Dr. Alice Grice Among Marion County Superintendent Finalists

Alice P. Grice, Ed.D., assistant superintendent of federal programs in Dillon School District Two, has been selected as a finalist by the Marion County School Board for superintendent of  the county’s three school districts.
The other finalists are Everette Mendel Dean, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of the Marion School District Seven; Michael D. Lupo, Ed.S., superintendent for Marion School Districts One and Two; and Dan Strickland, Ed.D., superintendent of Columbus County Schools in Whiteville, N.C.
The board on Thursday directed the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA)—the organization hired to conduct a national search—to contact the finalists and confirm their willingness to continue in the process before publicly releasing their names and information.
Board Chair Cynthia Legette said the board was impressed with the slate of finalists.
“We are very impressed by each candidate’s record of success and the caliber of their experience and skills that will be necessary to continue the success of all of our schools,” she said. “We look forward to selecting the candidate who can take our districts to the next level.”
The board, working with SCSBA, received  31 applications for the position. The board identified seven candidates for a found of personal interviews, which took place Nov. 30-Dec. 2, before selecting the four finalists.
Legette said the board made sure to look for the qualities and characteristics identified by parents, community leaders, and educators participating in a series of focus group discussions conducted by SCSBA in October.
The board is planning a series of public events in January for parents, community leaders, and district employees to meet each candidate and allow them to tour the schools.
The finalists are as follows:
Alice P. Grice
Dillon School District Two
Grice is currently the assistant superintendent of federal programs in Dillon School District Two.  She has more than 20 years of experience in education in various school administrative and teaching positions in South Carolina and North Carolina.
Prior to becoming assistant superintendent in 2006, Grice was the district’s director of programs for exceptional children for five years.  She was assistant principal for the district’s high school in 2000-01, principal of the junior high school from 1999-2000.  She worked in Dillon School District One from 1997 to 1999 as principal of the elementary and middle school.  Additionally, Grice taught business education in Dillon and in schools in Robeson and Hoke counties in North Carolina from 1989 to 1995.
She received a bachelor’s degree in business education in 1990 and a master’s degree in educational leadership in 1994 from Pembroke State University in Pembroke, NC.  In 2000, she received an educational specialist degree in educational administration from South Carolina State University where she also received a doctorate in educational leadership in 2002.
Dr. Grice also successfully completed the Tapping Executive Educators Program with the South Carolina Department of Education andserved as president of the Allied Division of the South Carolina Association  of School Administrators.
She is currently the School Improvement Grant (SIG) Coordinator who leads the team responsible for securing over two million dollars in SIG Funds for Dillon School District Two.
Dr. Grice is a member of several professional organizations.
She is a member of New Hope United Methodist Church in Rowland, North Carolina, where she serves as the Children’s Coordinator and the Singles’ Group Coordinator.
In her spare time, Grice enjoys reading, exercising, and  spending time with her children, Ja’Coby, who works for the SC Department of Probation and Parole in Florence; and Bryanna, who attends East Elementary School.

Everette Mendel Dean Jr.
Marion School District Seven
Dean has more than 35 years of educational experience in various school and district administrative and teaching positions.  For the past 16 years, he has served as superintendent in the former Marion School District Three and in the consolidated Marion School District Seven.

Michael D. Lupo
Marion School Districts One and Two
Lupo began serving a dual role as superintendent of Marion school Districts One and Two this ear but has led Marion One since 2006.  Prior to coming to Marion, he worked for 29 years in various school administrative and teaching positions in Georgia including superintendent positions in three school districts: Evans County Schools from 1997 to 2000, Carroll County Schools from 2000-2003, and Dawson County Schools from 2003 to 2006.

Dan Strickland
Columbus County Schools, North Carolina
Strickland has served as superintendent of Columbus County Schools for the past five years but has worked for the school district in various teaching and administrative positions since 1972 when he began his career in education as a social studies and visual arts teacher.

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