S.C. Public Charter School District Appoints New Superintendent

Elliot Smalley Succeeds Dr. Wayne Brazell, Who Is Retiring After 42 Years in Education

CHARLESTON, SC--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2015) - When Dr. Wayne Brazell took the reins of the South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) in 2009, the district had five schools with 2,000 students. Six years later, it claims 32 schools, many with specialized curricula, and over 18,500 students.

The district announces that Dr. Brazell is retiring this December after 42 years in education, the last eight of which were on the board of trustees, then superintendent, of SCPCSD. Elliot Smalley, a 14-year educational professional, will succeed him effective Sept. 28, 2015.

Immediately prior to coming to the SCPCSD, Brazell was superintendent of Laurens County School District 56 in Clinton, South Carolina. During his career he has served in multiple roles including teacher, principal, several district level positions, and college professor. In 2007, Dr. Brazell was selected as District Level Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Upon assuming the SCPCSD superintendency, the most pressing issue Brazell faced was funding. A proviso to replace the local money charter schools did not receive had not yet been established by the state legislature, and the district was nearing bankruptcy. Largely as a result of the tireless efforts by Brazell and other stakeholders, the South Carolina General Assembly instituted the funding proviso that was desperately needed to ensure the future of charter schools in the state.

Among his other accomplishments was gaining full accreditation by the South Carolina Department of Education, to give charter schools the same academic standing as traditional public schools.

"Dr. Brazell had the unique mix of the knowledge needed to run a school district efficiently and the visionary capacity it takes to work with new charter schools," said SCPCSD Board of Trustees Chairman Don McLaurin. "Well respected by his colleagues, he was able to bridge the gap between the traditional public education mindset and the innovation of the charter school district."

Smalley comes into the role of superintendent after serving for three years as chief of staff for the Tennessee Achievement School District, a turnaround district whose goal is to catapult the bottom 5 percent of schools in Tennessee into the top 25 percent in the state. Prior to that, he was deputy of strategy and communications for the Charleston County School District, and a senior program specialist for the U.S. Department Of Education.

Smalley has a master's degree in criminal justice from University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts.

"Mr. Smalley's record of success in his previous employment with the U.S. Department of Education, the Charleston County School District, and the Tennessee Achievement School District particularly impressed the board," said McLaurin. "His high energy level will enable him to take the quick-paced nature of the South Carolina charter school world in stride. The board looks forward to Mr. Smalley leading the district into this new era with consistent emphasis on excellence, innovation, and results."

About the South Carolina Public Charter School District
Through the innovative spirit of educators, parents, students, and communities in the state, a wide array of public charter schools are being established. The South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) provides support and oversight, using rigorous standards to hold schools accountable. With nearly 17,000 students in 32 schools, the SCPCSD ranks among the top 20 districts in the state based on size. For more information, visit www.sccharter.org.

Wayne Brazell, Ph.D.

Board of Trustees:
Don McLaurin, Chairman
Linzie Staley, Vice Chairman
Kathleen Bounds, Secretary
Betty Bagley
Reese Boyd, Esq.
Anne Bull
Laban Chappell
Ronald Epps, Ph.D.
John Payne

Contact Information:

Laura J. Bayne
Director of Communications
Phone: 803-734-8326
Fax: 803-734-8325