1616 Richland Street
COLUMBIA, SC 29201
Dr. Craig Witherspoon is superintendent of Richland County School District One, South Carolina’s ninth-largest school district with 22,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, 4,200 employees, and 52 schools and special centers in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Geographically, the district stretches across nearly 500 square miles.
An educational practitioner for more than 30 years, Dr. Witherspoon’s professional experiences include being an instrumental music teacher, a middle and high school principal, an instructional improvement officer, and a superintendent for 16 years, working in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina.
Since Dr. Witherspoon began leading Richland One in 2015, the district’s graduation rate has climbed to record-high levels and surpassed the state average, and numerous innovative programs have been implemented to help prepare students for college and careers and give them a competitive advantage when they graduate.
Among the district’s many firsts, Richland One launched the state’s first high school commercial driver’s license training program in 2018; the program is one of only six nationwide. Richland One also was the first South Carolina school district to offer all 16 nationally recognized career clusters and the first school district in the state with a certified pre-apprenticeship program.
Also under Dr. Witherspoon’s leadership, Richland One has expanded its magnet and choice programs, which include Montessori programs at the elementary and middle school levels, an elementary language immersion program that will expand to middle school in 2022-2023, as well as elementary and secondary virtual school programs.
Richland One recently earned system accreditation for another five years from the Cognia™ Global Accreditation Commission. The district scored in the top tier of all institutions evaluated. Cognia is a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts, and education service providers.
Dr. Witherspoon’s honors and awards include being named the 3A/2A/1A Superintendent of the Year for 2022 by the S.C. Athletic Administrators Association; the 2019 Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association; and the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Association of Educational Office Professionals and the Richland County Association of Educational Office Professionals.