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National Principals Month Profile: Dr. Shawne Holder, Principal of Lakeview Academy

Dr. Shawne Holder

Dr. Shawne Holder, Principal of Lakeview Academy, has been working in education for 26 years. This year will be her fourth year serving as principal. Dr. Holder believes the best part of her role as being a school leader at Lakeview Academy is her staff and the students.

“The absolute best part are the sweet peeps, both the tall and the small. I’d have to say the students and staff here at Lakeview Academy keep me energized and happy.”

If you’ve ever visited Lakeview Academy, you are sure to find Dr. Holder saying “I love you” in sign language to her students or showering them with affection.

A native of Newton County, Dr. Holder grew up in the Newton County School System, where she graduated from Newton County High School. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Georgia, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University, a Library Media Leadership certification from Georgia College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mercer University.

Dr. Holder has vast experience in education, starting with her first teaching job in Newton County.

“My first teaching role was in Newton County at Fairview Elementary teaching third grade. While teaching third grade, my husband and I bought a fixer-upper and moved to Monticello in 1997. Shortly after moving to Jasper County, I was approached by the principal at Washington Park Elementary School to serve as the media specialist.”

After working as a Media Specialist for 3 years, she was approached by the Principal, Tony Tanner, who asked her to apply for the Instructional Lead Teacher position. “I interviewed and was hired. I served in that role for 8 years. When Mr. Tanner retired, I applied for the position of principal and was hired. I served as principal at Washington Park Elementary for 7 years.”

It was fate that led her to Lakeview Academy. “My father’s health was failing and I was planning to take some time off to spend with him. My niece was a student-teacher at what was then Creekside in Baldwin County and mentioned the posted position at Lakeview Academy. I applied and was called for an interview. The day of the interview I almost backed out, however, that is not how I was raised so I went in for the interview. Immediately I felt that this is where I was called to be in the upcoming school year.”

After additional interviews with the district leadership team and Baldwin County School Superintendent Dr. Noris Price, Dr. Holder was offered the opportunity to serve as principal at Lakeview Academy.

“I have been honored and privileged to serve the most precious students alongside an incredibly compassionate group of dynamic educators.”

She describes the overall atmosphere of the elementary school in one word: family. Dr. Holder does not look at her students as just a name or a number in a classroom; they mean so much more to her and hold a special place in her heart.

“My husband Greg and I do not have any biological children, but I consider any child who has been in my classroom, media center or school while I have served as Assistant Principal and Principal as my babies and no matter how old they get they will always be my babies.”

Lakeview Academy has received a considerable amount of recognition under Dr. Holder’s leadership. They have been featured in the news for the Thiele Kaolin Company STEM grant which helped create a STEM lab at the elementary school. They have also been featured in news stories about the Parent Laundry Center that was started at the school, as well as the Coffee Club Café that was created. The 2019-2020 Baldwin County School District Teacher of the Year, Mr. Ryan Maraziti, is a Lakeview Academy teacher.

“All our educators are amazing and I just love that I work for such a fantastic group of people. I love what I do daily. Being a principal is not a job; it’s a passion and I am blessed to be at Lakeview Academy.”

Thank You Dr. Holder for taking such good care of the Eaglets at Lakeview Academy. Your leadership in our school district is very much appreciated.

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