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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Black Siblings Make History as Principals at Different Schools in the Same District

Black sibling principals

Nationwide — Two siblings, Tracy and Greg Pickett from Columbia, South Carolina, are making history in Richland School District One as they take on principal roles, becoming the first pair of siblings to lead separate schools in the district.

Dr. Tracy Pickett has been the principal at Pine Grove Elementary School for the past 8 years now, and her younger brother, Dr. Greg Pickett, is now stepping into the role as principal at Heyward Gibbes Middle School for the first time.

“I’m Dr. Pickett number one. This is now Dr. Pickett number two — and I don’t let him forget it,” Tracy jokingly told ABC 25 Columbia.

Their inspiration comes from their family — their mother and older sister were educators, and their father was a retired instructor in the Army National Guard.

Greg recalls how Tracy’s teaching spirit began early. He said when she was just 3 or 4 years old, Tracy used to teach him what she learned in school at their kitchen table.

“I was her first student, and so I’m still her student. I still learn from her. But sometimes a student can teach a lesson too,” Greg said.

Tracy had some words of wisdom for her brother as he embarks on his new role.

“I would definitely tell him to take one day at a time. It will get done. It’s not going to get done in a day, but it will get done, and I will tell him to make the most of his experience and try to find some joy in it because if you enjoy what you do you’re going to put your whole heart in it and you don’t want to let anybody down, and I would just tell him to enjoy the ride so he can have some longevity,” Tracy said.

While they may have different educational approaches, the duo have the same dedication to giving back what’s best for the community they grew up in.

“We’re extremely proud of the communities that we serve because we’re a product of this community. We were educated in Richland County School District One from pre-kindergarten all the way through high school, so we have a deeply personal connection and attachment to these communities,” Greg said.

Moreover, their commitment to students, staff, and families also remains steadfast.

“We always put our students first. And we focus on student achievement and developing our faculty and staff, and supporting our families and communities,” Greg said.

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