Berkeley Co. School District superintendent confirms certification; deputy superintendent position has no contract

The Berkeley County School Board will be meeting for the first time Tuesday since last month’s controversial termination of former superintendent Deon Jackson.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 5:04 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 4:08 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - In the school board’s first meeting with its newest superintendent, Berkeley County School District Superintendent Anthony Dixon says his qualifications for the position are officially on record with the state.

His status has been up for a question after the state’s Department of Education says they didn’t have those on record.

The big questions asked both during public comment and from some board members were about the certification, how was Dr. Karen Whitley appointed as the new deputy superintendent and is the board really acting in good faith for the community. Based on the reactions in Tuesday night’s board meeting, most people attending didn’t look to be siding with the majority of the board.

“As my requirements for certification have been complete for many years, so I was unaware that this would become a matter of debate,” Anthony Dixon, BCSD superintendent, said. “I regret the time many have invested questioning, investigating and defending my qualifications to serve as superintendent.”

Dixon says his superintendent certification was completed July 30, 2013, and his alma mater, South Carolina State, just finished turning in the final documentation.

Another position up for question was the new deputy superintendent Dr. Karen Whitley. Dixon says he appointed her for the position after he was hired.

David Barrow, BCSD board member-at-large and former board chair, asked Dixon if him and Dr. Whitley attended a cabinet meeting together the day after Dixon was hired. Dixon said yes, it did happen.

“She was not hired at that time, but she attended the cabinet level meeting with you?” Barrow said.

“No, we made the recommendation at that time,” Dixon said.

Dixon confirms that Dr. Whitley does not have a contract at this time. He says her contract will be discussed soon. When asked how it was possible to even elect this position due to lack of funds, board chair Mac McQuillin says this is a revenue-neutral position. This means it would not impact their budget.

When asking parents and teachers what they think about the recent decisions made by the board, Sherry East, the president of the South Carolina Education Association, says the board has an important job to do for the community.

“So, I think that’s what you’re seeing here tonight in this community is that they want transparency, and they want to make sure things are done right so their children will have the best possible education here in Berkeley County,” Sherry said.

Dixon’s proof of certification is attached below. As far as Dr. Whitley’s contract, there is not a timeline of when that will be provided.