qNEWBERRY COUNTY — Former Whitmire Community School head principal Joey Haney has taken over as the Newberry School District’s assistant superintendent of operations and administration.
The position was vacated by Jim Suber who was recently promoted to superintendent.
In his new role, Haney will oversee several departments including facilities management, child nutrition and technology.
“The fortunate part is I have three great directors over each of those departments,” Haney said.
He also works with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office to oversee district’s school resource officers.
Haney, 44, hails from Lockhart in Union County, a place which he described as a “small mill town.”
Growing up Haney played “pretty much all sports” and enjoyed being active.
Haney said his parents, who both worked for United Merchants, were “a big push to me to continue my education and go to college and do more than what they had done.”
Haney went on to USC-Spartanburg where he majored in secondary education and mathematics.
“I had a love of math and really enjoyed teaching math and working with kids and seeing them grow,” he said.
Haney began teaching high school math in 1996 at WCS where he would stay for the next two decades.
“Great school, great community,” he said. “The Whitmire community has done so much for me in helping me grow professionally and personally.”
In addition to teaching Haney coached a variety of sports in multiple capacities. Over the years he was an assistant coach for JV and varsity football, coach of JV and varsity girls basketball, spent a single season coaching volleyball, founded the JV softball program and later went on to serve as head coach of varsity softball.
Over the years the “Coach Haney” title became synonymous with his identity, something he’s proud of.
“I think ‘coach’ is a very prestigious title,” he said. “I tell people I’m still coaching. It’s not softball or any other sport but you’re coaching people. It’s a much bigger team but it’s still coaching.”
He said whether you’re teaching in the classroom or coaching on the field you have to know your students/players and find the way in which they learn best.
“It comes from working with them day to day and just building that relationship to find out what clicks with them,” he said.
While teaching he contemplated continuing his education and several people he looked to for advice recommended a master’s in administration.
“One main source I really leaned on was Jim Suber, my mentor,” he said.
In 2004 Haney earned a master’s in educational administration from USC where he also finished an education specialist degree in 2014.
In 2007 Haney was promoted to head principal and served a total of nine years following time as assistant principal of grades 6 – 12.
Haney said WCS being a Pre-K though 12 school meant he had address a wide variety of needs which he said really prepared him for his new position.
“If you’re just at an elementary, middle or high school you kind of focus on one band of grades,” he said. “I’ve been able to work with students and teachers at all grade levels so the uniqueness of (WCS) has been my best preparation.”
Another piece of experience Haney can carry with him to his new job is the completion of construction of the high school wing and gymnasium at WCS which Haney took on in his first year as principal.
Paralleling that experience Haney now finds himself responsible for the completion of Newberry High School’s new football stadium.
“It’s going well,” Haney said. “We knew from the very beginning we would not be able to have the first home game in that stadium because that was the timeline and you do run into a few bumps in the road with construction no matter what size the project may be.”
The Bulldog’s first home game, slated Sept. 2 against Batesburg-Leesville, will be contested at Mid-Carolina’s stadium.
“I think that just shows how we work together in this district,” he said.
They are currently on target, Haney said, to have the new stadium football-ready in time for the second home game scheduled Sept. 16.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.