Upcoming Gala Honors Distinguished Public School Graduates and Contributors to SC Public Education

Columbia, S.C.—Three distinguished graduates of South Carolina public schools and three state leaders with significant contributions to the field of education will be celebrated at an upcoming gala. The honorees include an Emmy Award-winning journalist, an international non-profit leader, an innovative pharmaceutical CEO, a nationally recognized district superintendent, a three-time SC Superintendent of Education, and the “father of adult education in South Carolina.”

The South Carolina Foundation for Educational Leadership, South Carolina Association of School Administrators’ (SCASA) non-profit arm, is hosting its third annual gala on Friday, March 29, 2019, to celebrate this year’s Distinguished South Carolina Public School Graduates and South Carolina Educator Hall of Fame inductees. The “Seasons of Love: The Story Never Ends” gala will be held at the Columbia Marriott at 6:30 p.m. as a celebration of the impact of public education and how it contributed to the achievements of the six honorees. Funds raised from the gala will support leadership development programs available to school and district leaders throughout the state.

The 2019 Distinguished South Carolina Public School Graduates:

Lou Kennedy is a 1980 graduate of Lexington High School in Lexington School District One. Ms. Kennedy is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In 2010, she helped to establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Anne Lamb Matthews is a 1960 graduate of J. Paul Truluck High School (Lake City High School) in Florence School District Three. Dr. Matthews is the first woman to be named Vice President of Rotary International and is the first woman to serve on both the Rotary Foundation Trustees and the Rotary International Board of Directors.

Craig Melvin is a 1997 graduate of Columbia High School in Richland School District One and serves on the board of trustees for Wofford College. Mr. Melvin is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist and anchor of the Today show on NBC. His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms. Before joining NBC News, Melvin was the evening news anchor at WIS in Columbia.

The 2019 South Carolina Educator Hall of Fame Inductees:

Dr. Cyril Busbee was a 1924 graduate of Wagener High School in the Aiken County School District. Dr. Busbee was a lifelong educator and was elected SC Superintendent of Education three times. As SC superintendent from 1966–1979, Dr. Busbee oversaw the integration of South Carolina’s public schools. Dr. Busbee will be inducted into the SC Educator Hall of Fame posthumously.

Joseph Kenyon “Ken” East was a 1929 graduate of Lineville High School in Lineville, AL. Mr. East started the first public Kindergarten program in South Carolina, was instrumental in the founding of South Carolina ETV and what is now Coastal Carolina University, and is considered the “father of adult education in South Carolina.” Mr. East will be inducted into the SC Educator Hall of Fame posthumously.

Dr. Karen Woodward is a 1960 graduate of Greenwood High School in Greenwood School District 50. Dr. Woodward has 31 years of experience as district superintendent for the Union County School District, Anderson School District Five, and Lexington School District One. She is a lifelong educator and has been recognized nationally by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) with the 2014 Women in School Leadership Award.

For more information about “Seasons of Love: The Story Never Ends” gala tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.scleadershipfoundation.org.


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