Charleston Co. superintendent welcomes students back on first day

Charleston County Superintendent Don Kennedy fist bumps with a staff member at Pinehurst...
Charleston County Superintendent Don Kennedy fist bumps with a staff member at Pinehurst Elementary Wednesday morning.(Live 5)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 10:22 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 12:56 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County School District Superintendent Don Kennedy is welcoming students back to school for the first day. Walking the halls of Pinehurst Elementary, Kennedy fist bumped with students, chatted with teachers and mingled with staff.

“I left the house at six this morning. I saw all these school buses. I was very excited,” Kennedy said, delivering his back-to-school speech to the media. “I have five children myself and I fondly remember when they would have their first day of school each year and how excited they were and how excited I was for that first day. . . As superintendent, I have a lot of hope for our students.”

During his press conference, Kennedy introduced the new faces of his executive cabinet.  Those new executives are :

  • Dr. Anthony Dixon, Interim Chief of Schools
  • Anita Huggins, Interim Deputy Superintendent of Schools
  • Michelle Simmons, Interim Chief Academic Officer
  • Channa Williams, Chief Financial Officer

“The last time we had our cabinet meeting, which we meet once a week, the level of discussion and engagement around student outcomes was phenomenal,” Kennedy said, noting that the new team is working well together.

Kennedy pressed his number one goal of getting kids to read on grade level by 5th grade.

“I want people to understand that my number one goal is to put structures in place to put the district on the path to get students to read,” Kennedy said. “Reading is fundamental. If we can’t get that done, we are not going to have success with our students in Charleston County.”

SPECIAL SECTION: Back to school

Kennedy encouraged parents to get involved with their children.

“Parents and communities, I really need your help,” Kennedy said. “Therefore, I encourage you to get involved. Together we can and we must make a difference.”

Kennedy deflected several questions about the letter he received yesterday from Attorney General Alan Wilson alleging he and the school board violated state Freedom of Information Action rules at their July 18 meetings.

“We received the letter yesterday. I immediately assigned a couple of staff members to take a look, read it, make sure we respond. In fact, we have 30 days to respond. We certainly will comply,” Kennedy said.

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