County Schools Name Four New Principals 

Columbus County Schools has named four new principals for the district.

Herman Bland of Chadbourn Elementary, Christian Godwin of Columbus Career and College Academy, Kalee Hill of Hallsboro Artesia Elementary, and Kenneth Bowen of West Columbus High will begin in the next few weeks.

Herman Bland graduated from the University of Mount Olive in Wilmington with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.  Bland furthered his education by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. He obtained licensure for school administration through Gardner Webb University.

He is the former assistant principal at East Columbus Jr./Sr. High School.    Bland taught elementary school at Acme Delco Elementary for seven years and also taught elementary school in Brunswick County for 16 years at Town Creek Elementary and Waccamaw School.

Bland is excited about being at Chadbourn Elementary School, and prides himself in being “a light for change” in school culture.  He feels that school should feel like coming to “your second home.”

Bland said he is a major advocate for students and said “Each student deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.”

Bland is a native of Newark, N.J., but he currently resides in Leland. He and his wife Letonia have five children: Nykera, Charity, Avah, Daylan, and Kensley.

Bland is also a licensed and ordained minister. Bland and his wife oversee the youth ministry at  United Faith Ministries in Elizabethtown.

During his spare time,   Bland can be found attending church and spending time with family.

Christian Godwin received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the UNC Pembroke. Since coming to Columbus County Schools 16 years ago, she has worked as a teacher and assistant principal, most recently serving as assistant principal at East Columbus Jr./Sr. High School during the 2022-2023 school year.

  Godwin said she is honored to be the new principal at CCCA, and is looking forward to continuing the traditions and upholding the values that have been established by students and staff over the years. Her primary goal is to develop career and college-ready graduates.

She also believes that all stakeholders deserve an environment that engages critical thinking, is student-focused,  develops leadership skills, and is built upon transparent relationships.

“There is no greater calling than to educate young people,” Godwin said.

Godwin has one son, Trey, who is a graduate of Southeastern Community College. She also has several pets that keep her busy. When she is not taking care of her pets, she likes to garden and read.

Kalee Hill received her undergraduate degree from Meredith College, graduate degrees in Special Education from Western Carolina University and School Administration from the UNC Pembroke, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University. She taught in both the Columbus County and Whiteville City systems for ten years in first through eighth grade, and she most recently served for five years as an assistant principal of Whiteville High School.

Hill is excited to be the new principal of HAES and is looking forward to becoming part of the family, community, students, and staff at Hallsboro Artesia with its longstanding and rich history.

As part of her educational philosophy, she believes everything must be done in the student’s best interest, and top-quality teaching and the safety of students must be a first priority.

“I am energized and deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our students. We will continue to accomplish this together by setting high academic expectations for all children and providing supportive systems to ensure our goals for all students are reached,” she said.

In her spare time, Dr. Hill enjoys spending quiet days with family, cheering on nieces and nephews at their local sporting events, enjoying downtime on the farm, riding in her Jeep Wrangler, and spending time with friend

Kenneth Bowen’s educational journey began with a bachelor’s degree in History with a concentration in Secondary Social Studies Education from UNC Pembroke. He also obtained a Master’s degree in School Administration from the UNC Pembroke.

He then earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University.

Over the years, he has held various roles in the school system, including consultant, assistant superintendent, Chief Officer for Student Learning and Accountability, executive director, Director of Grant Development and Research, Director of Career and Technical Programs, high school principal, assistant principal, teacher, coach, and mentor.

Bowen said is excited about joining Columbus County Schools and serving as principal of West Columbus High School.

“I am excited about working with all stakeholders of West Columbus High School as we focus on growth and excellence for students, educators, and the communities we serve,” he said.

Bowen is known for his philanthropic activities and community engagement. He believes in giving back to society and actively participates in initiatives that make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Bowen has one daughter, and a future wife and stepdaughter who reside in Columbus County. In his spare time, he enjoys landscaping and being outdoors.

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About Jefferson Weaver 1588 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at