Williston District 29 superintendent retires amid controversy

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Nov. 22, 2011

WILLISTON, S.C. -- Williston District 29 School Board members voted to accept Superintendent Alexia Clamp's request for retirement at a meeting Tuesday night. The vote was three to two.

Chairman Alan Mulligan told News 12 Superintendent Clamp will go on sabbatical leave starting Jan. 3. That means she will still be paid until the end of the school year but won't be at the helm anymore.

In the coming weeks, board members will name an interim superintendent as they begin to search for a permanent replacement.

Tuesday's vote comes on the heels of rumors that some of the board members wanted to fire the woman who has been their leader for eight years. Hundreds showed up to support Superintendent Clamp at a meeting last month; some even started a petition asking the board to keep her as head of Williston District 29 schools. Last month, News 12 reported some board members were accused of discussing Superintendent Clamp's career in private, which is illegal. The board chair said the claims were all rumors, but some parents still wondered if the long-time educator was on her way out.

News 12 tried to speak with Superintendent Clamp, but one of her family members spoke to us on her behalf instead. He told us, "she is looking forward to retirement and some much needed time with her family." He then directed us to Chairman Mulligan for any other information. When asked if there were any hard feelings he replied, "no comment."

Meanwhile, two other area school districts are also without a permanent leader. In October, board members in Edgefield County voted to fire Mary Rice-Crenshaw, saying they just weren't happy with Crenshaw's leadership the last several years.

The area's largest district has been without its superintendent for almost a year now. This past February, Richmond County's Frank Roberson went on leave after emergency brain surgery. He surprised his staff a couple of weeks ago at the Teacher of the Year banquet. He promised to return to work soon but wasn't able to say when.

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