Leaving Bradwell Institute was not an easy decision for Principal Scott Carrier.
There’s so much he’s going to miss doing at the school.
“There’s a lot of the day-to-day activities I’m going to truly miss,” Carrier said. “The interactions with the people and the kids. The opportunities to make a difference in the lives of a lot of people. I’m going to miss that on a daily basis.”
Carrier is retiring after 34 years in education, 33 served in the Liberty County School System, and he hasn’t had a bad experience in any of his positions, he said.
Carrier will be 56 years old when he retires.
He started out teaching math and science at Hinesville Middle School for five years. Carrier then taught fifth grade at Joseph Martin Elementary School for 11 years.
Carrier decided to go into school administration at the encouragement of then JME Principal Lafayne May and Assistant Principal Sue Tolley. He was assistant principal there for five years.
Carrier’s next position was principal at Frank Long for six years, then at Bradwell for seven.
“Every one of those steps that I took I never left any of them because I wasn’t enjoying was I was doing,” Carriers said. “I enjoyed the different grade levels from a teaching standpoint, I enjoyed the different opportunities that I had from an administrative standpoint. I’ve just been very fortunate that I’ve been able to experience a lot of different things along the way.”
School personnel can retire after 30 years of service and Carrier is well over the requirement with 34 years coupled with unused sick leave.
Carrier said he was getting close to the maximum number of years he can work in the district and believed it was the right time to leave.
“I still enjoy what I’m doing, but it is a job that requires a lot of time and effort, which I’ve always been happy to do, but it’s time,” Carrier said. “Being able to retire at this age does allow me to enjoy retirement and look for other opportunities.”
Carrier plans to stay involved in education.
There have been rumors of Carrier applying for the superintendent position to be vacated by current LCSS Superintendent Dr. Valya S Lee when her contract ends in June.
Carrier dispelled those rumors with a laugh, saying, “That is not the direction I’m going in.”
“There’s opportunities with the Department of Education, different consulting firms,” he said, “sometimes there’s opportunities within school systems, if they are looking for someone to assist with different tasks.”
Carrier said he will be searching for the next thing to do with the intent of staying in the area.
One thing Carrier is looking forward to after retirement is going hunting more often.
Carrier is an avid hunter and plans to take advantage of the extra time he’ll have.
“One thing about being a high school principal, that time of year in the fall, when a lot of the hunting is going, there’s so many other activities going on that prevents me from doing it as much as I want,” he said. “So yes, I’m definitely looking forward to spending a lot more time in the woods.”
He enjoys hunting deer, which is obvious to see when looking around his office. Carrier has two deer heads on the wall, which he hunted, and has more hanging at home.
Carrier gives credit for his accomplishments to the faculties and staff he’s worked with over the years.
While principal at Frank Long, Carrier was very proud of the academic gains made by the school.
“We were always among the highest standardize tests scores in the county. Of course that was due to the hard work of everyone there. But they were a cooperative staff, easy to work with and allowed us to move that school in a positive direction,” he said.
At Bradwell, Carrier is happy with the change in the school’s culture.
“It always makes me feel good when someone comes in from outside the school and talks about how good the students at Bradwell are and I attribute that to the hard work of the people here,” Carrier said. “They work hard to make sure the students have an understanding of expectations and meet those expectations. I think the gains we’ve made here have been one of my proudest moments.”
He also mentioned the graduation rate and the College and Career Ready Performance Index scores going up since he’s been principal.
“Again that is not because of one man, that is because the collaborative efforts of everybody,” Carrier said.
Carrier is happy with Bradwell’s current state when he leaves, although there are some things he wishes he could finish, such as making sure tradition scheduling is fully integrated into the school and Bradwell becoming a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) certified school.
“It really doesn’t matter when you leave because you’ll always be in the middle of something,” he said.
Carrier is confident that Bradwell will continue to “make strides” because he’s leaving behind an administrative team who “genuinely have the best interest of Bradwell students at heart.”
One of those administrators is Assistant Principal Kenyatta Gilmore who has worked with Carrier for three years.
She said Carrier leads by example through his professionalism, patience and consistency.
When she heard about Carrier retiring her emotions were mixed.
“I had to be supportive of his decision; however, there was a sadness that such a great leader of Bradwell was leaving,” Gilmore said.
One her fondest memories is of Carrier riding a mechanical bull during the senior picnic because he’s “almost always about business.”
“Students and staff really enjoy seeing him have fun,” she said. “And by the way, he can stay on the bull longer than all of us. Mr. Carrier will truly be missed. The dedication and perseverance he has shown will never be forgotten.”
Carrier is sure staff will make sure Bradwell moves in the right direction.
“I got a lot of dedicated teachers that have continued to work and do all that they can to make Bradwell a more productive learning environment for our students. For the new principal coming in and taking over, he’s coming into a strong staff,” Carrier said.
Bradwell’s new principal is Toriano Gilbert, who served as principal at Brunswick High School.
The initial conversation with Gilbert went very well, Carrier said. They talked about how to make the transition happen smoothly and Gilbert is learning about the school from information provided to him.
Carried said he truly enjoyed all his years in education because of the students, faculty, staff and central office personnel.
“When I look back over my career I’ve been very blessed in that I got to work with a lot of great people, a lot of great kids,” he said. “I think if you can look back over your career and say you’ve made the right decisions in life, you should be happy. I look back over my career and I’ve made the right decisions and I attribute that to people I’ve worked with and their support.”
It took a long time for Carrier to make the decision to retire. He realized it was time to hand the job to someone else.
“Everything is moving in the direction that it’s supposed to and it was time,” he said.
Carrier said he will continue to attend Bradwell events and will be there to support the school and staff.