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EOC welcomes new committee member Melissa Pender

Thu, 02/01/2024

Columbia, SC – Melissa Pender, Principal of Coosa Elementary School, has been appointed to serve as a member of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC). Pender was appointed by Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee Rep. Shannon Erickson for the 2024 to 2028 term.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with others who have a shared vison of setting our children on the path of excellence as they become active citizens of our state and global community,” Pender said.

Pender has 25 years of experience in public education during which she was recognized as Teacher of the Year. She served as a teacher at Beaufort Elementary, Davis Elementary and Coosa Elementary for 18 years before becoming assistant principal and then principal in 2019. Under her leadership, Coosa Elementary's overall school rating increased from Average in 2019 to Excellent. Additionally, the overall percentage of students meeting and exceeding state standards increased, and Coosa Elementary was recognized as a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School.

Pender is a member of the SC Association of School Administrators (SCASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the Palmetto State Literacy Association (PSLA). She is also involved in several committees at the school and district level.

Pender received her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina, her Master of Arts in Integration of Technology into Education from Lesley University and her Master of Arts in Elementary Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Melissa has two stepchildren and a son with her husband, Brian. She also teaches for VirtualSC and recently achieved her private pilot’s license. She is looking forward to serving in a broader capacity in the field of education.