Dr. Rose Wilder, Williamsburg Co. school superintendent, dies

KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC) – The Williamsburg County School District is remembering a woman it called a “legend in education.”

Dr. Rose Wilder died Tuesday morning, according to a statement released from the district.

With her appointment as superintendent in Clarendon School District Two in 1994, Wilder became the first Black female superintendent in the state of South Carolina since Reconstruction. During her two decades of serving as a superintendent, 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.

State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman appointed Wilder to the role of superintendent for the school district in 2018.

“This is a great loss, not only for the Williamsburg community but also for the state and for me personally,” Spearman said. “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.”

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.

District spokesman Myron Davis called Wilder a legend in education.

“At this time, our only wishes are to honor her legacy and family,” he said.

Dr. Kevin Wymbs was named the next superintendent for the district and was set to begin in that role on Thursday. Plans called for Wilder to then move to a consultant role.

Wymbs will now begin his role effective immediately, Spearman’s office said.

Funeral arrangements for Wilder were pending.

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