W. Burke Royster began his duties as the tenth CEO of Greenville County Schools in April, 2012, after previously serving as the district’s deputy superintendent. He provides leadership for the state’s largest and nation’s 45th largest school district, which serves more than 70,000 students and employs 9,000 teachers, principals and other personnel.
Royster has served 34 years in public education as a teacher, coach, school administrator, and district leader. He began his career in 1980 as a teacher at Starr-Iva Middle School in Anderson School District Three and joined Greenville County Schools for the first time in 1983 as assistant principal of Monaview Middle School. He then served as an assistant principal at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill School District Three and assumed his first principalship in 1990 as the first leader of Waccamaw High School in the Georgetown County School District.
Royster relocated back to Upstate South Carolina in 1994 as principal of Seneca High School in Oconee County Schools and accepted his first district-level position in 1999 as an assistant superintendent in Oconee County. He rejoined Greenville County Schools in 2005 as deputy superintendent for operations and became the district’s sole deputy when he assumed additional leadership responsibilities for the instructional division in 2011.
Royster serves on various community boards including The United Way, Greenville Technical College Area Commission, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and Goodwill Industries. He is a graduate of Leadership Greenville. Past service includes various leadership positions with the South Carolina High School League.
He is a member of the International Council of Educational Facilities Planners, the National Association of School Business Officials, the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association, the South Carolina and American Association of School Administrators, and Phi Delta Kappa.
Royster received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in secondary education from Clemson University. He is pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina.