Head of the Class

Sandhills School

1500 Hallbrook Drive

Columbia, SC 29209

Phone: 803.695.1400

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Erika Senneseth, Head of School

In her sixth year as Sandhills School’s head of school, Erika Senneseth brings a wealth of experience and a global perspective to her role. A Fulbright Scholar, Senneseth spent a year postbaccalaureate in South Korea studying English language acquisition. Her passion for language learning began in her youth, with immersive experiences in Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Spain. These experiences highlighted to her the profound impact of immersion on language acquisition, a philosophy she integrates into her work at Sandhills School.

Sandhills School is a unique institution dedicated to supporting college-bound students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. The school provides an environment in which students thrive through individualized instruction tailored to their specific needs. The teachers at Sandhills complete hundreds of hours of training in the Orton-Gillingham approach, the most effective research-based method of teaching students with dyslexia.

Erika’s journey at Sandhills began in 2005 when she joined the nationally accredited teacher training program to further her expertise in Orton-Gillingham and dyslexia education. She recognized the unparalleled opportunity to work one-on-one with students, transforming nonreaders into readers within months through daily Orton-Gillingham immersion.

During her tenure at Sandhills, Senneseth has served in various capacities, teaching almost every subject across first through 12th grades. She played a pivotal role in developing the school’s college prep high school and establishing a specialized ACT testing center for students. Her efforts extend beyond the classroom, including stewarding the construction of new facilities such as the Boyd Foundation Building and The Eccles Court and Field, as well as spearheading the Boyd Foundation scholarship match fundraising initiative in the community.

In addition to her leadership at Sandhills, Senneseth serves as the president of the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools, where she promotes collaboration among independent schools in South Carolina and supports professional development initiatives. Her dedication to navigating the challenges faced by independent schools and fostering a collaborative environment underscores her commitment to education.

Erika Senneseth’s multifaceted career and contributions to Sandhills School exemplify her dedication to providing exceptional educational opportunities for students with dyslexia to help them realize their potential in academics and life.