HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The resignation for Horry County Schools Superintendent Cindy Elsberry was announced following an executive session Monday.
Board Chairman Joe DeFeo announced Elsberry will resign December 31.
The following written statement was read at the meeting:
Dr. Cindy Elsberry has announced her resignation as Superintendent of the third largest school district in South Carolina, which she has ably led since 2008.
Due to her extraordinary contribution to our District, community, and State, the Board has accepted Dr. Elsberry's resignation.
Dr. Elsberry will resign December 31, 2014, but has agreed to perform consulting services for the district as may be requested by the Board for the remainder of the school year.
Dr. Elsberry did not attend the meeting. She was instead at First Baptist Church in Conway. There she invited staff and friends from the school district and told them about her resignation.
Her pastor tells WMBF News nearly 80 people showed up to hear from Dr. Elsberry. He described the meeting as quick and said everyone burst out into a standing ovation after she thanked all the staff.
As of now, the district is still deciding how to approach the hiring process. Usually they will appoint an interim superintendent while hiring a permanent person for the position.
Board Chairman Joe Defeo said these details and many more will be discussed at the next board meeting.
Following the announcement, Dr. Elsberry also sent out an email to all HCS staff.
The following was sent out:
Dear members of the HCS Family:
By the time you read this email, you most likely have heard that I submitted my resignation as the Superintendent of Schools. The Board of Education accepted my resignation at a Special Called Meeting last night. I will continue to work through December to ensure a smooth transition, allowing our leadership team to carry on without compromise for the collective work of being a premier, world-class school system.
I want to thank each of you for how warmly you welcomed me to Horry County Schools six years ago. HCS has the most talented and dedicated team of employees with whom I have ever had the opportunity to work, and the innovation and passion you show for student learning is unmatched. I will cherish the time we have worked together and I am honored to have had the privilege of working with you and for you.
Changes in leadership happen for different reasons, but regardless of who is leading, the core work and operations must continue as usual. The most important things that happen within HCS are those things that occur within our schools where we teach children, nurture their development, and help them discover the possibilities of their futures. I ask each of you to not be distracted by this transition in District leadership and continue to focus on our students first and foremost.
Thank you for the sentiments and words of encouragement many of you have offered to me last night and today. While I am uncertain of where my future will take me, I plan to explore opportunities that will allow me to continue working in education. As a mother and grandmother, I am hopeful that such an opportunity will enable me to live closer to my children and grandchildren. I covet your prayers as I change directions for my personal and professional life.
You have my heartfelt wishes for continued success. I am so honored to have been a part of this amazing school district, and am ever grateful for the richness you have added to my life.
Dr. Cindy Elsberry
Superintendent of Schools
The HCS Board was set to release Dr. Elsberry's yearly evaluation this fall. Last year she received an 'exceptional' grade.
WMBF News obtained her contract and found that 'exceptional' grade came with an increase in salary, five additional days of annual leave, along with other benefits.