WEST COLUMBIA, SC – A veteran South Carolina educator with more than two decades of experience is the new principal at Brookland-Cayce High School.
Dr. James “Vance” Jones, who most recently served as principal at Spartanburg High School in the Upstate, is a familiar face in Lexington Two, having worked in the district from 2001-2005.
Dr. Jones’ hire was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Brenda Hafner, following an earlier survey of the stakeholders on desired qualities and priorities for the school’s next leader. His hire was approved by the Board of Trustees at its March 16 meeting.
“It was evident throughout the interviewing process that Dr. Jones is passionate about students and believes that high school should be the best part of a student's life,” said Superintendent Dr. Brenda Hafner. “He brings a wealth of knowledge as a sitting high school principal at a high performing school, and he is eager to return to the area with his family. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jones to the Bearcat Family.”
Dr. Jones started his teaching career in 1999 as a business educator at Allendale-Fairfax Comprehensive High School, where he also coached football, basketball, soccer and track. While in Allendale County Schools, he also served as coordinator of technology from 2000-2001. He joined Lexington Two’s Airport High School as a business education teacher from 2001-2003 and entered his first job in school administration as Airport’s Administrative Assistant from 2003-2004. He was later named assistant principal at then-Busbee Middle School, now Busbee Creative Arts Academy, from 2004-2005.
From 2005-2011, Dr. Jones served in leadership roles as principal or assistant principal at a number of the state’s schools, returning to Allendale-Fairfax Comprehensive High School before moving to Mayewood Middle School in the Sumter School District; Blackville-Hilda High School in Barnwell District 19; and Spartanburg High School/Madden Learning Center in Spartanburg 7. Starting in 2011, Dr. Jones spent five years in the School District of Newberry County, working as director of the Freshman Academy, director of the Newberry Alternative Program, and as principal at Newberry High School. In 2016, he joined the Lee County School District as director of Student Services, Operations, and Tech.
Dr. Jones rejoined Spartanburg 7 and Spartanburg High School in 2018, first as assistant principal and then into his current role as principal in 2019. During his time at Spartanburg High School, U.S. News & World Report has named it among the top 12% of all high schools in the country, with a graduation rate exceeding the state average.
Dr. Jones received a bachelor’s degree in 1999 in finance from Wofford College; a M.Ed. in Secondary Administration in 1999 and an Ed.S. in 2010, both from Cambridge College; and an Ed.D. from Liberty University in 2020.
“It is a joy to interact with high school students,” Dr. Jones said. “This unique time in their lives provides us with a tremendous opportunity to help them shape their interests, develop a personal love of learning, and build confidence as they take their first steps toward becoming young adults.
“I have high aspirations for Brookland-Cayce High School and for every student that walks our halls,” Dr. Jones added. “Together with the faculty, staff, and community, I look forward to building on the foundation of excellence that has been established in order to provide the best high school experience for our students and their families.”