Dr. Connie Dennis has served as the Superintendent for Clarendon County School District 3 for over a decade. After years of serving the district in this capacity and others, she has received a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. This award came as a shock to Dennis, however.
“It was a complete and total surprise,” said Dennis. “I was nominated, and I know it came from within the school system, but I’m not sure who nominated me.”
The person in question was Laura Fleming, District Administrator for Clarendon 3. Fleming nominated Dennis after years of noticing the hard and detailed work she was doing for her students.
“She has poured her entire life into the students at East Clarendon and Walker Gamble,” said Fleming. “She eats, sleeps, and breaths District 3.”
Dennis has a long track record at Clarendon 3, spending most of her career there. She began as a teacher at Walker Gamble, and eventually worked her way to principal before moving to District 2 in Manning for a few years. When the superintendent position opened in Clarendon 3, they asked her to return. She has been serving in that position for the past eleven years.
“When you look at her impact across the county, and even the state, it is incredible,” said Fleming. “The work she has done for education in South Carolina is tremendous.”
Dr. Dennis’ work doesn’t stop at the district level. Serving on boards above and beyond, her accolades proceed her on every platform in South Carolina. Throughout her lifetime, she has been involved in the following projects, and more.
“She has had to wear multiple hats in multiple positions for a very long time,” said Fleming. “Throughout, she has held an incredible track record of high academic success, high student acheivement, low teacher turnover rates, and an overall positive climate. In general, her ability to manage a successful operation is phenomenal.”
Fleming also noticed the grace in which she fills these roles, as well as her discretion.
“She is very humble,” said Fleming. “She never cries out for attention or recognition. You can tell that she doesn’t do this for herself; she does this for her students.”
SCASA also awarded Walker Gamble Elementary at the ceremony for their recent status as a Palmetto’s Finest School.
“I was so happy that we were all together, and so proud of Walker Gamble for their achievement,” said Dennis.
Dennis continues to serve as the Superintendent of Clarendon School District 3, and will continue to do so through the merger with District 1. Her faculty and staff could not be more proud of her and all of her accomplishments. How she received the notoriety? Dennis attributes it all to her staff and her students.
“The most important thing a superintendent can do, in my opinion, is establish a good working relationship with their staff,” said Dennis. “I would be nothing without my team, and what a great team they are.”