Colleton school board fires Superintendent Leila Williams

By Ava Wilhite

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) The lead administrator for the Colleton County School District was fired Tuesday night after the board went into executive session.

Colleton County School board member William Bowman says it was not a single incident that led to the board terminating Superintendent Leila Williams' contract.

"For a few months now, our board, or I guess you can say our school district, has been faced with many different challenges. You know, related to things like fiscal management, district management, different legal issues that has come about," said Bowman. {}

Bowman was elected to the school board in 2008, the year before Williams was hired. He says each superintendent contract has a termination clause.

"We've never had any formal complaints filed against Ms. Williams from any organization or and state organizations or anything like that," said Bowman.

Bowman says the board did take into consideration several open investigations.

"Different investigations from the South Carolina state department of education, unfortunately we've also been going through some SLED investigations, but we as a board felt like those things, sometimes are natural but in our case it began to get to a point where we, or a majority of our board felt like it was something that needed to be addressed," he said.

Bowman says he can't discuss ongoing investigations, but one closed investigation uncovered alleged grade changing that took place under Williams watch.{}

Assistant Superintendent Bob Pence says classes today continued as planned.

"At this point, we've visited all the schools and talked with the principals that are available and everything is going along very well. As far as a formal statement, no formal statement has been made at this time," said Pence. {}

Pence says until the board makes a decision on an interim superintendent, the administration will continue to work as a team to cover Williams' duties.

Phone calls to Williams were not returned.

The board will meet again Thursday night to decide who will be the interim leader of the district. The district will have to pay one year's salary as a buyout upon termination, which is about $120,000. {}