This is the first full week of school for students in Dorchester District Two. The district’s superintendent Joe Pye is the longest serving superintendent in the Lowcountry. News 2’s Octavia Mitchell sat down with him to talk about the new and exciting year ahead for DD2.
Joseph Pye is in his 19th year as leader of Dorchester School District Two. “Nineteen, my 47th in education, and my 45th in Dorchester Two,” Pye says proudly.
The district has more than 26-thousand students in 25 schools, Summerville High School opened this year with a new culinary facility. Pye says, “We’re doing a lot with career and technology education, developing and helping kids to become college and career ready, and also to develop workforce skills.”
Phase two of facility upgrades at Summerville High includes a manufacturing center. “We’ll be opening up in phase two of this school, a state of the art manufacturing center,” says Pye. It will be a show piece, that center was designed and developed by the community. We had Boeing, Bosh, and all those at the table, the Chamber of Commerce both Charleston metro and local Summerville, Trident Tech was there helping us decide what we need to put in the curriculum. They also helped with what kind of instructors we need, equipment. We have jobs where we had to hire people from outside the community for, and so we’re going after that market. I want DD2 to be the first in any line and the first people hired.”
The district’s high schools are among the top ten biggest schools in the state. Pye says, “We’re excited for our parents and our students to be able to come to a wonderful school district, and we promise we’re going to give them the best service we can for their children. This is a great learning place for kids, great place for people to work, and we share the goals and the values of our community. I hope people will appreciate that, and they will work with us and help us get better and better and better.”
Oakbrook Elementary and Middle schools received additions and improvements as well this school year. Phase two, also includes the opening of the new Rollings School of the Arts at the end of this year, and the Aquatic Center, which is expected to open in early 2019.