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School for the Blind principal’s love of traveling inspires “Soaring to New Heights” theme

“I chose “Soaring to New Heights” as our school theme for the year, because we will reach new levels of success in academic, social, and personal goals,” said new Principal Valerie Feiling.


To kick off the theme, a passport “selfie” booth was available at registration. She bragged, “The students and staff are absolutely the best, and I am so encouraged by their excitement and gifts and talents. Go Hornets!”


Valerie earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in education for secondary schools, from Wofford College. She began her career in education by teaching English IV at her alma mater, Byrnes High School, with a passion for loving students.


“Teaching literature and grammar was great, but I knew that I really loved helping people and providing access to resources so that students and their families could be the very best they could be,” she stated. While teaching, Valerie earned a master’s in educational leadership. She became an assistant principal and served at Byrnes for 7 ½ years.


This past year, she said she knew that she wanted to look for a principalship in a place where she could continue to foster connections with people and see students’ potential and help them see their potential. “SCSDB shined like a lighthouse calling me home,” she asserted.


Valerie lives in Lyman, where she grew up, with her husband Matt and their fur-baby/dog Sherlock. “My parents live three minutes away from my house, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Matt and I have three nieces and a nephew who are our pride and joy.” She said they are grateful for the local church they attend and friends who feel more like family.


Their hobbies are cooking, traveling, riding in her Jeep Wrangler, listening to music, and attending Broadway shows. They collect a Christmas tree ornament at each national park they visit. “Our tree is getting full. We have been to Canada, Japan, England, Scotland, and Ireland together. Our bucket list keeps going!” she exclaimed.


“I believe that great things are going to happen this year for the faculty and students of the School for the Blind,” Valerie concluded.