Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Greenville County Board of Trustees approved through a 7 to 5 vote that a contract be negotiated with William Burke Royster, Jr., deputy superintendent of Greenville County Schools, as the next superintendent of the state’s largest and nation’s 49th largest school district with 70,000 students. The contract includes a three year term of employment, an annual salary of $215,000, and an annual annuity of ten percent of the superintendent’s salary.
Royster will replace Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, who is retiring after almost eight years as superintendent. Royster’s effective date of employment will be no later than July 1, 2012.
"A national search was conducted and Board members worked many hours reviewing applications and interviewing candidates to ensure we employ the right person to next lead our school system,” said Board chairman Roger Meek. “Mr. Royster has the experience, expertise, and qualifications to continue to advance student achievement and to provide students across our school district with high quality educational opportunities. “
Royster has served 31 years in public education, including the last six years as deputy superintendent of Greenville County Schools. He began his career in 1980 as a teacher at Starr-Iva Middle School in Anderson School District Three and joined Greenville County Schools for the first time in 1983 as assistant principal of Monaview Middle School. Royster then served as an assistant principal at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill School District Three and assumed his first principalship in 1990 as the first leader of Waccamaw High School in the Georgetown County School District.
Royster moved back to the upstate in 1994 as principal of Seneca High School in Oconee County Schools and accepted his first district-level position in 1999 as assistant superintendent for administration and instruction in Oconee County. Royster rejoined Greenville County Schools in 2005 as deputy superintendent for operations and assumed leadership of the instructional division in 2011.
Royster received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in secondary education from Clemson University. He is pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina.
The superintendent search process began last October when the Board of Trustees contracted with a personnel search firm, bwp and Associates, to assist with a nation-wide search. Seventy-two applications were received by the search firm. The firm narrowed the candidates to a smaller slate before the Board selected three finalists for the position.
Royster will be the tenth superintendent to lead Greenville County Schools since the school district was established in 1951, following Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, Dr. William Harner, Dr. Rudolph G. Gordon, Dr. Timothy Jenney, Dr. Thomas E. Kerns, Dr. Roy Truby, Dr. Floyd Hall, Dr. M.T. Anderson, and Dr. W.F. Loggins.