From Dawn Kujawa – Lexington Two Communications Director – Pine Ridge Middle School Principal Dr. David Basile has been named the 2021 South Carolina Middle Level Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA).
An unsuspecting Basile was called Wednesday morning into the Lexington Two middle school’s media center, where SCASA Executive Director Beth Phibbs surprised him with the award. Lexington Two and Pine Ridge Middle School administrators, along with members of Basile’s family, attended the event.
Basile has been in education for 36 years, serving the past five as principal at Pine Ridge. He started his career as a teacher at a California high school, and has since served in a number of principal and administrative roles in districts near and far, promoting a culture that makes all students feel welcome and included.
Earlier this year, Basile was named Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children.
Basile said successful middle schools are places “where children are known by name and are appreciated for who they are as their unique individuality and talents are developed. It is also a place that parents and the community trust and where the staff feels supported.”
Phibbs said of Basile, “He is an innovative leader who has created a culture of excellence at Pine Ridge Middle School which is rooted in respect and a sense of fairness.”
Basile, who was selected for the SCASA award from a statewide pool of candidates by a panel of veteran judges, said his leadership philosophy is simple.
“I have always been guided by two simple sayings that my parents reminded me of all my life,” Basile said. “They would say, ‘Treat others as you want to be treated’ and ‘Never forget where you come from.’ These two reminders have guided me my entire career.”
Basile said the SCASA award is humbling.
“To me, it is a reflection of the people I work with. Without them and their support of our school vision, I can achieve very little,” Basile said. “They are the backbone behind this award. I can honestly say that being principal of Pine Ridge Middle School has brought me great joy and is a wonderful place to lead.”
After Wednesday morning’s ceremony, Basile took a lap around the Pine Ridge Middle hallways, to the cheers of students, teachers and staff.
“Dr. Basile is an outstanding leader who is most deserving of this honor,” Superintendent Dr. William B. James Jr. said. “We are grateful to have him here in Lexington Two.”