Harriet Jaworowski, Rock Hill schools’ associate superintendent for instruction and accountability, is one of three finalists to lead Anderson School District Five.
She was chosen from 32 candidates in a regional search across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Anderson Five school board Chairman Rick Bradshaw said.
“Her resume spoke for itself,” he said. “Her references were impeccable. They are some of the best references I have ever read. When we met her in person, she made an even better impression.
“If she’s chosen, I have no doubt she would do a great job.”
Jaworowski, known around Rock Hill schools as “Dr. J,” came to the district in 2006 from Virginia, where she was director of curriculum and instruction for Isle of Wight County schools. Before that, she taught science in Anderson and Aiken. She also has been an instructor at USC-Aiken.
Jaworowski, 55, said she’s thrilled about the news.
“This is an opportunity to do something I’ve worked toward all of my life,” she said.
In 2010, she was a finalist for superintendent of Chester County schools. She withdrew her name from consideration after deciding the job wasn’t the right fit.
In Rock Hill, she oversees the curriculum for nearly 18,000 students in 25 schools.
She spearheaded the district’s adoption of widely used literacy and math guides, which rely on research to specify how to teach the subjects.
Recently, she has been working to implement the Common Core learning standards, which add depth and rigor to math and language arts teaching requirements. Nearly all 50 states are adopting the standards.
Jaworowski also is building an instructional framework for mobile devices and creating a system to evaluate how effective they are as learning tools.
Her focus as superintendent, Jaworowski said, would be on Common Core, technology and school safety in the wake of the mass shooting on Dec. 14 that left 20 children and six educators dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
With 22 schools and some 12,000 students, Anderson District Five is the largest of the county’s five school systems.
The school board has been searching for a new leader since current Superintendent Betty Bagley announced she would step down after 12 years.
The school board, which had the S.C. School Boards Association conduct its search, announced the three finalists Tuesday.
Jaworowski is competing for the job with Thomas Wilson, director of governmental affairs at the Georgia Department of Education, and Veta Powell New, superintendent of Oglethorpe County Schools in Lexington, Ga.
The district is looking for someone to lead as it pursues ways to embed technology tools in the classroom, strengthen choice and magnet programs and adopt the Common Core, Bradshaw said.
Like Rock Hill schools, Anderson Five has embraced public school choice, though it’s further along in its development.
All campuses are open to any student in the district, no matter where he or she lives. Parents can choose from among varying themes, such as International Baccalaureate, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the arts.
Jaworowski said she’s partial to Anderson. She started her education career as a science teacher at Belton-Honea Path High in Anderson District Two.
Rock Hill schools Superintendent Lynn Moody supports Jaworowski and believes she will be a successful leader.
“She’s very intelligent,” Moody said. “She does an exceptional job of planning. She’s very detail oriented and she questions everything. I would hate to lose her, but I’m pulling for her.”
Anderson officials expect to name a new superintendent in February.
They haven’t said how much the job will pay. Bagley’s current annual salary is $143,000, plus a car allowance. Jaworowski’s annual salary is $117,585.
Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072