How we got here: The search for Charleston Co. superintendent nears end

The Charleston County School District Board of Trustees announced they’re entering into contract talks with Dr. Eric Gallien, a Wisconsin superintendent.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 11:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District’s superintendent search could be nearing its end.

This comes as the Board of Trustees announced they’re entering into contract talks with Dr. Eric Gallien, a Wisconsin superintendent, on Tuesday.

The board started looking for a new leader when the district’s former Superintendent, Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, gave her resignation in December 2021. From there, the district’s current superintendent, Donald Kennedy, took over.

In August 2022, the board announced their timeline of hiring a new superintendent, and about six months later, in March of 2023, the board unanimously approved the selection of BWP & Associates to conduct their superintendent search.

The district hosted public input sessions on the search in April, and a long list of potential candidates was discussed unanimously on May 22 at a Special Called Board of Trustees Meeting.

The board announced they had their final three candidates on May 24, revealing the names of two of the three finalists

“The board had touted the transparency of the process and that was good to hear, and I felt like the process was very transparent up until we got to the three candidates,” Jody Stallings, the Director of the Charleston Teachers Alliance, said.

Two of those three candidates dropped out days later after their names were leaked on social media, leaving them with one finalist, Dr. Eric Gallien.

“You try to be optimistic about it and you hope that the next person will be the person that will be here for 10, 15 years,” Stallings said. “That’s why you like to see a cleaner opening, maybe a more transparent opening. But it’s not how you start with the position; it’s how you roll with the position.”

Stallings said although he wishes the end of the board’s superintendent search was more open and honest, the Teachers Alliance will support whoever they choose.

However, one Charleston County School District parent, Rebecca Davis, disagrees. She said even though she’s noticed the negative impact on the district from a lack of steady leadership, she’d rather wait for the right candidate.

“I’m super concerned that the board is pushing through one candidate,” Davis said. “When I say I’m outraged, there’s like 1000 other moms right behind me.”