Committed to Excellence
Christopher E. McCants is a native of Florence, S.C., and is the youngest of three children. He currently serves as the principal of Florence Chapel Middle School in Duncan, South Carolina. Upon graduating from Wilson High School, Chris continued his educational aspirations by attending North Greenville University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending North Greenville, he served as a Resident Assistant, a campus bible-study leader, and became the first African-American to sing with ‘Joyful Sound’, the university’s premier singing ministry group. He was voted ‘Most Talented’ by the senior class. Chris went on to complete post-graduate studies at Troy University, earning a Master of Education degree in English; and Furman University, earning a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in School Leadership. He has taught 6th and 7th grade English/language arts in Georgia and South Carolina for a number of years and has served as an assistant principal for three years before becoming the principal
of Beech Springs Intermediate School in 2015. McCants was named the 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year for Florence Chapel Middle School and in the same year was named the school’s 2009-2010 Distinguished Reading Teacher of the Year.
Chris has served twice on the Spartanburg District Five Strategic Planning Committee. This committee served to re-evaluate/re-create the school district’s mission and vision statements as well as develop belief statements. These experiences have allowed him to lead two schools through the renewal of their Strategic Plans and through the AdvancED national accreditation process. It has also helped him to realize the importance of constantly reflecting on the school’s purpose in fulfilling its vision and mission by answering the following questions: Where are we now? Where are we going? How do we get there? He has also been able to lead his current school through the process of developing a shared school vision in order to positively engage stakeholders in reaching school-wide goals.
As principal of Beech Springs, teachers were challenged with fostering genuine, caring relationships with their students and parents. The mantra that was established out of this challenge was that teachers had to connect with the students’ hearts before they could connect with their heads. Under McCants’ leadership, Beech Springs Intermediate School earned their first-ever “Excellent” School Report Card rating. McCants attributes the school’s success with establishing high expectations for all students and teachers, teacher and administrator accountability, providing high-quality professional development, instructional coaching from the administration, and most importantly—building meaningful relationships with the students. During his four years at Beech Springs, McCants led the effort to have Beech Springs designated as a Title I School. This designation afforded the school the ability to employ more personnel to reduce class sizes and to provide more instructional interventionist to give students a more individualized instructional plan. They were also selected to lead the district’s 1:1 initiative where all students received a DELL laptop. Teachers were given specialized professional development by DELL representatives for this two-year-long process.
Chris is passionate about mentoring and making sure all students are academically successful and have positive school experiences. Chris believes that all students should have a least one adult that they feel comfortable sharing their life experiences. Chris has first-hand experience with the power of mentorship as he continues to have a positive and strong relationship with a young man he’s mentored since 2009.
In his free time, Chris enjoys reading for pleasure, traveling, being with family and friends, relaxing at home, and serving the less fortunate through local and international mission work. He resides in Greenville, South Carolina, and is a very proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.