BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dr. Anthony Dixon has been named the interim superintendent of education for the Berkeley County School District following a controversial vote by the newly elected school board this month.

In a move that surprised many, including some fellow board members, Superintendent Deon Jackson was fired by a 6-3 vote on November 15. Dr. Dixon was hired as his replacement.

News 2 spoke with Dr. Dixon about how he initially found out he may become superintendent and what his plans are to improve Berkeley County schools.

Dixon said board member Mac McQuillin, who was elected chairman on Tuesday night, called him the weekend before Tuesday’s meeting to see if he was still interested in being superintendent.

“I was contacted that this could be the possibility,” he shared.

Dr. Dixon was one of the top three finalists when Deon Jackson was ultimately hired as superintendent in July 2021.

He told McQuillin that he was still interested but he was not told that he had the job.

“You never know what will happen until the vote is said and done,” he said.

Dixon said he was watching a live stream of the meeting when he learned he was hired. He said they worked out the details of the hire after the meeting. He also said he never talked to anyone else on the board about the possible job until after the meeting.

“He just called you personally.”

“Correct,” he said.

“You weren’t talking to several members of the board or anything right?”

“No,” he replied.

News 2 reached out to board chairman Mac McQuillin on Monday. But we have not heard back from him about this topic.

As for Dixon, he believes the way this transition happened in one night has made this more challenging. “The transition is definitely a challenge,” he said.

“Do you think some of that is because of the abrupt nature of your being hired and the previous superintendent being let go?”

“I’m sure that has something to do with it,” he said.

Dixon said he is already trying to assess the situation with Berkeley County Schools.

“Right now, I’m going to really assess where we are by getting a baseline for where our students are, where our teachers and our school-level leaders are,” said Dixon.

He said more changes could be made later on if they are needed.

“Our primary and our core business of teaching and learning has not stopped. It will not stop. We will just continue to maximize on our strengths to ensure that we teach and learn at higher levels than we have before,” he said.