Charleston County School District Board of Trustees Selects New Superintendent to Lead District Forward

June 02, 2023
Dr. Eric Gallien Dr. Eric Gallien

Charleston, SC — Today, the Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees announced it will pursue a contract with Dr. Eric Gallien to serve as CCSD’s next superintendent following an extensive nationwide search. Dr. Gallien’s selection follows his visit to the district last week where he toured schools, spoke with administrators, and held a meet and greet with community members, families, educators, and staff. With an unwavering commitment to educational excellence and a proven track record of transformative leadership, the Board intends for Dr. Gallien to formally assume his new role at CCSD this summer, pending contractual negotiations.

As the second largest school district in South Carolina, Charleston County School District recognizes the crucial importance of selecting a superintendent who can drive positive change, create a culture of collaboration with diverse stakeholders, instill trust, and enhance the overall educational experience for all students. The rigorous selection process led by a search firm, BWP & Associates, resulted in 44 candidates from across the nation applying. BWP & Associates recommended seven of those candidates to the Board. The Board selected three individuals, Dr. Charles McNulty of Pulaski County Special School District (Little Rock, Arkansas), Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw of Richmond County School System (Augusta, Georgia), and Dr. Eric Gallien of Racine Unified School District (Racine, Wisconsin) as its top candidates. Dr. Gallien emerged as the leading candidate, impressing the Board with his experience, vision, and innovative approach to education.

“I’m excited about this next step in the selection process and honored to be the candidate of choice to lead CCSD forward,” said Gallien. “I strongly believe in my ability to bring impactful, positive change to the students, families, and educators of CCSD and look forward to getting to work.”

Dr. Gallien, 53, grew up in a low-income, Milwaukee household, the son of a single mother. After graduating from high school, Dr. Gallien enlisted in the U.S. Marines where he served from 1987-1995, seeing combat during Operation Desert Storm. After an honorable discharge from the Marines, Dr. Gallien found his calling for education after volunteering in a local school where he realized he could make a difference in the lives of young people, just as his teachers had done for him.

Dr. Gallien began his educational career as an educational assistant, later becoming a classroom teacher, a career shift he attributes to the effectiveness of grow your own programs. He then became a principal, serving at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Dr. Gallien has a passion for the science of teaching and learning and a proven record of success as an instructional leader, which led him to his rise in district management. Prior to joining the 29 school Racine Unified School District where he currently serves as district superintendent and has championed efforts to close achievement gaps, Dr. Gallien was Regional Director of School Support in Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district with over 75,000 students. There, he led efforts to improve outcomes in the lowest performing schools and supported effective standards-based instruction in other schools with a focus on transformation, early literacy and mathematics. Providing guidance to schools launching new initiatives was also under his purview.

Dr. Gallien holds a personal connection to South Carolina, as his family resides in the state. His grandmother left the South for the Midwest during the Great Migration, and he views working for CCSD as an opportunity to honor her and his family.

Gallien holds an undergraduate degree in history education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, two master’s degrees from Alverno College, one in curriculum and instruction and another in educational leadership, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the proud father of two daughters and three sons as well as five grandchildren.

“Dr. Gallien has over two decades of successful educational leadership leading large school districts and has a demonstrated history of improving student outcomes through thoughtful and data-driven decision-making,” said CCSD Board Chair Pam McKinney. “The Board is confident we have chosen a high caliber administrator to lead our district forward and we thank everyone who has provided input and feedback throughout this important process.”

Following the Board decision, Dr. Gallien and CCSD will begin negotiations towards a contract that will be voted on at a subsequent meeting of the Board. Additional details regarding the leadership transition from superintendent Mr. Don Kennedy to Dr. Gallien will be provided once terms have been established.