SDPC Leadership Positions Announced for 2023-24

The School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees approved three leadership positions at the January 23, 2023, regular meeting.  These positions include:

  • Dr. Paula Alexander - Executive Director of Elementary Education

  • Michelle Craddock - Executive Director of Human Resources

  • Wanda Tharpe - Executive Director of Secondary Education

These leaders will begin their new positions at the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year.

Dr. Paula Alexander, currently the principal of  Hagood Elementary, has been selected as the Executive Director of Elementary Education. With 24 years of education experience, she holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education from Southern Wesleyan University, M.A. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Furman University, an Ed.S. Degree in Educational Leadership from Furman University, and an Ed.D. in Education Systems Improvement Science from Clemson University. “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Alexander to our district staff as Executive Director of Elementary Education,” says Shannon Sharkey. “Dr. Alexander has experience in many roles across the district and will bring her vast instructional knowledge with her to the team.  Her positive attitude and servant leadership will create a culture of support for our educators.” 

Dr. Alexander served as principal of Hagood Elementary for 9 years and has served the students and staff of SDPC in varying capacities including Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal, and Coordinator of Professional Learning and Gifted and Talented Program. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the district instructional team.” said Dr. Alexander. “As a member of this team I will continue to be dedicated to improving student outcomes through enriched teaching and learning that meets the needs of all students in the district.” 

Michelle Craddock has been selected as the Executive Director of Human Resources. Ms. Craddock has served as the principal of Clemson Elementary since 2013. She brings over 26 years of experience in education to the Executive Director position. She holds a B.A. in French from Presbyterian College, an M.Ed. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Georgia, and an Ed.S.  Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia. “I am delighted to serve in this new and important role for the School District of Pickens County,” said Craddock. “In serving the School District of Pickens County as Executive Director of Human Resources, I hope to further develop and retain a network of employees committed to the shared vision of engaging students today to prepare them for future success.”

“I am excited to have Ms. Craddock join our SDPC Human Resources team,” said Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Seth Young. “Her experience working in both elementary and secondary schools will be a tremendous asset as we continue to recruit and retain the best teachers to SDPC."

Wanda Tharpe has been named the Executive Director of Secondary Education. Mrs. Tharpe has served the School District of Pickens County for 17 years in varying capacities. She has been the principal of Dacusville Middle School since 2013 and brings more than 26 total years of experience to the Executive Director position. She holds a B.A. in Secondary History Education from Clemson University and an M.A. in Educational Leadership (Secondary) from Furman University.  She plans to bring her innovative mindset and knowledge of state and federal education guidelines to this new position.

“I am delighted to serve in this new and important role for the School District of Pickens County,” said Mrs. Tharpe, “I will continue collaborating with my peers in the instructional leadership of our school district to expand and innovate the rich educational experiences we provide to our students. I have a lifelong love and commitment to education, and I look forward to putting my passion to work enhancing our academic pathways and opportunities for the students of Pickens County.”

“We are thrilled that Mrs. Tharpe will be joining the district as Executive Director of Secondary Education,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum, Shannon Sharkey. “Mrs. Tharpe has a history of being a respected leader that is innovative, community-centered, and well-informed on best practices in instruction.  Her leadership and knowledge will help move the School District of Pickens County in a positive direction.”