A Gilbert native and community fixture, Timothy F. Oswald, principal of Gilbert Elementary School, retires June 29, 2017, after 25 years at GES, 34 with the district and 41 years in public education.
“I have been blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our children while working in my hometown of Gilbert,” Oswald reflected. “I will truly miss the people, teachers and our students who always served as an inspiration for me.”
Oswald plans to spend time with his family, farm, ride his motorcycle with his wife and friends, and continue to play trumpet with the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church band, Beyond the Cross.
Oswald graduated from Gilbert High, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Band Administration from Newberry College and master’s degrees in Secondary Educational Administration and Elementary Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.
After spending two years farming, Oswald began his career in education as director of bands at Latta High in Dillon County School District 3 in 1976. He built award-winning band programs there and at Lower Richland High in Richland County School District One and Brookland-Cayce High in Lexington School District Two before joining GHS in 1983 as band director.
He was promoted to assistant principal at GES in 1992 before being promoted to principal in 2001.
During his tenure, GES received the Palmetto Silver Award for Academic Excellence six times, raised more than $168,000 for Relay For Life, was a finalist for Palmetto’s Finest Schools in 2010, received numerous grants for technology and technology innovation in the classroom, and, in 2002, became the first school in Lexington County School District One to be outfitted completely with SMART boards, laptops, projectors and digital presenters.
Oswald received the 2002 South Carolina Association of School Librarians’ Honor Roll of Administrators award and the 2011 South Carolina Early Childhood Association’s Administrator of the Year award.