After over 36 years of dedicated service to her sole purpose of educating children, Dr. Beverly Jones Gurley has retired. She said, “I am not retiring from my mission, which is to ensure a high-quality education for all children; however; I’m only changing gears.” Dr. Gurley will continue her work supporting education as a consultant. She will work with schools and higher institutions of learning to address panoply of needs to include: school improvement; curriculum development; program reviews; professional development; data analysis support; and after-school and summer program development.
Dr. Gurley, the daughter of the late Abraham Jones and Susie Evans-Jones is the mother of three sons, Marcus, Roderick and Ridge Gurley. After graduating from Dillon High School, she had many jobs, from a waitress at South of the Border to a school bus driver and teacher’s assistant in Dillon County Schools. It was her responsibility to drive special needs students from Dillon County Schools to Florence County Disabilities & Special Needs School and assist their teacher with classroom curriculum and activities. Dr. Gurley served at this position for several years. It was during that time she developed her love for teaching and was presented with an opportunity to go to college. As a wife and mother, she earned her BA in Early Childhood Education at night and during the summer while working full-time with special needs students and raising her three sons.
Dr. Gurley began her teaching career as a humble 5th grade teacher at Gordon Elementary School in Dillon School District 2. Remembering some of the challenges and the difficulties she had experienced in elementary school, she declared “No Child Left Behind” long before the government did. She was determined to see that school was a positive learning experience for all students. She made it her personal responsibility to see that every child mastered their grade level curriculum standards to become successful.
Dr. Gurley has made her mark in the field of education across the state of South Carolina. During her thirty-six years, she brought a wealth of knowledge and experiences to education leadership, curriculum and instruction, organizational structure and data analysis. She has successfully used her skills to make vast improvements in education, serving in many capacities, to include: Superintendent of schools; District Administrator, Principal Leader (SDE), Principal Specialist (SDE), Director of Curriculum, District Data Analysis, Principal Instructional Leader, and Director of Alternative School; teacher and teacher’s assistant. Several of these capacities were served during her tenure in Marlboro County School System, where she established herself as an outstanding educator. Through her prayers and dedication, she has turned failing schools around, produced measurable results with students, teachers, parents and in the total system. Her top priority is to ensure that every child receive the best education available to the individual child. As evidence that it’s never too late, God continues to use her. Everything she does and all of her achievements are to His Glory.
With a Doctorate Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from South Carolina State University, she is certified in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia in the areas of Superintendent, Elementary Supervisor, Elementary Principal, Elementary Education K-6, Principal K-12, Curriculum Instruction Specialist, Education Leadership P-12 and Early Childhood Education P-5. She is Certified South Carolina Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) Evaluator, and South Carolina Advanced Lead Evaluator and Team Member (SACS Accreditation).
Dr. Gurley spent her last three years at the pinnacle of her career as Superintendent of the Hampton II School District where in her second year, her district made the largest gains in the state of South Carolina on the 2013 state report card. Hampton II School District schools also received the Gold and Silver Palmetto School honors during her tenure. She established the schools for growth developing a curriculum for every grade level, in every subject, and in all schools. In addition, Dr. Gurley brought thousands of dollars into the schools to implement a myriad of programs to include: the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program; hot meals for children – breakfast, lunch, and supper.
Thankful to God first and to everyone who supported her during her thirty-six years in education, especially her parents, without whom she never would have made it. She is looking forward to bringing her experiences and expertise to bear in her local community to improve education. She is open to working with local groups and organizations to bring about positive change for youth and children. In addition to the legacy in education Dr. Gurley will leave, she has already begun the next phase of her life. She and her sons have recently opened a Trucking Transport Company, RMR Transportation, LLC. To God be the glory for the great things He has done. Amen.