Our Schools



Richland School District Two has two honorees featured this month in Columbia Business Monthly’s 2020-2021 Best and Brightest 35 and Under publication. Jackson Creek Elementary School teacher Valente’ Gibson and Joseph Keels Elementary School assistant principal Dr. Whitney L. Prowell are highlighted in the special edition of the magazine that is distributed in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville. 

Valente’ Gibson, Jackson Creek Elementary School
Valente’ Gibson teaches fifth-grade at Jackson Creek Elementary School in Richland School District Two. A focus of his work is racial and social justice education practices. He desires to see communities where all students achieve academically, invite change, become leaders and address injustices in the world. 

“Throughout this process, I have felt a strong sense of love, support and encouragement from my family and friends. This award continues to show my belief that no matter what age, you are able to lead from where you are. Additionally, this nomination has been a fulfilling acknowledgement of the respect and appreciation for the education field especially teachers. I hope that my recognition will inspire others to see the value in themselves and the teaching profession,” said Gibson.  

Gibson holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in counseling education from the University of South Carolina (UofSC). He is currently pursuing a Master of Education in teaching with a concentration in multicultural context in education at the UofSC. He is a recipient of the 2020 Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. He also teaches at the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students at the UofSC where he helps develop learning modules that embed culturally relevant curriculum for effective teaching of students of color. 

Dr. Whitney L. Prowell, Joseph Keels Elementary School
Dr. Whitney L. Prowell began her educational career as a fourth-grade teacher in Greenville. She came to Richland Two in 2009 and began teaching third grade in the Academy of Civic Engagement magnet program at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School. In 2012-2013, her peers at Lonnie B. Nelson named her the Teacher of the Year. Dr. Prowell is currently serving as an assistant principal at Joseph Keels Elementary and has held that position at Bridge Creek Elementary. 

“I believe there are so many people that I interact with daily who could easily be selected for this recognition, so I am humbled to have my work recognized for making a difference. I am honored to be selected for this award and happily share this accomplishment with my Keels and Richland Two family who I dearly love and respect,” said Dr. Prowell. 

Dr. Prowell is a graduate of Furman University, Greenville, S.C. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. At the University of South Carolina she earned a Master of Education Degree in Educational Administration, Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration.

Gibson and Dr. Prowell are featured on pages 78 and 86, respectively.
Link to Columbia Business Monthly Magazine