Kerry Leslie Abel is the Coordinator of Dropout Prevention for Richland County School District One. He is the district’s chief who is responsible for the coordination of all the district’s efforts that relate to dropout prevention, intervention and special programs to address that issue. He also is the co-founder and Coordinator of the Richland One Evening High School, a high school designed to serve students aged 16-20, interested in obtaining a high school diploma, but due to life circumstances, are unable to attend school during the day. He has been with Richland One for 20 years. He has been employed in the funeral home industry for 32 years and currently serves as director of public relations for the Myers Mortuary & Cremation Services. Kerry is the son of the late Herman L. and Emma Saylor Abel and is the youngest of two boys. He graduated from W. J. Keenan High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, a Masters of Arts Degree in Education Leadership, Management Policy, Education Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University, Orange, New Jersey. He is also a graduate of the South Carolina Department of Education’s School Leadership Executive Institute for District Administrators. He is an active member of Francis Burns United Methodist Church, the Omicron Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance and the National Dropout Prevention Network. He is campaign manager for the Honorable Todd Rutherford, SC House District 74 and a political consultant. He has numerous awards with the most recent being the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award for Excellence in Dropout Prevention for the State of South Carolina awarded by the National Dropout Prevention Center. In his spare time he enjoys sports, being with family and friends and playing with his dog a Japanese Akita named Hampton.

Contact Information

Kerry Abel

Coordinator of Dropout Prevention
Richland County School District One

(803) 738-7574; (803) 518-4386


Field Project
Richland County School District One Male Empowerment Summit: Dream It, See It, Do It, Live It: Building a Resilient, Competent and Confident Young Man

Project Location
Columbia, SC

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