State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman shared the following statement regarding the passing of Dr. Rose Wilder (right), Superintendent of Williamsburg County School District:
“This is a great loss, not only for the Williamsburg community but also for the state and for me personally. Rose was a dear friend, pioneer, mentor and legend in South Carolina. We are saddened by her passing, but know that her legacy will continue through the students, staff and communities she impacted.”
With her appointment as superintendent in Clarendon School District Two in 1994, Dr. Wilder became the first Black female superintendent in the state of South Carolina since Reconstruction. During her two decades of serving as a superintendent, Dr. Wilder earned numerous awards including an Outstanding Superintendent award by the South Carolina School Boards Association in 1999 and Superintendent of the Year for the State of South Carolina during the 2013-2014 school year.
In April 2018, Spearman appointed Dr. Wilder as her state-designee of Williamsburg County School District. Under her leadership, Dr. Wilder oversaw the successful transformation of Williamsburg County School District finances, special education services and academic improvements after the district was declared a state of emergency by the South Carolina Department of Education.
She was honored by the state legislature through a senate resolution in March 2020, and in May 2020, the Clarendon School District One Board of Trustees voted to rename St. Paul Elementary School in her honor.
Earlier this year, Dr. Wilder announced that she would move into an education consulting role, and Dr. Kelvin Wymbs was to be named interim superintendent for the Williamsburg County School District on Sept. 1. Dr. Wymbs will begin his role effective immediately.