CLOVER -- Clover High's new principal is eager to become a Blue Eagle.
"It is the home of champions," said Tommy Schmolze, who was tapped as CHS's top leader this week by the Clover School District.
He'll replace Ron Wright on July 1. Wright has been promoted to an assistant superintendent post in the district after seven years as CHS principal.
Schmolze, 38, the current principal of Fort Mill Middle School, said he's honored to become principal of a school with Clover High's reputation of excellence.
"I'm just very thankful to have this opportunity," Schmolze said. "I know there were many names in the hat and I feel very humbled and honored at the same time that they chose me to take it. I look forward to watching Clover grow as I grow and learning from them as much as they learn from me."
Schmolze has a bachelor of arts in secondary education from Clemson University, a masters in school administration and supervision from Winthrop University and a doctorate of education from Nova Southeastern University.
He taught English at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill from 1993 until he was named assistant principal of Fort Mill Middle School in 1999. In 2005, he became principal of the school.
"We are excited to have a young man of his caliber," said Marc Sosne, district superintendent, in a press release. "He has a proven track record of leadership and comes to us with outstanding references."
Wright has confidence in Schmolze's leadership.
"He's a positive, go-getter, charismatic leader," Wright said.
Wright introduced Schmolze to faculty and staff at the high school on Tuesday afternoon.
"We're all excited about him and I think we've got a good person," Wright said.
Schmolze lives in Rock Hill with his wife Karen and sons Kam, 10, and Collin, 7.
He considers working in Clover an "amazing opportunity," both professionally and personally.
His first priorities when he becomes principal will be to get a feel for the school and work to ensure quality instruction, he said.
"What happens bell to bell in the classroom is the key to a great school, so I'm looking to support teachers as best I can with instruction," Schmolze said.
He said he's also looking forward to working with the extracurricular activities at the high school.
"That's something that I miss in the middle school," he said. "There's something about a high school climate. There's always something going on and I'm excited about the opportunity to watch kids be successful in what they choose."
Keith Callicutt, Fort Mill School District Superintendent, said while the district is sad to lose Schmolze, they're happy to see him get the position.
"I am absolutely confident that he's going to do a marvelous job for them," Callicutt said. "He has exceeded our expectations here in Fort Mill and I'm just very confident they've hired a quality, highly competent professional who's going to do a great job for them."
One of the things that makes Schmolze such a great administrator is that he's a strong instructional leader, Callicutt said.
"He understands the importance of a principal knowing and understanding classroom instruction," he said. "He a type of principal who is highly involved in all aspects of the instructional program."