Head of the Class

Richland County School District One

1616 Richland Street

Columbia, SC 29201

Phone: 803.231.7000

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Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Superintendent

Dr. Craig Witherspoon is superintendent of Richland County School District One, South Carolina’s 10th – largest school district with more than 22,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade; 4,919 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 over 35 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 18 years, working in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Since Dr. Witherspoon began his tenure in Richland One in 2015, the district’s graduation rate has climbed to record-high levels and consistently 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 was also 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 increased the number of 3K and 4K classrooms and expanded magnet and choice programs for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, including Montessori programs, language immersion programs, career magnet programs and virtual school programs. Dr. Witherspoon has presented at numerous national conferences, sharing programs and progress the district has made over the years. Richland One students and staff also have been recognized at the state and national levels for their achievements as part of Team One.

In 2022, Richland One 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 many honors and awards include being named 2024 Superintendent of the Year by the SC Alliance of Black School Educators; the 3A/2A/1A Superintendent of the Year for 2022 by the SC Athletic Administrators Association; the 2019 Administrator of the Year by the SC Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association; and the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the SC Association of Educational Office Professionals and the Richland County Association of Educational Office Professionals.