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Joey Haney: ‘Whitmire is my family’
By ANNA BROWN
When Joey Haney began working as a teacher and administrator in Whitmire, he found he had a lot in common with the folks there and the school became his heart.
Haney, who has been principal of Whitmire Community School since 2007, said that attachment would remain as he begins his new job as assistant superintendent for operations and administration at Newberry County Schools.
“Whitmire is such a special place; it's so unique,” he said. “I think my time being from Lockhart and going to Lockhart Schools help me with that fit into Whitmire. When I was at Lockhart it was a K-12 school. Who would have thought I would have ended up in another K-12? It's been a wonderful opportunity. I have always told people it was easy for me to talk about Whitmire and Whitmire Community School. It was easy for me to talk about them and brag on them.”
Haney is the son of Joyce Haney and the late James Haney. Haney has a son, Joseph, 19, a college student who works with the Newberry County School District technology department.
Haney graduated from Lockhart High School in 1990 and began taking courses at USC-Spartanburg in the fall of 1990. He said he knew he loved math and it was his strong area. He decided to major in accounting.
In the meantime, he had provided his class schedule to Lockhart High School and he was called as a substitute teacher during his free time. He was also given the opportunity to volunteer as a coach.
“Substitute teaching and volunteer coaching at Lockhart were what changed my mind,” he said. “I loved math, but I was doing the wrong thing with it - I needed to be teaching it. So after a semester at USC-Spartanburg, I changed my major to education. I made that change and it has been the best decision I have ever made.”
Haney graduated from USC-Spartanburg in December of 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education-Math.
He got an opportunity to interview for a job at Whitmire High School. Whitmire and Lockhart were rivals when Haney was in school.
“When you went out on the field or the court with them, you went out to beat them,” Haney said.
Haney quickly fell in love with the “rival” school.
“I knew it was a special place from day one and I knew it was the place I needed to be,” he said. “I went to work in August of 1996 as a high school math teacher and coach.”
Haney was named “Teacher of the Year” for the 2001-02 school year. He became assistant principal in 2002.
Whitmire Community School, which serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, opened in 2003. Haney was named assistant principal for students in grades 6-12.
During his years at Whitmire, Haney coached many sports, with girls' softball being his primary sport. He started the JV softball program.
“I had a great bunch of players and parent support and that made it easier,” he said.
In late summer of 2007 Whitmire Community School Principal Jim Suber was named assistant superintendent for operations and administration with Newberry County Schools. Haney became the new principal at Whitmire Community School.
In his new job, Haney will oversee facilities management, technology, child nutrition and school resource officers - he will work with the Newberry County Sheriff's Office on the placement and duties of the officers.
Haney said he is looking forward to his new job.
“It's exciting and been a goal I had set for several years now,” he said.
In preparation for becoming an administrator, Haney earned a Master's degree in Educational Administration from USC in 2004, an Education Specialist Degree in 2014 and also has superintendent's certification.
“I am very thankful and grateful to have this opportunity,” he said. “It will be very rewarding to work with Jim Suber (the new superintendent) again. From my first day at Whitmire until now he has been my mentor. I have a great appreciation of him. The most difficult part of the whole move is leaving Whitmire. I have an investment in the school. I love the people and the town. Whitmire is my family, it really is. I can't say enough about the support I have had in Whitmire. It has been a pleasure being part of the family and working with them. I will continue to work with them and they will continue to be my family.”
Dan McGlohorn will be the new principal at Whitmire Community School.
“He and I have a great relationship,” Haney said. “I know we will continue call on each other. I know he will do a great job.”
Haney pointed out that many children from Union County and other districts close to the area choose to attend Whitmire Community School.
“I think it says something about Whitmire that people want to travel and come to our school,” he said.
(Posted July 18, 2016)