Currently serving as an assistant principal at Berea Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina, Damon Qualls cultivates his gift of leadership and service through continuing education, invaluable experiences, and professional collaboration. His passion for education began when he was just a youngster ‘playing school’. The Call Me MISTER Program served as a catalyst for his career, allowing him to travel the nation for speaking engagements with community organizations, school districts, and political leaders, sharing the need of a more diverse teacher work force, specifically in South Carolina elementary schools. The MISTER initiative provided Damon life-changing opportunities, including being featured on the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show, a feature in JET Magazine, an interview with TIME Magazine, an appointment to the NASA Pre-Service Teacher Conference as an Ambassador from the state of SC, and featured documentaries for ABC News of New York and SCeTV of Columbia, SC.
Damon graduated from Benedict College in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Columbia College in 2006, where he earned a Master of Education degree in Divergent Learning. He earned a second Master’s degree from Southern Wesleyan University in School Leadership and Administration in December of 2013.
As a classroom teacher for 11 years in a Title One school, Damon’s students faced many challenges. He shared with them the realization that education is the vehicle to drive them towards a more promising future. His goal is to provide students a temporary escape from their pressing worries through the joys of meaningful experiences and exposure to what life has to offer. Damon is using this platform to train teachers across the state on how he obtains creditable results from a student population that is stereo-typically at-risk or unproductive. To ensure his students had an equal opportunity to be academically triumphant despite major budget cuts, Damon to date has acquired through grants, over $200,000 for his school(s) and $65,000 for his own classroom.
In May of 2015 Damon represented over a quarter million teachers at the DonorsChoose.org National Partner Summit, where he shared his journey with Donors Choose. Much to his surprise, he was joined on the last day of the summit by comedian and nationally syndicated talk show host Stephen Colbert, with an announcement that $800,000 would be directed to the public schools of South Carolina. This announcement was covered by every major news and social media outlet. As a result, Damon interviewed with MSNBC, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, CBS, Robyn Young, and National Public Radio/NPR.
Damon has implemented mentor programs, such as the Men Who Read Program, that have been duplicated across the country.
Damon enjoys presenting on the local, state and national levels, empowering fellow educators to seek opportunities to improve their classroom, school and local community.
A few of Damon's career accomplishments include the following:
Damon finds great joy in working as an assistant principal and looks forward to continuing his pursuit to change the world, one student at a time.
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