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Andre Dukes: Building a Sterling Foundation of Excellency at West Ashley High School
3/12/2014 11:09:08 AM

West Ashley High School Assistant Principal Andre Dukes
By Damion Smalls

It’s been said before that the best career course that someone could venture into is one that involves doing what that person truly loves. If that is the case for Andre Dukes, then he is living a charmed life.

Dukes, the Assistant Principal at West Ashley High School, has used his love of education to rise up the ranks among his peers and invigorate the minds of the students he reaches on a regular basis. His passion was recently awarded as he was named the 2014 South Carolina Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year.

In his time since graduating from Charleston Southern University, he has received many other awards lauding his work as an educator. The recognitions don’t mean as much to him as the chance to work with children, he says, as his affinity for curriculum drives him more than anything.

Originally from Kingstree, Dukes has worked for other high schools in the state prior to being transferred to West Ashley in 2013, including James Island Charter, Cane Bay, and St. John’s. It has been a “great transition” so far, he says. The staff has made him feel more than welcome in his short time there.

In addition to being the assistant principal, Dukes is involved with the school’s AP Academy, ACT testing, Common Core, and coaching. Being engrossed in student activities is nothing new to him as he has served on numerous committees, boards, and programs in the past. One of his hobbies is instruction so he feels right at home with his duties at West Ashley.

The diversity at West Ashley was the biggest difference for Dukes in comparison to prior institutions, he notes. That and the increased population of the school will help him with his goal of expanding his reach to properly serve the families of Charleston County. He feels that there already has been “great progress” at the school with the kids.

Dukes earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Charleston Southern. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at Walden University with the hopes of finishing within the next two years. He plans to become a principal in the future.

The 35 year old Dukes came from “a family of entrepreneurs” and never expected to have a career in education. He credits his grandparents as raising him with the ability to follow his dreams. “Do what you feel in your heart”, as he puts it. His dedication to learning led him to being the first person in his family to graduate college.

Dukes’s accomplishments at such a young age serve as a reminder to young Blacks that aspirations that are noble are reachable with the right mindset. His advice to the youth is to fight through the hardships that they will inevitably face. The difficult times in our lives help us grow, he says.

The students that Dukes is able to positively influence make him the most proud. He is honored to have the responsibility of guiding young people through their troubles, concerns, and tribulations. A master of his craft, he willingly extends himself for the betterment of the children. His past and current employers can certainly attest to that.

With his profile being raised by awards and promotions, Dukes has installed a firm base to his legacy. His credibility is rock-solid around South Carolina and his commitment to education is even stronger. He could be considered a lucky man because he is employed in a career that he cherishes, but Dukes would rather be considered a hard-working man that this doing all he can to make a difference in the community.

Humble but brilliant, the light that West Ashley’s assistant principal is shining has made it clear that his efforts are worthwhile and effective. Andre Dukes is gem not only for Charleston’s Black community, but for the entire state as well. The future is now.

Visitor Comments
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Submitted By: Rachel Fulton Submitted: 3/12/2014
Great article. Congratulations classmate! Really proud of you! Keep pressing on. You were always a good person. Take care of yourself! Class of '97

Submitted By: Chareina Dukes-Scott Submitted: 3/12/2014
Congratulations Andre! Very proud of you...

Submitted By: Brenda Myers Submitted: 3/12/2014
Congratulations on All or Accomplishments!

Submitted By: Gentry Uebelhoer Submitted: 3/12/2014
I never would have graduated high school without Dukes' guidance and perserverance to never let me quit on myself. Thanks for pushing me to always be better. Cpl Uebelhoer USMC Trojans Class of 07

Submitted By: Andre Dukes Submitted: 3/12/2014
Thank you all!

Submitted By: Juann Edmondson Submitted: 3/13/2014
Congratulations, I'm truly happy for you. I pray you will continue to go higher and higher, crossing all boundaries, touching the lives of our youth, and attaining lifelong success.

Submitted By: Carnell Kingcade Submitted: 3/13/2014
What a great accomplishment, keep up the great work cuz god bless u

Submitted By: Barbara M. Smith Submitted: 3/14/2014
What a great accomplishment, I'm so proud of you. I can't wait for God to open the door for you to be a Principal and to see how He use you to make a big impact in the students lives that will never be erase. Where ever you go you will turn things up side down. Just is just the beginning.

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