DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester District 2 Superintendent Joseph Pye announced plans to retire during a board meeting Monday night.

Pye, who has been superintendent for DD2 for more than 20 years, said he planned to retire at Christmas time but decided to stay on through the school year to give the district more time to find a replacement.

He said the emotional decision to step down came after great deliberation. “I’ve done this for 52 years,” he said. “I feel in my heart I’ve given my very best, I’m not a quitter and we’re not quitting now. I’m just going to pass the torch to someone else so they can have that renewed passion.”

Pye said his passion has waned in recent months “only because you get tired after while,” he said.

The educator said he’s felt pressure over the past 18 months as the coronavirus pandemic caused many challenges within education and apologized to his staff for passing that pressure on to them. “Y’all took it, and you’ve helped me and really made it much easier for me to do – you’re very understanding, and nobody can work for people like you.”

“This pandemic has sucked the blood out of me, and so I feel the district, our children, our teachers deserve better – they deserve the best that we can offer, and I’ve offered all I can do. I’ve given my best and I’m proud of what I’ve done,” said Pye.

During his time as superintendent, the district has experienced rapid growth with over 26,000 students and approximately 4,000 employees. “While dealing with the challenges of continued growth, the district has maintained its high academic achievement and top ranking in the state under Mr. Pye’s leadership and
direction,” district officials said. “In the past 22 years, the school district has completed 28 building projects, including 11 new schools and numerous facility renovations and school expansions.”

“I will be leaving the school system in good hands with a dedicated staff and outstanding teachers,” said Pye.

Dorchester District Two’s Board of Trustees will work to find a replacement in the months to come.