Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Columbia, SC -- MISTER Damon Qualls, a distinguished Benedict College graduate, who was among the inaugural Call Me MISTER graduates in 2004, continues to be a trailblazer for South Carolina children and educators. Last week, it was announced that Qualls was selected to participate in the prestigious Harvard University’s Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership Institute program. Mr. Qualls is currently the Assistant Principal of Berea Middle School in Greenville, SC.

bc_alumni_qualls_damon_20160419Many may recall when last year, Qualls joined South Carolina native Stephen Colbert, in New York for the surprise announcement that Colbert along with Share Fair Nation and ScanSource, would fund every classroom project in South Carolina on DonorChoose.org. The financial gift totaled 800,000 and funded all 1,000 SC projects. Qualls has had 126 projects funded on DonorsChoose.org, including five projects from last year’s announcement. “I was completely shocked,” said Qualls after the surprised announcement. “This means so much to the teachers and students of South Carolina,” he further stated.

Prior to becoming Teacher of the Year at Alexander Elementary School in 2005 and again in 2014 or one of the TOP 10 Teachers of the Year Finalist in Greenville County in 2006, or a recipient of the Excellence in Education Award in 2014, Qualls was an active and engaged student on the campus of Benedict College. While in college, he shared the mission and vision of the Call Me MISTER program to increase the number of African-American male teachers around the country, including recognition on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He was also a member of the Benedict College Board of Trustees as a student representative, Student Government Association, Kappa Alpha Phi, Inc., and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Program Preparation Team 2003-2004. “The Benedict College family congratulates Damon Qualls for another well-deserved recognition and for a being a constant champion for education in South Carolina,” commented David Swinton, President and CEO of Benedict College.

Qualls earned a Master’s Degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College (SC) and a Master’s Degree from the School of Leadership and Administration at Southern Wesleyan University. Mr. Qualls began his career with Greenville County Schools in 2004 as a fifth grade teacher at Alexander Elementary School, where he served for 11 years. During that time, he raised more than $100,000 in donations to fund classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org, an online charity where teachers create classroom project requests and individuals, organizations, and corporations provide funding. This fall, Qualls was named sixth grade assistant principal of Berea Middle School, where he serves almost 300 students.


Kymm Hunter, Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing; 803.705.4519 hunterk@benedict.edu
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366 wigfallc@benedict.edu

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