Growing up in Saluda County, Molly learned the importance of family, faith, and hard work. She and her brother were expected to help feed the calves, clean the barns, and perform other chores on the family farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the South Carolina Upstate.
Molly began playing the piano and organ at her small country church when she was 12 years old. She and her family still attend the same church today, and she continues to serve as the Music Director and Organist.
As a junior at Hollywood High School, Molly was selected to participate in Palmetto Girls State, a summer program that teaches rising seniors in high school about civic responsibility and leadership through participation in a mock government. The Girls State experience made a profound impact on Molly. She has volunteered with the program for over 35 years now, passing on the lessons she learned about good citizenship and the importance of participating in government.
Molly majored in Music Education at Lander College (now University) and was elected Student Body President. She earned a Masters of Education Supervision from George Washington University and an Education Specialist Degree from the University of South Carolina.
On a blind date, Molly met the love of her life, Bill Spearman of Newberry County – then a Clemson engineering student. They were married in 1976 and are the parents of three children: Mitchell, an attorney; Franklin (deceased); and Katie, an engineer and wife to Lee.
A music teacher for over 18 years, Molly was known for giving every child a chance on stage in her annual music productions. She was named “Teacher of the Year” at Chapin Elementary. She also taught in Gilbert and Saluda, where she served as assistant principal.
In 1993 Molly was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. She served four terms and was regarded as a champion for children’s issues. Both the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the American Legion designated Molly as “Legislator of the Year.” Fighting inefficiency and red tape in government programs, Molly authored the bill that ended the $3.00 car inspection program — a nuisance to every vehicle owner that showed no improvement in highway safety.
Molly was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Education for Governmental Relations at the South Carolina Department of Education in 1998. She worked closely with legislators, educators, and business leaders on policies to improve education in South Carolina.
Molly went on to lead the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, a professional organization of over 3600 principals, superintendents, and school leaders in the state.
Molly Spearman was elected as the 18th South Carolina State Superintendent of Education on November 4, 2014 and took the oath of office on January 14, 2015.