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Dorchester District 2 honors retiring superintendent with celebration

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 4:21 AM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - After nearly 50 years working with students, Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joe Pye is getting ready to retire.

To honor him, the district held a celebration of his career.

Pye started as a teacher, worked his way to principal, and then superintendent. He says it’s been an honor to get to know the children and families of the district, and he will miss them all.

“I’ve been experiencing a lot of emotions the last month…really it’s just a flood of memories and great things,” Pye said.

The first time Pye was offered the superintendent job, he turned it down.

“When I was principal, they were like my personal children,” he said.

At the time, he said it made him nervous to take on the whole district from above. But eventually, he did, and he hasn’t regretted it. He held the superintendent position for about 20 years of his nearly 50 total at the district.

“I’ve thought about all the things in the past that used to bother me, some hurdles I’ve had to overcome no longer. I can’t even remember what they are. All I can remember is the wonderful stuff,” Pye says.

Pye says he barely missed more than a day or two each year because of his passion for the work.

“Every job I had, I felt like I made a difference. Every job, I felt like I was needed and wanted to be there. And I had such passion that I hated for Fridays to come around. Most people can’t wait until Friday so they can get a day off. I hated Fridays because I couldn’t get all my work done,” he says.

Now, he’s ready to step away, but still has a few more weeks working with the new leadership as they transition, all with the goal of continuing to serve the students and staff.

“I wanted to make sure that every teacher wanted to teach here and that every child wanted to go to school here and whatever jobs or college programs were out there, and children were lined up in the tri-county, Dorchester Two students would be at the head of the line,” he says.

Pye’s legacy continues through the elementary school named after him, and the success of all his students. Dr. Shane Robbins is taking over as superintendent, while Dr. Brenda Hafner will be deputy superintendent.

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