South Carolina Superintendent of the Year and District Administrator of the Year announced

May 9, 2022

Barnwell School District 29 (Williston) Superintendent, Dr. Marcella Shaw, has been named the 2023 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year, and Saluda County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Abbey Duggins, has been named the 2023 South Carolina District Level Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA).

Dr. Shaw is an active member of the SCASA Superintendents’ Affiliate. She has served as Program Chair for the Innovative Ideas Institute and is currently serving on the Superintendents’ Executive Committee. Dr. Shaw’s school district is home to three schools and 717 scholars. Under her leadership, two of the district’s school report card rankings went from “Unsatisfactory” to “Good” and “Excellent.”

“There is no one more deserving of this award. Dr. Shaw has been effective from day one—she is relentless in the pursuit of excellence for our scholars, staff, and administration. We were at a low ebb when she came, yet she created an environment for transformation,” said Annette Burnette, Chair of the Barnwell School District 29 (Williston) School Board. “Our scores, staff, and program development have improved each year. Always positive, approachable, and visionary, Dr. Shaw leads with integrity, and she has worked to increase our fund balance each year. Most importantly, Dr. Shaw is focused on providing the best education for every scholar. We are so fortunate and very grateful for her!”

Elizabeth “Beth” A. Phibbs, Executive Director of SCASA, states, “Dr. Marcella Shaw is a champion for children. She is a transformational leader who promotes educational excellence by focusing on student-centered decision making. Her dedication to her students, parents, and community is evident in everything she does. We are delighted to honor her as the 2023 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year.”

Finalists for the award included Darlington County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Tim Newman, and Florence District Two Superintendent, Dr. Neal Vincent. Candidates participated in an application and interview process conducted by a team of South Carolina business, education, and community leaders.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Saluda County Schools, Dr. Abbey Duggins, was named District Level Administrator of the Year by SCASA. She currently serves as the president of the SC chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and is chairing the SC Department of Education ELA standards revision. Dr. Duggins previously served as president of the SCASA Instructional Leaders’ Affiliate and on the SCASA Executive Board.

“As Saluda County’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Abbey Duggins has spearheaded numerous academic initiatives for her district,” said SCASA Executive Director Beth Phibbs. “She designed and implemented a teacher induction program that received state recognition, and because of her direct engagement with the district’s induction teachers, Saluda County has retained 100% of their first-year teachers for the past several years. We are thrilled that she has been named SCASA’s 2023 District Level Administrator of the Year.”

“Dr. Duggins leadership and willingness to serve is a shining example of a true servant leader for public education,” said Saluda County Schools Superintendent Dr. Harvey H. Livingston. “We are so proud of Dr. Duggins receiving this very well-deserved recognition, and it is an honor to call her a colleague and a friend.”

Dr. Shaw and Dr. Duggins will be recognized throughout the year for their accomplishments. Moseley Architects supports both awards by providing a scholarship to each winner to be used to assist a student or teacher with professional development or college courses.

SCASA is the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, with a membership of more than 4,800. From leadership development opportunities and research, to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people. As a state affiliate of three national associations for school leaders, SCASA also works on the national level.