Janet Fickling, Principal

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Janet Fickling, Principal

A little about me…

In order for you to know me better as we work together in bringing success to our children, I wanted to share a little about my family and me. My husband, Bob, is a retired school administrator and loves helping and volunteering in the school and community settings. We have two sons, and Bob also has a son and daughter. Our children are married and include careers in law, medicine, finance, and Navy. There are eight wonderful grandchildren who keep my Grammie heart smiling. However, the grands are all 2 plus hours away so your precious children keep me smiling each day!

This is my 29th year in education with 13 years in the classroom teaching! I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary) and M.Ed. (Early Childhood), and from Capella University with an M.S.Ed. in Leadership in Educational Leadership. I start my 16th year in administration as we kick of 2020-2021.

I do love being a Midway Mustang and look forward to my 10th year here at Midway! Together, we are Midway strong!!

 Chris Bussell, Assistant Principal

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Chris Bussell, Assistant Principal

A native of Harlem, GA, Chris Bussell joined Midway Elementary School as an assistant principal in 2019. Prior to becoming a Midway Mustang, he served as assistant principal of Gilbert Elementary from 2011-2019. He began his education career as a band director at Carver-Edisto Middle School in 2000. In 2002, he moved to Sandhills Middle School and served as their band director for 5 years. While at Sandhills, he earned National Board Certification and was named Teacher of the Year. In 2007, Mr. Bussell transferred to Lexington One to open Carolina Springs Middle School. He served as the CSMS band director and the Assistant Director at White Knoll High School until becoming assistant principal at Gilbert Elementary. From 2010-2016 Mr. Bussell also served as the director of the Lexington District One Honor Band.

Mr. Bussell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, both from the University of South Carolina. His professional affiliations include: The National Association for Music Education, The South Carolina Band Directors Association, The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, The South Carolina Association of School Administrators, Kappa Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Delta Omicron. Mr. Bussell is active throughout the southeast as a professional saxophonist and clinician. Although he performs with a number of groups, he is most frequently heard with The Root Doctors, his band for the past 18 years. He also serves as a Cannonball Educator for the Cannonball Musical Instrument Corporation. Mr. Bussell is married to Shannon Bussell, a 6th grade teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary. They live in Lexington and have 3 children (Olivia, Ryan and Will) and 2 miniature dachshunds (Lucky and Lucy).

 Bess Smith, Assistant Principal

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Bess Smith, Assistant Principal

I am thrilled to be joining the Midway family this upcoming school year! Before coming to Midway, I was an Assistant Administrator at Sandel Elementary from 2019-2020, and I taught 5th grade at Satchel Ford Elementary from 2009-2019, both in Richland School District One. I had the honor of serving as Satchel Ford’s Teacher of the Year during the 2014-2015 school year.

Born and raised in Columbia, I earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Columbia College in 2009, and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from USC in 2016. My husband James and I are both avid football fans. During football season, we are a “house divided” – James cheers for USC, while I am loyal Clemson tiger! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exercising, and gardening. James and I are also members of Holland Avenue Baptist Church where we teach Sunday School to 5th and 6th graders.

I look forward to working alongside the awesome students, faculty, staff, and parents at Midway!