Press Release - GSSM Announces New Interim President

November 23, 2020

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics Announces New Interim President

Hartsville, SC – The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) Board of Trustees appointed Mr. Daniel S. Dorsel as Interim President, effective January 1, 2021. Mr. Dorsel will also continue to serve as the Senior Vice President for Residential during his Interim Presidency.
 
Mr. Dorsel has been part of the GSSM Administration since 2012. He earned his Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Notre Dame, a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. As an undergraduate, he studied at the University of Kent, England, for one year. He was also in the inaugural class of the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics.
 
Mr. Dorsel started his career as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers before entering into the field of education. During his 21 years in education and prior to returning to GSSM, he served as a high school principal, director of advancement, classroom teacher, and coach. Mr. Dorsel serves on the Board of Directors for the National Consortium for Specialized STEM Schools (NCSSS).
 
“I am looking forward to serving as the Interim President for the South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics,” GSSM Senior Vice President for Residential, Mr. Daniel S. Dorsel. “We have an incredibly talented team of faculty and staff that are dedicated to providing educational opportunities that consistently move our students and state forward in STEM education. GSSM had a tremendous positive impact on me as a student. I hope to provide a similar impact during my time as Interim President.”

The GSSM Board of Trustees made this decision at the most recent board meeting on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
 
"Being selected to lead the South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics as Interim President is an incredible honor," GSSM Senior Vice President for Residential, Mr. Danny Dorsel. "I look forward to serving my alma mater any way I can as we seek to overcome today's challenges. I thank Chairman Brown and the Board of Trustees for their partnership and support."
 
Dr. Ershela Sims, who has been serving as GSSM's Interim President and Senior Vice President for Virtual and Outreach since July 2019, accepted a position in September as Executive Director of the Women in Engineering Proactive Network, Inc (WEPAN) and will conclude her tenure with GSSM at the end of December. WEPAN is the leading champion in North America for leveraging research and best practices to propel women's inclusion in the field of engineering. 
 
Mr. Randall (Randy) M. La Cross has been named Interim Senior Vice President for Virtual and Outreach. Mr. La Cross has been serving as the Vice President for Outreach and Global Initiatives since 2019. He is responsible for leading a team of STEM educators in the development of educational experiences for the state's students and teachers and collaborating with the GSSM Leadership Team, faculty, staff, and students to develop international initiatives and partnerships. Prior to summer 2019, Mr. La Cross served the as the VP for Outreach and Research, a role he assumed in 2005. In this role, he provided the oversight for the school’s Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI) and collaborated with a team to develop GSSM’s first international student research experience, which led to research opportunities in Germany, South Korea, and China. Mr. La Cross joined GSSM in 1998 as a curriculum development specialist, and in 2000, became a curriculum coordinator in the school's Outreach Center. During his 30 plus years as a science educator in South Carolina, Mr. La Cross has had the opportunity to develop curricula, create science education outreach programs, and serve on numerous state and national committees. He has also served as a science teacher consultant, conducted presentations at state and national science conferences, and taught at various educational levels. He has a passion for developing STEM educational experiences that are academically challenging, relevant, and interactive.
 
"I'd like to thank and congratulate Dr. Sims on her new position at WEPAN. I'm confident that she will do amazing work there just as she has done here at GSSM," said Board of Trustees Chair, Mr. Bob Brown. "I am also excited about the new opportunity presented to Mr. La Cross. Outreach builds the Govie community pipeline, and Summer Research is one of the real differentiators for our students here at GSSM. Mr. La Cross has done a wonderful job with these initiatives in the past, and there is no doubt that he will continue that excellence in his new position. Also, I'm beyond thrilled that a former Govie is going to be leading our school. Mr. Dorsel has served with excellence for nearly a decade now at the school, and surely, his unique perspective will serve us well as we work to provide the highest level of STEM education to our students during these trying times. Go Eagles!"

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Founded in 1988, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics is a nationally recognized school serving over four hundred of the state's most accomplished STEM students in the 10th through 12th grades through its residential and virtual programs. GSSM offers college-level courses and experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at its campus in Hartsville. The school also delivers virtual curricula in engineering and STEM disciplines to students in partner school districts throughout the state. GSSM’s dynamic outreach programs, including science summer camps and teacher training, impact over 5,000 K-12 students every year. Learn more by visiting www.scgssm.org.

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