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Citadel News Service
10 May 2009

The Citadel Graduate College presents honorary degree to Jim Rex

More commencement news

The Citadel Graduate College and its Board of Visitors presented an honorary degree to State Superintendent James H. Rex during commencement exercises on Sunday, May 10, 2009, in McAlister Field House. Rex also delivered the commencement address.

Here is the full text of his honorary degree citation:

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State Superintendent James H. Rex has been a lifelong advocate for education in South Carolina. He became South Carolina’s 16th State Superintendent of Education in January of 2007 and has pushed for a reform package that includes public school choice, testing and accountability, teacher recruitment and retention, and a comprehensive assessment of school funding.

Dr. Rex’s career in education began as a high school English teacher and football coach. He also served as Dean of Education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. He is the former President of Columbia College, and the former Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations and Vice President of University Advancement at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Rex is also a published author and a consultant to many education advocacy organizations.

Since Dr. Rex took office, he has made public school choice one of the cornerstones of his administration, creating the first Office of Public School Choice at the State Department of Education and has become a national leader on this issue. He is also responsible for the groundbreaking initiatives in single-gender education, as well as the Montessori Method within public education. In May 2007, Dr. Rex unveiled recommendations to reform and improve the state and federal school accountability systems. In 2008, the Legislature approved his plan to end the PACT test and replace it in 2009 with a new and better test that gives parents, teachers, and students the feedback they need to improve student achievement.

Dr. Rex also established a statewide Teacher Renewal Center, which helps teachers gain knowledge and grow outside of the classroom. The Palmetto Priority Schools project was created to address the vast challenges of South Carolina’s lowest performing schools.

For his leadership and contributions to South Carolina’s children and its education system, The Citadel Board of Visitors is proud to bestow upon Dr. James H. Rex the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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