lower state folks,” Walker said, adding that many have noticed that he calls many from the lower state by name, the same as those from the Upstate. “That really means a lot to me.”
During his award presentation, Walker was credited with providing the leadership for a smooth consolidation of Union, Jonesville, and Lockhart High Schools into the current Union County High School. As a former coach, he supports athletics fully, as well as all student activities at the school — academic, athletic and artistic.
“When you see a child out there performing and representing the school, it makes it all worthwhile,” Walker said.