• Dr. Joanne Avery Named SC Superintendent of the Year

    Dr. Joanne Avery Named SC Superintendent of the Year
    Columbia – Dr. Joanne S. Avery was named the 2020 SC Superintendent of the Year by the SC Association of School Administrators yesterday. Dr. Avery, who is finishing her 4th year as superintendent in Anderson 4, will be recognized at the 2019 SCASA Innovative Ideas Institute held at Myrtle Beach in June.
    “I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Avery for 16 years, “said Dr. Tom Dobbins, Chairman of the Anderson School District Four Board of Trustees.  “I have watched her grow and develop into one of the most valued and trusted superintendents.  She has earned the respect of the board, administration, faculty, students, parents, and community leaders.  As board chair, I have told principals and superintendents that you need the support of two of three of our school stakeholders to be successful, faculty/staff, students, or parents.  I can honestly say she has locked in all three.”
    Dr. Avery grew up in Anderson County, Tennessee, before earning her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee.  In 1980, she began her career as a biology teacher before returning to earn a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology where she served as a health industry teacher/trainer, corporate fitness director, and co-owner of a health facility. In 1996, she earned her Doctorate Degree from Clemson University in Educational Leadership. 
    “As a parent of an eighth-grader and a fifth-grader in Anderson Four, as a member of the district’s Parent Advisory Council, and as an educator myself, I can strongly attest that Dr. Avery listens, learns, and leads more effectively than any other school administrator I have encountered,” said Dr. Michael LeMahieu, Associate Professor, Department of English, Clemson University.  “She models the desire to learn that she wants to instill in all of her students.  The number of questions, concerns, and problems that come across the desk of a public school superintendent is truly staggering.  I have been consistently impressed with her intellect, capacity to retain so much information, and her ability to understand how each discrete piece of information relates to the overall conceptual framework.” 
    For the past 30 years in public education in SC, she has served as a teacher and has held numerous administrative roles.  On the state level, Dr. Avery co-chaired the SC NCTAF (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future) Coalition, which designed and opened two schools of the future.  In addition, she served as President for the SC Association for School Administrators (SCASA), as well as for its Personnel Division.  She has been honored as the Personnel Administrator of the Year by SCASA’s Personnel Division and was a finalist for the Award of Professional Excellence in Human Resources Management by the SC Chamber of Commerce and the SC Society for Human Resource Management. 
    Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, President of Tri-County Technical College, characterizes her as a leader who has “played a key role in the growth and development of Anderson School District Four for many years and her time as superintendent has significantly raised the profile of the District but more importantly, the opportunities for students of the District.  In my many years in higher education, I have rarely worked with someone so focused on meeting the needs of students and putting them first while taking into consideration the many competing forces that are brought to bear on a local school board and superintendent.”
    Dr. Avery is a graduate of the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, SC State Department of Education’s Tapping Educator Excellence Leadership Program, and the Courage to Lead Educational Leadership program.  She has served as a National Healthy Schools Ambassador for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, was selected for the Anderson Independent Mail’s 15 over 50 Class of 2018, and for the past two years, has served as the Chairman for the Anderson County March of Dimes March for Babies Walk.
    “As a member of her current district administrative team, I see first-hand the extraordinary leader that Dr. Joanne Avery is,” said Nichole B. Boseman, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation.  “There is no doubt that Anderson 4 is a premier district because of her vision, dedication, fortitude, intelligence and selflessness that are part of her leadership style. She makes the hard work of being a superintendent look easy because she leads by example and takes the importance of creating meaningful relationships to another level.  She has the ability to motivate and empower others because of her personal touch and genuine care for others. From writing personal notes to each graduating senior to actively participating in school and community activities, she has a passion for what she does and has created an atmosphere of us all being One Team. The Anderson 4 community is proud of our leader, Dr. Joanne Avery, and feel she is very deserving of this great honor.

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