Maureen Tiller, Principal at Clinton High School named to Fountain Inn post – Greenville County Schools has announced that Fountain Inn High School will open for freshmen in August 2021. Construction will begin in 2019 along Quillen Avenue. FIHS will be built for 1000 students and expanded to house 2000 students. The school will offer traditional high school curriculum, advanced placement and college level courses. Additionally, it will house a wing for advanced manufacturing and engineering. Public input will be sought for attendance and zoning. Community meetings will be held approximately 18 months before opening. A mascot and school colors are yet to be decided. Athletics will begin in the first year with some varsity sports and some “C” level and JV teams. Greenville County Schools expect to have a full roster of varsity sports at FIHS by 2024.
With 20 years of experience, Principal Maureen Tiller will take on the exciting task of leading Fountain Inn High School, the district’s first school to focus on manufacturing and technology. The original Fountain Inn High School closed its doors in 1957 to merge with Hillcrest High School. Sixty-two years later, a new Fountain Inn High will open with an innovative curriculum and provide the town with a new facet to their identity.
Principal Tiller grew up just outside of Aiken, SC in a home full of teachers. At Winthrop University, she stumbled upon a special education class and found her purpose, “It was like lighting struck from above,” she says. Afterwards, she went on to obtain her master’s degree in education administration. Currently, she lives in Clinton with her husband, John. They have two children, Bowen and Sam. Precious breaks between school years aren’t taken for granted. Every summer, she’s grateful for family trips to the beautiful, uncommercialized shores of Edisto Beach and quality time with extended family. Principal Tiller is a huge fan of all kinds of music – particularly songs with a strong female lead. As a driven educator, she’s got a powerful voice of her own.
Her current position is Principal at Clinton High School. She has been principal there for the last eight years. The reason she took the position at Fountain Inn High School is to become a part of South Carolina’s education history, “The biggest factor was the opportunity of building this new and innovative school. It’s a whole redesign of what high school is,” she says. Freshmen will begin in ninth grade and finish as 12th grade seniors. However, tradition stops there. The refreshing program will allow each student to develop a personalized learning path throughout his or her entire high school experience. Students can choose any area of focus including fine art, music, robotics, technology, engineering and advance manufacturing. Once the plan is designed, they can also spend school time at apprenticeships or with mentors. Instead of traditional class times, students will also have block schedules. That means the duration of class times will vary from 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the type of subject. It will feel more like prep for college. Attendees will be given the privilege of getting to class like adults at a University. Principal Tiller loves being apart of this academic adventure, “The biggest thing I love about being Principal is building relationships with students and families, and seeing those families take advantage of what’s happening in the community. Children will be better for having that experience. It’s a pretty unbelievable opportunity,” she explains.
Projected student population will be about 1,000 and attendance lines are in the process of being drawn within Fountain Inn. However, anyone can attend the school if they live in Greenville County. Although there is an application process there is a chance an application will not be accepted.
Previously, the old Fountain Inn High mascot was the Blue Devils, but a final decision on colors and mascot have not been made. No matter what’s chosen, Fountain Inn will finally have the teams that they can identify as their very own. Principal Tiller explains, “It gives that whole community a school as a hub for ball games, music events and robotic competitions. It will give this small town back the pride of having their own High School again.”
As a historical moment in Fountain Inn’s and Greenville’s history, it truly is an exciting time to see the impact it will have on the town’s future. Principal Tiller reveals she is determined to make it successful, “To start from scratch and build it the right way. It’s really wonderful.” Community members have no doubt it will re-define the heartbeat of their hometown. ♦