Heads of School

Sandhills School

1500 Hallbrook Drive

Columbia, SC, SC 29209

Phone: 803.695.1400

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Erika Senneseth

In 2005, now Head of School Erika Senneseth found Sandhills School from across the globe as a young Fulbright scholar researching and teaching in South Korea. “When I discovered Sandhills, I suddenly knew where I wanted to focus my career.” Senneseth was quickly moved by the intelligence and creativity of Sandhills’ students. “They lit up after experiencing authentic academic success,” she says. “We were literally unlocking their inner confidence and potential.”
As one of only 18 Orton-Gillingham (OG) accredited schools worldwide combining neuroscience with knowledge of language to achieve amazing results for students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences, Sandhills School quickly became “home” to Senneseth.
“I was thinking I would teach for a year before starting graduate school, or even returning to New England, where I attended Connecticut College as an undergraduate, to visit Harvard and Tufts. But the amount of learning and expertise I was acquiring and the impact the work of Sandhills was having on our students … those students and the mission of Sandhills kept me right here in Columbia! I began studying for my Master’s Degree in Education in Divergent Learning at Columbia College on weekends and throughout the summer so I could continue teaching. For my master’s thesis, I researched how dyslexia affects math and the relationship between dyslexia and dyscalculia, something I was eager to learn more about after teaching both reading and math to middle school students at Sandhills School.”
Senneseth served as Assistant Head under Fellow Anne Vickers for eight years before being named Head of School in 2018. Over the past 16 years, she has continued to develop her depth of understanding of the OG Approach, strategic thinking and continuously strives to lead Sandhills in a tradition of academic excellence and innovation. Leading one of the premiere college-preparatory schools in the Midlands, Senneseth’s focus this summer is preparing to open the campus’ new Boyd Building, generously funded by the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation. This expansion will help accommodate more families — some relocating from across the United States to become part of the Sandhills family.
Senneseth also serves as an accrediting team member of SAIS, Vice-President of PAIS, and is co-founder and Board Member at Large of Korean Kids Orphanage Outreach Mission.