Mount Pleasant Magazine March/April 2024

36 | | Charleston County School District has suffered a great deal of volatility in leadership, hiring their fourth superintendent in two years. New hire Anita Huggins looks to rewrite that narrative. In January, CCSD’s board offered Huggins, acting superintendent at the time, the position permanently. After a week of consideration, she accepted and signed a threeyear contract paying $275,000 annually. Huggins’ hiring came on the heels of a mutual decision to part ways with former Superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien, who had served CCSD for just four months. After being accused of creating a hostile work environment, an investigation found Gallien not responsible. CCSD’s board was scrutinized by the public for a lack of transparency in how the school board handled the investigation, along with allegations that racism played a role in the board’s decision making. “I am not naive to the gravity of the public and board’s discussion surrounding my appointment,” Huggins said. “In fact, quite the opposite is true; I take very seriously the community conversation about racism and the wider discussion about how our system can perpetuate distrust.” Huggins, a native South Carolinian from the countryside of Loris, hails from a family of educators and has served CCSD for nearly three decades. Since 1998, she has assumed practically every position throughout her illustrious teaching career, including: English teacher, a master teacher, principal, interim chief transportation officer and deputy superintendent. “I know our school district; I know its challenges and I know our potential,” Huggins said. “My first priorities will be to provide stability and direction as well as to rebuild trust that has been compromised. I will be consistent and transparent about what I prioritize and how I work with others to make decisions, always asking first ‘Will this benefit our children?’” Teacher Evaluation Report card on CCSD’s new superintendent BY ZACH GIROUX our town