Tucker retiring as principal of RTE

BLYTHEWOOD – After 18 years as the principal at Blythewood’s Round Top Elementary School, Jeaneen Tucker is retiring effective Dec. 1. Tucker previously served at Bethel-Hanberry, Rice Creek, North Springs, Lonnie B. Nelson, Dent Middle and Laurel Ridge elementary schools.

Tucker began her career in 1981 as a special education teacher and throughout her career has been honored with countless local, state and national awards, including teacher and principal of the year.

While principal at Round Top Elementary, Tucker repeatedly garnered top state, national and international achievement awards for the school, including: Palmetto Gold, Palmetto’s Finest, National School of Character, Lighthouse School of Academic Distinction and Avid Elementary Showcase School.

The phone message at Round Top Elementary describes the school simply as, ‘where learning takes place.’ But, under Tucker, it has been more than that. She saw to it that the school was more like a cozy home, with sofas, table lamps, area rugs and a dog that students came to cherish. Tucker incorporated one and sometimes two therapy dogs in the school’s daily activities and classes to not only teach students about the proper care and treatment of animals, but she also offered her students activities with the dog such as ‘walking the dog’ as a popular reward for their good work or behavior.

Tucker said she had planned to retire last June, but with COVID bearing down, decided to see her students through the fall semester that some projected to be the worst of the Time of Corona.

Tucker said she loves to travel and plans trips to Mexico and New York after leaving Round Top. As a Trauma Certified Educator, she said she may also pursue part time work in that area, perhaps teaching about the effects of trauma.

Tucker, who lost her husband to cancer two years ago, has two adult sons, Briggs, an attorney in Columbia and Collin, a US Army veteran.

Richland Two School District announced last week that the position of principal at Round Top Elementary will be filled by Clarissa Bennett who currently serves as assistant principal at the school. Bennett will assume the principalship on Jan. 1, 2021.