On the passing of Dr. Rose Wilder

S.C. education pioneer, arts learning supporter passed Aug. 30

Official Statement from the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission expresses its sadness after learning that Dr. Rose Ann Hilliard-Wilder passed yesterday according to her family.

Among her accomplishments, in 1994, Wilder became the first Black female education superintendent in South Carolina since Reconstruction, serving Clarendon County School District 2. She was named Outstanding Superintendent by the South Carolina School Boards Association in 1999 and in the 2013/2014 school year, named Superintendent of the Year for the State of South Carolina.

Tough times in the Williamsburg County School District called for just such a leader, and the S.C. Department of Education named her superintendent-designee in spring 2018. Wilder oversaw improvements to district finances, special education services, and academics overall during her time. The South Carolina Senate honored her with a March 2020 resolution, and the Clarendon School District One board renamed a school, formerly St. Paul Elementary School, to instead honor Wilder.

The S.C. Arts Commission extends warm and sincere condolences to the surviving members of Wilder’s family with gratitude for her achievements and support for arts learning. She was a partner for a summer STEAM camp in Clarendon County and a Spark Read to Succeed camp in Williamsburg County. Her dedication to so many students in rural school districts brought them immense benefit as learners.

Wilder’s obituary is posted here.

South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899