April 17, 2014
On April 10, in a 6-0 vote, the Pickens County School Board named Dr. Danny Merck the new Superintendent.
Minutes into our roundtable discussion, it was apparent each board member had come to the same choice – Dr. Danny Merck. This was not surprising.
In 2011, the board and administration did a good job of looking ahead on this issue, and that foresight is still paying dividends today. Then Superintendent Dr. Henry Hunt was nearing retirement and the board truly wanted to hire the next superintendent from within.
Our district has a winning academic culture, being in the top 15 in the state. We believe those who spend years in our system and then are promoted to management are most likely to preserve that culture. Also we want to show employees, if they work hard, better their skills and perform well, they will be recognized and promoted.
To this end, in 2011, Dr. Hunt and the board sought out and promoted Dr. Kelly Pew to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Dr. Merck to Assistant Superintendent of Administration, realizing they were both superintendent material and would be ready for the job if they furthered/ added district office experience
Under Dr. Hunt’s guidance, both Dr. Pew and Dr. Merck sharpened their skills and were readied for job. Dr. Pew was named Superintendent in 2012 and performed very well. And she’ll do as well in Rock Hill and part of that will be due to the experience and opportunities she was given here and took advantage of. Dr. Merck was prepared for the job as well, rounding out his 20-plus years of experience working in the district office. He has now been given the same opportunity to run the district. We are confident he will do just as well. Among his many skills and traits, Dr. Merck is an outstanding administrator, has a strong grasp of the challenges public education faces, and has a keen sense for building community relationships.
I credit my fellow trustees and Dr. Hunt for thinking ahead, pulling all this together, and making this decision a very easy one.
School Board Trustee