Columbia Star

Richland One Superintendent named Superintendent of the Year by S.C. Alliance of Black School Educators



(L-r): SCABSE interim executive director Dr. Zona Jefferson, Dr. Craig Witherspoon, and SCABSE president Eric Jeffcoat

(L-r): SCABSE interim executive director Dr. Zona Jefferson, Dr. Craig Witherspoon, and SCABSE president Eric Jeffcoat

Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon has been named the 2024 Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators (SCABSE). Dr. Witherspoon was honored during the organization’s Jazz Scholarship Brunch on June 8 at Seawell’s.

SCABSE’s mission is “to ensure a high-quality education for all children, particularly for African-American children, by establishing coalitions, providing forums, facilitating the placement of African- American professionals, and influencing public policy.”

“I’m very honored to be named the 2024 Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators, said Witherspoon. “This recognition is a testament to how hard our team in Richland One works to make sure all of our students succeed, and I am proud to be leading this team. I would like to thank everyone, from our teachers and administrators to our support staff, who has helped make this past school year a success. I look forward to continuing to lead our outstanding team in the upcoming school year. We are ‘Team One, One Team.’”

An educational practitioner for over 35 years, Dr. Witherspoon’s professional experiences include being an instrumental music teacher, a middle and high school principal, an instructional improvement officer, and a superintendent for 18 years, working in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Since Dr. Witherspoon began his tenure in Richland One in 2015, the district’s graduation rate has climbed to record-high levels and consistently surpassed the state average. Numerous innovative programs have been implemented as well to help prepare students for college and careers and give them a competitive advantage when they graduate.

Also under Dr. Witherspoon’s leadership, Richland One has increased the number of 3K and 4K classrooms and expanded magnet and choice programs for pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students, including Montessori programs, language immersion programs, career magnet programs, and virtual school programs. Dr. Witherspoon has presented at numerous national conferences, sharing programs and progress the district has made over the years.

Dr. Witherspoon’s many other honors and awards include being named the 3A/2A/1A Superintendent of the Year for 2022 by the S.C. Athletic Administrators Association, the 2019 Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association, and the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Association of Educational Office Professionals and the Richland County Association of Educational Office Professionals.

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