Dr. Barbara Dawson Dilligard is an innovative educator and community leader who has worked untiringly for students and adults to actualize their fullest potential. As the President and CEO of her management consultant firm, Karaton Services, LLC, and the retired Deputy Superintendent for the Charleston County School District (CCSD), Dr. Dilligard has created programs to serve the underprivileged and disadvantaged students of Charleston County. During her tenure with the CCSD, she led many successful campaigns and programs that received state and national recognition. Her leadership in education circles has resulted in high student achievement, new teacher leadership and recruitment, and school principal leadership development.
She also authored and co-authored a number of competitive federal, state and foundation grants totaling more than $70 million for the school district, non-profit organizations, health agencies, and other community-based organizations to serve students, staff, faculty and community service organizations. One major initiative of which she is most proud is the creation of the Military Magnet Academy, the first public military middle/high school in the Charleston County School District and the state.
Her work with the Greater Charleston YWCA, COBRA Human Services Agency and Sickle Cell Program; City of Charleston Planning and Zoning Commission and its first Commission on Women; Boards of the Trident United Way, March of Dimes, Trident Urban League, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Burke High School Foundation are examples of the many service organizations that have benefitted from Dr. Dilligard’s strategic planning and initiatives to make our community a better place to live.
Barbara Dilligard is a true entrepreneur and a lifelong learner who received her doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University, an MBA from The Citadel, and a BS degree in Mathematics from Johnson C. Smith University. She has done further study at Harvard University and the College of Charleston and continues to learn through certification programs and specialized training seminars. Through her current business venture, she continues to consult as a program evaluator and grantswriter for school districts across the nation, helping schools and districts redirect their resources and programs to achieve student success.
At retirement, the Charleston County School Board of Trustees named the Burke High School Media Center in her honor. Subsequent to that, the Fine Arts building at the Military Magnet Academy was also named in her honor. Dr. Dilligard said that she is humbled by this recognition and hopes to continue serving children and her community for many more years.
Barbara Dilligard and her late husband, Rufus, are the proud parents of two daughters: Attorney Latonya Dilligard Edwards McDuffie and Kara Dilligard; two grandchildren, Langston and Bellamy; and her son-in-law, Isaih McDuffie. More than 50 family, church members and friends accompanied her on Thursday to celebrate this recognition.