Wanda Gadsden-Williams is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. She is the fifth of six children born to Christopher Gadsden, Sr., and Christina Johnson Gadsden. Overcoming the odds of poverty and major life changes, Mrs. Williams is a living example of the power behind quality education. She is the product of the public educational system in South Carolina. She attended Chicora Elementary, Memminger Elementary, the High School of Charleston, and South Carolina State University. She is mother and grandmother of a blended family of eight.
Wanda is a servant-leader as the Principal at Joseph R. Pye Elementary in Ladson, S.C. The primary desire of her heart, as an avid educator, is to lead the children of South Carolina Public Schools towards college and career readiness as she has done for her own. Mrs. Gadsden-Williams received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from South Carolina State University in May of 1985. She obtained the Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Southern Connecticut State University in May, 1988 and certification in Advanced Studies in Educational Administration in 2001 through Loyola Christian College of Maryland, and Trinity Christian College of Washington, D.C. Mrs. Gadsden-Williams has specialized in the education of children with special needs, but brings a broad range of knowledge and 26 years of background experience as a public school educator, and 34 years of experience as a parent. She is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education with a focus on creating culturally responsive school environments.
Wanda has served as an instructional leader since 2001 beginning with Montgomery County Public Schools of Rockville, Md., and relocating to Dorchester School District Two, of Summerville, S.C. in 2006. In both districts, she has helped to implement programs and processes that have moved schools from under performance to excellence as an Administrative Intern, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Wanda promotes the concept of continuous growth and improvement through shared leadership, shared responsibility, and shared accountability in a culture of mutual respect for all children and all adult learners. Her staff, students, parents, and business partners in education support what they’ve helped to establish. Her Title I schools have a track record of gradual and sustainable student achievement as well as numerous points of pride. Currently, at Joseph R. Pye Elementary school she continues to engage all stakeholders in a collaborative teaming process and plans strategically to impact 21st Century Learning by helping all students develop skills across core subjects that support the life and career characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Her team believes that college and career readiness begins at elementary. Strategic planning at Pye involves all stakeholders from a diverse school community that acknowledges the needs of digital natives and accepts the charge to prepare the future workforce with skill sets that equips them to function as members of strong teams using the 5C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Cultural Responsivity.
Wanda believes that “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” and casted a vision upon opening JPES in 2011 to become a world class STEAM school that promotes integration of the arts and sciences. Their most recent accomplishment is recognition by the State of S.C. as a 2018 Palmetto's Finest school as well as national recognition as a 2017 P21 Exemplar School through the Partners in 21st Century Learning Organization. Mrs. Gadsden-William’s views these accomplishments as a springboard for continuous improvement. The school’s goals are aligned with the Dorchester School District Two guiding tenets of Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance. Our next level up is driven by the mission to prepare today's learners to be tomorrow’s leaders as they explore, discover, learn, and lead.