by NIGEL JOHNSONmtscreporter@gmail.comRetiring is the right of passage for most working people. There are so many mixed emotions that can go along with it. People get up every morning for many years facing the day as a working-class citizen. When a person loves their job, it is way more than just a career; it is their passion. Passion and hard work is what led Superintendent John Tindal to Clarendon School District Two in 2002.Tindal was honored at a retirement celebration at Manning Early Childhood Center this past Sunday. During the celebration, he was presented with a key to the city of Manning by Mayor Julia Nelson. It was also announced that the athletic field house located at Manning High School is being named after Tindal. Throughout the celebration he was honored through song, well wishes and words of gratitude for his seventeen years of service as Superintendent. For some, the first thing that comes to mind after retirement is fishing and traveling. Tindal poked fun at this during his remarks at the celebration saying that he will not be fishing after retiring. He said that he will be traveling and doing things that he was not able to do while he was working. Also, during his remarks he spoke about how his mother inspired him to be the educator and the man he is today.
“My mother inspired me to read and to be interested in other people’s accomplishments,” Tindal said. “She taught me to be proud of everyone else’s success.” Throughout his career, he was able to show this quality by uplifting students to be the best that they could be. Tindal’s career in education has spanned forty-five years. He began his career in 1974 as a teacher in Lee County Schools. In addition to serving as a teacher, he also served as an administrative assistant, assistant principal, principal, Associate Superintendent for Instruction and Educational Programs, and Superintendent in three school districts in South Carolina. His Superintendent’s career includes Orangeburg One (1993), Allendale County School (1999), and Clarendon School District Two (since 2002).Tindal held an elected office, having served as a member and chairman of the Malboro County Board of Education. As Chairman of the Marlboro County Board of Education, he became the first African American elected to a county wide office in Marlboro County.Tindal also served as a member and Chairman of the South Carolina Board of Education. He was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2004 by the Clarendon County Legislative Delegation.Throughout his career, Tindal has been a member of numerous professional organizations and has held various leadership positions. He served as President of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.He is a member of the Clarendon County Economic Development Board, where he currently serves as Chair, Pee Dee Education Center Board of Directors, Manning Rory Club and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.Tindal has numerous honors and awards to his credit including having been named the South Carolina Rural Educator of the Year in 2006 by the South Carolina Rural Summit. He is also a recipient of the 2011 William B. Harley Lifetime Achievement Award.Tindal holds degrees from Morris College and Winthrop University. He is a member of Taw Caw Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon. He is also a former Sunday School Teacher.He and his wife Carol (a retired teacher form Sumter 17) have been married for forty-five years and are the parents of two adult sons and grandparents to two grandchildren. Tindal is leaving the school district after seventeen long years of service and is pleased with every moment of it.
“I regret not having another career to give to education. I will say that I am looking forward seeing the district from an outside point of view,” Tindal added. “After seventeen years I didn’t want to get stagnant. Change is good, and I am pleased at what I was able to accomplish.”Superintendent John E. Tindal is a leader, an educator, and a man of God who has left his mark on Clarendon School District Two.