La Dene’ Conroy will begin her sixth year as Charleston County School District’s Montessori Specialist. She has served in the educational field for the last 34 years; 29 years in Charleston County School District. La Dene’ served 16 years as Principal in four CCSD schools. She was asked twice by the superintendent to “turn around” schools: Mt. Zion Elementary and at Malcolm C. Hursey, where she implemented the first Montessori Program as a partial magnet for CCSD in a Title I school; and just completed her role as interim principal, for Murray-LaSaine Elementary. Under her leadership, W. B. Goodwin Elementary, was named the Exemplary Reading School for the state of South Carolina by the International Reading Association. She served as President and Conference Chair of the SC International Reading Association. She received the Elementary Administrator of the Year Award by the Tri-County Counseling Association in 2005-2006. She was also recognized by The Center for Creative Leadership as the Inez Tennenbaum Winner by her peers (Cohort 6). She received the Reading Recovery Advocacy Award in 2011. Her educational expertise includes research, best practices, instructional delivery, grant writing, adjunct faculty for The Citadel and currently Montessori instructor for Montessori Philosophy for adult learners through Houston Montessori Center and Palmetto Primary Montessori Teacher Education Program.
La Dene’ s undergraduate degree is from Kent State University; two Masters from The Citadel; AMS Administration Credential in Montessori from Houston Montessori Center and she participated fully in the Primary Montessori Teacher Education Program at Lander University and Sea Coast Montessori Teacher Education Program for Lower El. La Dene’ serves on the SC Montessori Alliance board for the last four years; and served on East Cooper Montessori Charter School’s Governing Board. She is known best for her work with teachers, teacher training, professional development, children’s literature and her own love of learning. She and her husband, Thomas, will be married for 44 years in August. All three of their daughters are educators in CCSD and live in Mt. Pleasant. Eve Conroy, Lead Teacher at Lambs Elementary; Amy Conroy, Assistant Principal at Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood. Ann Conroy Johnson, Reading Teacher, took time away from teaching to be with her two daughters’ as their first teacher; Elizabeth Catherine and Annabel Grace are our two granddaughters and our first grandson, Thomas Hampton Johnson.
Mrs. Conroy’s most recent accomplishments came as a special honor – she was chosen as Employee of the Year for the Access and Opportunity Division CCSD and was selected as one of the fifty Most Progressive People making a positive impact on Charleston 2015. www.readcharlie.com. LaDene was voted on by the MEPI membership in February 2016 and elected to serve on the MEPI Board of Directors this past April.