Orangeburg Preparatory School’s head of school said he will miss his colleagues and students when he leaves.
Evan Powell has been hired as student activities director for the S.C. Independent School Association. He’ll start his new job on Jan. 1.
“I’ve absolutely enjoyed my time at OP. The new position was an opportunity with the main office that I couldn’t pass up, just an excellent opportunity for me and my family,” he said.
Powell’s family will remain in Orangeburg.
“I still have kids here. That’s what I’m going to miss most, is the faculty and the kids. My kids will still attend Orangeburg Prep,” he said.
Powell has served as head of school since the beginning the 2017-2018 school year.
He said he’ll miss OP’s family atmosphere.
“Everyone works so well together. And when the students do well, that validates our hard work and efforts,” Powell said.
He said he’ll also miss celebrating OP students’ accomplishments.
“In my new position, I’m over student activities with the main office. So I get to celebrate a lot of student activities, but it’s different when it’s your students. So I’ll just miss the whole family atmosphere. I’m most proud of the family atmosphere and I’m going to miss it,” he said.
LaDan Brown, assistant head of school at OPS, has been named interim head of school for the spring 2020 semester.
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“The board has got her in place for the immediate future, and then I’m sure they’ll go from there. The school is in great hands. They won’t miss a beat, and I just appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to be here,” Powell said.
Michael Delaney, chairperson of the OPS board of directors, said the board hasn’t gone beyond naming Brown as interim head of school for the spring semester.
Delaney said Powell’s departure was unexpected.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed to see Evan go, but we understand it’s a great opportunity for him. One of the things that we are happy about is the SCISA office is here in Orangeburg, so the Powells will remain part of the Orangeburg Prep family,” Delaney said.
“As far as the transition, the board has named an interim for the spring semester and we have other strong people in our key roles. So we kind of expect it to be a good transition,” he said. “We’ll probably in January start getting together what we’re looking for and kind of start developing a list of candidates going forward from there,” Delaney said.
Powell has more than 17 years of experience in the independent school sector.
A 2000 graduate of Clemson University, Powell holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He also holds a master’s degree in education from Charleston Southern University.
He began his teaching and coaching career in the Anderson public school system. In 2003, Powell moved to Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, where he gained experience as a fourth-, sixth- and eighth-grade math teacher and varsity baseball coach.
Upon completing his master’s degree in 2005, he was promoted to dean of the middle school at Pinewood.
He served in that capacity until 2009 when he was hired at Williamsburg Academy as head of school.
In his eight years at Williamsburg, Powell was able to increase enrollment by 20 percent. He oversaw numerous campus improvements included the construction of a pre-3K facility and implementation of its curriculum.