CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) new superintendent spoke to the public for the first time Wednesday since assuming the position. Don Kennedy, who formerly served as the interim superintendent, was selected for the full-time role on Monday evening.

Kennedy spent Wednesday afternoon outlining his vision for the future of CCSD and what he hopes to accomplish in his role. He says he wants to prioritize students’ educational needs and teachers’ needs across the district.

“I have always gone into these roles nervous and excited. Both help keep me focused along with the mission and we have a very, very important mission here,” says Kennedy.

Kennedy has been interim superintendent since January 2022 taking over for Dr. Gerrita Postlewait after her resignation. Now with a more permanent title, he wants to continue his work on behalf of students and staff in the district.

“I have my certification, my superintendent certification. I will work on working to keep that so I am committed to supporting our principals and teachers. I want to make sure I demonstrate to them I have the same goals as they do,” he says.

Kennedy says he and the school board are working together to add more educational and mental health programs to help students advance their academics after Covid-19.

“The board and I met for 5 hours to continue that work. What is really going to change is going to be an emphasis on that goal and to make sure we focus on that goal,” he says.

Another goal of his is using $28 million in federal funding to improve childhood literacy across the district.

“We want to make sure we stay on a clear path of making sure we can identify what root causes are on why children cannot read. Many of our children are unable to read so we have to make sure we give them that opportunity to give them that,” says Kennedy.

He says his top priority is making a connection with the CCSD community.

“I think it is important for the district and for the community to know that we will have someone in this role that is going to be committed that the time I will be here,” says Kennedy.

Kennedy says he will fulfill the role for the next school year, but CCSD’s Board of Trustees is still actively looking for another superintendent.