Berkeley Co. School Board announces finalists for superintendent

Berkeley Co. School Board expected to announce finalists for superintendent

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School Board announced the three finalists for the position of superintendent Tuesday night.

The three finalists are Brenda Blackburn, Dr. Samuel DePaul and Dr. Jerome Stewart.

Blackburn is currently a superintendent at Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Va. DePaul is a superintendent of Colquitt County Schools in Moultrie, Ga.

Stewart was recently superintendent of Midlothian Independent School District (ISD) in Midlothian, Texas.

The news is ahead of next week's meet and greets which will be a chance for the public to meet the candidates. The district says they want their employees, parents and local business owners to meet the finalists for superintendent and give feedback on who they think will be best fit for Berkeley County.

The public receptions for the candidates are scheduled for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the district office board room in Moncks Corner. The candidates will also be touring various schools and areas in the community.

The school district released the following statement on Tuesday night's announcement.

The Berkeley County Board of Education has named three finalists in its continued search for a superintendent and has announced opportunities for the public to meet these candidates.  

On July 22 and 23, the Board conducted initial interviews with a slate of six additional candidates recommended by BWP & Associates search consultants. The candidates are those meeting the leadership profile designed from earlier meetings with the Board, employees, community members and online survey results.

In all, 114 candidates from across the country have applied to be superintendent of Berkeley County. "We are looking for the right person for Berkeley County who will lead us forward. We interviewed six excellent candidates last week and selected three as finalists to continue in this process," said Jim Hayes, Chairman of the Berkeley County Board of Education.   

The three finalists are: 

·       Brenda Blackburn is Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Va. Prior to this post she was Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Brevard Public Schools in Viera, Florida. She began her career in education as a high school history teacher and served as a teacher and counselor in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida school districts.  In Florida, she also served as a Dean of Students, assistant principal, principal, and area superintendent. 

·        Dr. Samuel DePaul is currently Superintendent of Colquitt County Schools in Moultrie, Ga. Prior to this post he has served as a superintendent in three districts in Pennsylvania and one district in North Carolina. He began his educational career as a Biology and Chemistry  teacher and in addition to the above posts has also served as an assistant superintendent and high school principal.

·        Dr. Jerome Stewart was most recently Superintendent of Midlothian Independent School District (ISD) in Midlothian, Texas.  Prior to this  post, he served as superintendent in Canton ISD and Yorktown ISD, both Texas school districts. He began his educational career as a teacher/coach in Amarillo, Texas.  He has also served as a high school assistant principal and principal of two middle schools and two high schools in Texas.

Resumes and photos of the finalists will be posted on the Berkeley County School District's website at

Hayes said that each finalist will spend one day in the district August 4,5, and 6 touring schools and the community and interacting with Board members, employees, and the public. On each day "Meet the Candidate" drop-ins will be held so that interested employees, students, parents and other community members can stop by and meet and greet each finalist.

Drop-ins will be held August 4, 5, and 6 in the District Office Board room at 229 E. Main Street in Moncks Corner. One of the three finalists will be present on each day. Following the drop-ins, the Board will conduct a second extensive interview with the candidates in executive session.

"We really hope that employees and members of the community will drop-in and greet each candidate. Community input is very important to us, and we want employees and members of the public to have an opportunity to meet these finalists," said Hayes.

The school board hopes to make a decision as to who will be superintendent soon, but Hayes cautions that the Board is taking the time needed to complete the process.  "This is the most important decision that a school board makes. We have appreciated the support and interest from the community during this process and look forward to announcing the next leader for our school district very soon," said Hayes.

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