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Foster named district leader; Orangeburg County superintendent starts July 1
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Foster named district leader; Orangeburg County superintendent starts July 1

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An Aiken County school official will become the new leader of the Orangeburg County School District.

Orangeburg County trustees selected Dr. Shawn Foster after about an hour and a half behind closed doors at Tuesday night's regularly scheduled board meeting.

“Our board was very pleased with Dr. Foster’s educational background and experiences. We believe he best fits qualities outlined in our community and staff written leadership profile,” OCSD Board Chair Peggy James-Tyler said in a district press release.

"Dr. Foster also has strong experience in areas that will serve our district well now and in the future," James-Tyler said.

Foster will assume his duties as the Orangeburg County School District’s new superintendent on July 1, the start of the district's 2020-2021 fiscal year.

"Selecting our next superintendent has been an important process for the board, and we believe we have found an outstanding leader," James-Tyler said. "We are very appreciative of the employee and community support we have received throughout our search, and we are looking forward to a great future for our district under Dr. Foster’s leadership."

The board voted 7-2 to hire Foster to serve as the superintendent for three years at an annual salary of $175,000. His contract ends June 30, 2023.

Trustees Dr. William O'Quinn and Dr. Debora Brunson voted in opposition.

Foster was one of two finalists selected by the board.

Dr. Valarie Williams, who serves as the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Scotland County schools in North Carolina, was the other finalist.

Both Foster and Williams spent a day in the district last week and had a second interview with the board.

"Both finalists were excellent candidates and outstanding educational leaders," James-Tyler said. "We believe, however, that Dr. Foster is the best fit for Orangeburg."

Foster has served as the chief officer for Operations and Student Services for the Aiken County School District, where he earned $135,000.

Foster previously served as director of Student and Administrative Services for Spartanburg School District 7.

Foster has served as an assistant principal, principal, intervention specialist, assistant director of an alternative school and director of student and administrative services.

He received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Livingstone (NC) College, a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University, a master’s degree in divergent learning from Columbia College and a doctorate in administration from South Carolina State University.

In his position with Aiken County School District, Foster oversaw 12 departments with budgets totaling over $220 million.

He led a process to streamline and reorganize the various departments under his supervision to promote increased efficiency.

Foster also oversaw $125 million in projects that were completed through a bond referendum.

He was chosen to be a participant in the AASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy, the Riley Institute of Diversity Leaders Institute, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the School Leaders Executive Institute.

He was also recognized as an Aiken Young Professional to Watch and Inez Tenenbaum Leadership Award recipient. Foster is married and has two children -- a 9-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter.

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