Colleton Co. School Board accepts superintendent’s resignation

The nearly yearlong discussion surrounding the Colleton County School District superintendent has come to a close.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 9:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:21 AM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The nearly yearlong discussion surrounding the Colleton County School District superintendent has come to a close.

The Colleton County School Board has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Vallerie Cave Thursday night after just over three hours of executive session.

Board Member Daryl Erwin Made motion to accept Dr. Caves resignation. Four board members voted to accept her resignation, including Daryl Erwin, Sharon Witkin, Craig Stivender and Lynn Stroble.

Charles Murdaugh, Mary Jones and Patricia Simmons all voted against the motion. The motion passed in a 4-3 vote.

It is not clear at this time whether Dr. Cave gave her resignation Thursday, or whether the board just voted on it Thursday. What was clear was that Dr. Cave was not in attendance Thursday night.

After the motion to accept Dr. Cave’s resignation passed, they voted to name Jessica Williams as acting superintendent, and she made an impromptu speech in front of the board.

“I just want to publicly thank Dr. Cave as well for the work that she’s done and for the lessons that she’s taught me to be a brave leader and to be a leader that promotes change and that promotes transformation,” Williams said. “And I believe that she has been that for our district.”

Before the board’s announcement, several people gave public comments, the majority of them in support of Dr. Cave, except one.

“I feel as though the superintendent has not done anything for our schools except spend thousands of dollars on murals or portraits,” Brandy Groom, a Colleton County School District student, said. “The only thing I’ve seen or heard of her doing was Operation Cougar Nation which only lasted eight months, it seems like she comes into the schools to take a few pictures of herself and then she right back out.”

Rowlett Butner, a grandmother of a school district student, spoke in support of Cave.

“I see her interacting with children, I see her talking with children. And unlike what the young lady said. I see a very big difference in our schools and what is happening in our schools and kids are coming up and they’re excited about it,” Butner said. “My granddaughter is graduating on Saturday. She’s very disheartened that Dr. Cave will possibly not be there.”

Cave was placed on leave while the school board “investigates information” that was brought to their attention on May 18, according to district officials.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Colleton County School Board voted to place their superintendent on administrative leave. Now, hundreds of community members have signed a petition to reinstate her.

School board member Daryl Erwin issued the following statement:

The board has accepted Dr. Cave’s resignation. We wish her the best of luck as she continues her future endeavors. A further statement will be issued at a later date.

Assistant Superintendent Jessica Williams will continue to be the acting superintendent.

This is a developing story.