Senator, mayor thank Wilder for service
by Robert Joseph Baker | August 4, 2017 4:30 am
Last Updated: July 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm
Clarendon School District 1 has said goodbye to longtime Superintendent Dr. Rose Wilder, who presided over her final board meeting Thursday night.
Board Chairman Tony Junious said Friday morning that Wilder retired from the district, effectively immediately and that Barbara Ragin will serve as interim for the coming school year.
Wilder was hired by the district in October 2004 to replace Dr. Clarence E. Willie. She had previously served as superintendent with Clarendon School District 2 for seven years until leaving that district in 2001.
She served as the superintendent of the Fairfield County School District from July 1, 2001, until she was hired by Clarendon School District 1. In this role, she oversaw schools in Blair, Ridgeway and Winnsboro.
“It is with a great sense of loss that the Board of Trustees of Clarendon School District 1 announces the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Rose Wilder,” said Junious in a released statement. “Dr. Wilder notified the board of her intent to retire and submitted her resignation at the school board meeting held July 20.”
Junious said in the statement that the board “recognizes Dr. Wilder’s significant accomplishments have set an example for educators everywhere and will make appointing her replacement a challenge.”
“The board wishes Dr. Wilder a very happy retirement and expresses their gratitude for Dr. Wilder’s numerous and considerable contributions to the district during her tenure as superintendent for the past 13 years.”
Sen. Kevin Johnson, a good friend of Wilder’s, said he was saddened by the news.
“Dr. Wilder is the epitome of a successful education leader,” said Johnson in a social media post. “She always kept everything to what was best for the students in the district. When Dr. Wilder went to Clarendon 1, the district was known for all of the wrong reasons.”
Those reasons included borrowing to make payroll and missing annually required audits, according to file stories in The Manning Times.
“Now, upon her retirement, Clarendon 1 is often cited throughout the state and nation as an example of how a small, poor rural school district can excel despite the odds and challenges that they are faced with.”
Wilder had no comment on her retirement. Her contract was last renewed in 2014, and she said at that time she likely wouldn’t seek an extension when the three-year term was up.
Her retirement brings to an end a 39-year career in public education, 27 of them in Clarendon County. She had 13 years with Clarendon School District 1 and 14 years with Clarendon School District 2, with seven of the latter as superintendent.
“I have three years left on this contract after this school year ends,” she said. “I’m thinking of retirement.”