Camilla D. Groome
Newington Elementary School
Dorchester School District Two
Summerville, South Carolina

Camilla D. GroomeWhen Camilla Groome became a principal, “my dream was to lead a school staff that would commit ourselves to touching every heart and mind in our care,” she says. “I wanted our students to skip in and out of our building each day.” By establishing a positive school climate and quality professional development for teachers, Groome has transformed Newington Elementary from one of the lowest-achieving schools in its district into a top performer. Test scores have earned the school numerous state accolades for student achievement. These include designations as a National Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School in 2007 and a Carolina First Palmetto’s Finest School in 2004. Groome arrived at Newington Elementary in 2000. Today the suburban school counts 866 students in prekindergarten through grade five. Groome spearheaded physical changes to the building to create beautiful and homelike settings to demonstrate students’ value. She and her staff studied how to make classroom environments and instruction more compatible with brain research findings on learning. Groome also has fostered a professional learning community among teachers. With her leadership, staff members have received training in innovative educational concepts. They also have conducted book studies on best practices. Groome received a B.A. from the University of South Carolina, an M.Ed. from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and an M.Ed. from the Citadel in South Carolina.