Lexington District One Educational Foundation Awards 2023 Administrator of the Year Award to Margaret Schilit
Julie Anderson Washburn, Lexington One Educational Foundation Executive Director
Megan Moore, Lexington District One Communications Director
NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2023, LEXINGTON, S.C. — On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the Lexington One Educational Foundation presented the 2022 Joseph M. Bedenbaugh Administrator of the Year Award to Mrs. Margaret Schilit at the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees meeting. Established by the Foundation in 2005, this prestigious award recognizes an outstanding and deserving administrator in the district, while also honoring an esteemed administrator from the original Lexington School District One staff of 1952, the late Mr. Joseph M. Bedenbaugh.
Mr. Bedenbaugh worked in the district for 36 years serving as a seventh-grade math teacher, principal and assistant superintendent for personnel and federal programs. The Educational Foundation remembers and honors Mr. Bedenbaugh annually as its leadership presents this award to a contemporary administrator in Lexington District One at the end of each school year.
Mrs. Margaret Schilit is the Assistant Principal for White Knoll Middle School and has served in this role with Lexington District One since 2015. She began her teaching career as a social studies teacher at Spring Valley High School, was promoted to Social Studies Specialist for Richland District Two, and also served as the Assistant Principal at Dent Middle School. In 2015 she then joined Lexington District One in her current role.
WKMS Sixth Grade Science Teacher Keri Floyd initiated and lead the nomination of Mrs. Schilit and shared, “She doesn’t have one or two strengths as a leader. She has ALL of the strengths and qualities of a fearless, dynamic leader…She is excellent at working with the teacher, parent and student.”
Each nominee for the Bedenbaugh Administrator of the Year Award is evaluated on the basis of 23 leadership criteria. Highlights include having a genuine love for children; the ability to respectfully and effectively resolve tough challenges; being a skilled communicator with students, parents and colleagues; having concern for the education and well-being of all students; and being an organized and adept administrator who efficiently and wisely carries out the assigned duties required of the role.
In the nomination packet, White Knoll Middle School Principal Don Hardie shared, “Mrs. Schilit has a passion for all students…She does an excellent job of reaching out to families and encouraging them in difficult times. You will find her on a daily basis interacting with the students at WKMS.” Many WKMS teachers and staff said that she is “positively happy” and “works tirelessly to create a positive and inclusive environment.” Another shared that “she never gives up on a student” while one elaborated that Schilit “makes sacrifices for students and teachers and never expects anything in return.”
One teacher shared that Mrs. Schilit “is amazing at handling challenging situations with strength, grace and kindness.” A few WKMS students said, Mrs. Schilit “always helps with problems around the school and drama in the classroom,” and that she “always has a smile, even on a bad day.” One teacher said she is “our number one cheerleader! Always positive and encouraging…has great ideas to solve problems with students or curriculum.” Others describe Mrs. Schilit as one who is a “fair-minded, teller of truths…students can take the truth because they know they will be loved unconditionally, even if there is some fence-mending to do.”
Mrs. Schilit states on the WKMS website her belief that the middle school years are some of the toughest in a student’s educational experience, but WKMS educators will support and guide all students through these formative years in order to develop habits and beliefs that help guide students into a positive future.
Mrs. Schilit’s husband, Matt, and their children, Bella and Ryder, as well as many individuals from White Knoll Middle School attended the district board meeting to celebrate the honor. From all shared, it is very evident why Margaret Schilit stood out among the other nominees as the best choice for the Educational Foundation’s 2023 Administrator of the Year in Lexington District One.