Committed to Excellence
A native of Elgin, South Carolina, Mr. Qualls holds a Bachelor’s degree from Benedict College, a Master’s in Divergent Learning from Columbia College, and a Master’s degree in School Leadership and Administration from Southern Wesleyan University. With eleven years as a classroom teacher and two years as an assistant principal, he is currently in his fourth year principalship at Monaview Elementary School. Under his leadership, Monaview Elementary has experienced double-digit growth on standardized tests in all content areas and doubled their teacher retention percentage. Under his leadership, the school was selected as a 2020 What Works SC Award finalist, received the 2018 William “Bill” T. Wylie Valued Lives Award for School Excellence in Diversity, completed a playground revitalization project with Leadership Greenville, as well as earned and maintained an Excellent rating on their School Report Card, issued by the South Carolina Department of Education.
The first recipient of the Call Me MiSTER Trailblazer Award, Mr. Qualls holds numerous national, state, and district leadership roles, including an appointment to Clemson University’s College of Education Senior Advisory Board. The Call Me MiSTER Program served as a catalyst for his career, allowing him to travel the nation for speaking engagements with community organizations, school districts, and political leaders, sharing the need of a more diverse teacher workforce, specifically in South Carolina elementary schools. The MiSTER initiative provided him with life-changing opportunities, including being featured on the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show, a feature in JET Magazine, an interview with TIME Magazine, an appointment to the NASA Pre-Service Teacher Conference as an Ambassador, and featured documentaries for ABC News of New York and South Carolina eTV of Columbia, SC.
After completing his teacher induction year, he was voted by his colleagues as the Teacher of the Year and went on to place 1st Runner-Up in the district’s competition, out of 100 eligible Teachers’ of the Year. In 2012, Mr. Qualls was selected as his school’s Distinguished Reading Teacher of the Year, eventually winning the overall Greenville County - South Carolina International Reading Association competition, becoming the first African-American and male to do so. This accolade was highly attributed to Mr. Qualls’s unique ability to yield positive results from boys of color in English Language Arts, as well as his Men Who Read, Dress for Success Program.
Serving in Title I schools for his entire career, Mr. Qualls’s students’ have faced many challenges. He uses this platform to inspire and train teachers across the state on how he obtains creditable results from a student population that is stereotypically at-risk or unproductive.
In May of 2015 Mr. Qualls represented over a quarter million teachers at the DonorsChoose.org National Partner Summit, where he shared his journey with Donors Choose. To his surprise, he was joined on the last day of the summit by comedian and nationally syndicated talk show host Stephen Colbert, with an announcement that $800,000 would be directed to the public schools of South Carolina. As a result, he interviewed with MSNBC, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, CBS, Robyn Young, and National Public Radio/NPR. To date, he has secured over two million dollars to South Carolina public schools through DonorsChoose.org.
He was selected as a 2016 Emerging Leader for the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and now serves on the governing board. He earned a certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education from the Principals’ Institute - “Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership.” This experience and many others, he shared as a contributing author in the book, Next in Line to Lead: The Voice of the Assistant Principal. In 2018 his endorsement for the book The Wild Card, by Wade and Hope King, formerly of the Ron Clark Academy, was published.
In 2019, Mr. Qualls was selected to participate in the Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) at Furman University. Acclaimed as a unique, highly interactive, multi-award winning program, he learned to understand diversity and inclusion “blind spots” in the workplace and how to suspend assumptions, coming away with focused decision-making skills and deep knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead increasingly diverse workers, clients and constituents.
Recently selected as the 2020 Greenville County School District’s Principal of the Year, he has also been recognized by Greenville Business Magazine’s as a Best & Brightest, 35 & Under, and South Carolina’s Top 20 Under 40 by Thomas Media Group LLC.
Mr. Qualls emphasizes the importance of teacher quality and staff morale to promote both student achievement and a positive environment. He promotes family and community engagement, which he has done for South Carolina’s ASCD with the coining of the hashtag #loveSCschools and #MonaviewMoments.
He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife Kristy, who is also an elementary school principal.