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Dr. Shalonda Oliver - An OCSD Gem, Unfolding the Legacy of Excellence and Service

Dr. Shalonda Oliver, OWHS alumni in spotlight

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – We're proud to announce Dr. Shalonda Oliver, an esteemed Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School alumna, as the first to be recognized in our "Spotlight on Alumni" series. Her remarkable journey from OCSD to becoming a leader in nursing informatics is a story of inspiration and excellence.

Dr. Shalonda Oliver's story begins like many from the Orangeburg County School District - full of dreams and potential. Today, she stands as the first Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System in Charleston, S.C., a role where technology and healthcare come together to enhance patient care. A mentor, educator, and mother, Dr. Oliver's path from a high school student in Orangeburg to a leader in nursing informatics is a story of perseverance, dedication, and the power of education.

Central to her journey has been the support and influence of her family, including her parents, Janet Tyler and Michael Aiken. From her earliest days at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School to her current role, her family has been a cornerstone of her success. Their encouragement and belief in her potential have been pivotal in her path, providing both motivation and a grounding presence. As a mother of two young men, Dr. Oliver has instilled the same values of hard work and perseverance in her sons, showcasing the recurring nature of inspiration and support within a family.

Oliver’s journey traces back to the halls of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, where she graduated with honors in 2001. It was here, amidst the supportive community of teachers and peers, that Dr. Oliver's interest in health sciences flourished, particularly during her time in HOSA (Future Health Professionals). This early exposure was more than just an academic pursuit; it laid the groundwork for a lifelong commitment to healthcare and education.
 
After high school, Oliver's quest for knowledge led her to Claflin University, where she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry, again graduating with honors. But her ambition didn't stop with personal achievements. She turned to teaching, sharing her love for science to 6th graders at Carver-Edisto Middle School, in Orangeburg County. Here, she not only shared knowledge but also pursued further education, receiving a Master’s in Education focused on Technology in Education.

However, the call to healthcare was persistent. Dr. Oliver pursued a nursing degree at the University of South Carolina – Columbia, embarking on a nursing career that spanned Medical/Surgical and Cardiac/Telemetry specialties. Her passion for teaching never waned, leading her to obtain a second Master’s in Nursing Informatics and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. As an adjunct professor at Mount Marty University, Dr. Oliver continues to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Dr. Oliver's impact extends beyond her professional achievements. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., she actively serves the communities of Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Bamberg counties. Her dedication to mentoring students at various educational levels embodies the spirit of giving back, a trait ingrained during her time in the Orangeburg County School District.

For the students currently walking the halls of OCSD schools, Dr. Oliver's story is a vivid example of what hard work and determination can achieve. For families considering the District, it's a testament to the nurturing environment that fosters such exceptional talent. Dr. Oliver's journey, rooted in Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, showcases the District's potential to cultivate leaders who make significant contributions in their fields.

In recognition of her achievements, Dr. Oliver was honored by Claflin University in their "40 Under 40" in 2023. Living in Summerville, SC, with her sons Trevor and Trenton, she balances her professional life with her role as a mother, always staying true to her favorite scripture, Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Dr. Shalonda Oliver's path is not just a career trajectory; it’s a story of hope, a reminder that, with dedication and support, the students of Orangeburg County School District can indeed achieve anything they set their minds to.

As the person who nominated her rightly said, "Dr. Oliver is a prime example that Orangeburg produces remarkable people." She embodies the spirit of hard work and determination, proving that from Orangeburg, truly exceptional gems emerge, ready to shine and inspire.