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Guyton Elementary School principal Greg Manior looks to brighter future
Greg Manior

By Barbara Augsdorfer

Editor for the Effingham Herald

Note: Each February, the United States observes Black History Month. If you have an idea about a local person, historical place or event unique to Effingham County, please share with us to profile in an upcoming issue at

Greg Manior was named principal at Guyton Elementary last April, but he’s no stranger to the community. He grew up in the county and is an alumnus of Effingham County schools.

“Both sides of my family grew up in Rincon and Effingham (County),” Manior said. “It’s good to come back home, (and) to have that support from my family (and) from people that I went to school with.”

And while the school has a minority student population of just over 30 percent, he’s the first Black principal of the school. 

“I never thought of myself as being like, a black history (figure), because I’ve looked up to so many other people coming up,” Manior said. “Life wasn’t easy, but we made the most of what we had. And I felt like we did all right.”

Manior earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and taught for 21 years in Effingham County in addition to coaching football, track and golf. He said he always wanted to be an administrator, but put that goal on hold until his son graduated from high school in 2018. 

“I told myself, I was going to coach my son (in football),” he said. “My son graduated 2018 from high school, so as soon as he graduated, then I started thinking about going into administration.”

School principals are responsible for everything at the school – from personnel, curriculum and programs, to student safety and, of course, test scores. According to the school district website, Guyton students’ Georgia Milestones Achievement Scores (GMAS) scores showed some improvements in 2022 from 2021, but Manior said, “We’re a Title I school. We changed a lot of things and we feel like we’re moving in the right direction. We feel like Guyton is on the right track.”

In 2022, Guyton’s fourth grade students scored just below the state average in English/language arts and math; but the fifth grade students scored several points above the state average in all three areas that were tested – English/language arts, math, and science. GMAS testing for 2023 is set for late April and early May. 

Manior expressed optimism that this year’s test scores will show improvement in all grades. 

“I have data from the past. But I’m concentrating more on what we can do now,” he said. “Our CIA’s (Common Interim Assessments) have been excellent. Our second and first graders have been doing a great job on their CIA’s and we hope those scores will transfer over to some good GMAS.” 

He said the CIAs are just a comparison among the eight Effingham County elementary schools and are given every two or three weeks just to gauge where the students are academically.

In addition to his own parents, Manior said he had a couple of mentors while he was growing up in Effingham County. 

“Dr. Franklin Goldwire. He was the principal that hired me for my first teaching job at Effingham County Middle School,” Manior said. “And he was also the first black principal at South Effingham High School.” 

Another mentor, he said, was Bob Griffith, his high school football coach. “I ended up working for him when I came back. The football stadium is named for him now.”

As for words of wisdom he would like to pass on to the younger generation, Manior said, “Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something that’s beneficial for you.”