Women United Luncheon for Literacy

a smiling child plays with blocks on the floor

Building brighter futures!

We are thankful to everyone who attended this sold out event which was hosted by Sydney Shadrix, anchor and reporter for WYFF News 4, and featured

Keynote Speaker Wendy Burgess, Team Lead for Early Learning and Literacy, SC State Department of Education.


Click image below for the Power Point presentation.

Wendy Burgess Power Point Presentation

Keynote Speaker: Wendy Burgess

Wendy Burgess is a twenty-seven year veteran educator and state-level leader who plays an active role in education at the local school district level and at the state level.  Wendy currently serves as Anderson School District One School Board Trustee, Anderson County First Steps Board of Directors, and Anderson One and Two Career and Technology Center Board of Directors.  She also is the Team Lead for Early Learning and Literacy at the South Carolina Department of Education.  Wendy graduated from Lander University with a double major in elementary education and early childhood development.  In addition, Wendy holds a Clemson University Master’s Degree in Special Education with a focus on learning disabilities and a Clemson University Master’s Degree in Supervision and Administration. She earned her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist.  Wendy was a reading coach under Act 284 that was signed into legislation by Nikki Haley in 2014.  As part of her work as an early childhood advocate, Wendy serves on numerous task force and state level initiatives.  Wendy strongly values the youngest learners in our state and focuses all her work on advocating for success for all young learners.

Wendy treasures spending time with her family and pouring into her local hometown, Williamston, South Carolina.  She is married to the Honorable Rockey D. Burgess, and they have two middle school daughters, Sophia and Channing; as well as, an adult son who is married their lovely daughter in law, Hannah.  Wendy is a proud first time grandmother to John Taylor (JT).    


Hosted by: Sydney Shadrix

Sydney is a news anchor and reporter for WYFF News 4. She moved to Greenville from East Texas where she worked as an anchor and producer at KLTV 7 in Tyler for three years. During her time at KLTV, Sydney covered the February 2021 winter storm that knocked out power across Texas, leaving millions of people without power for days. She also followed the COVID-19 pandemic in East Texas and reported on how the virus changed the landscape of schools and classrooms across the state. As a former teacher, Sydney understands the importance of telling the stories of students and teachers, and discovering what’s happening inside the classroom.

Sydney graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN with her Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She taught middle school and high school music in Nashville for three years where she conducted a total of six choirs, directed musicals and taught music history.

Sydney is also a licensed English teacher. Her love of writing led her to pursue her Master of Arts in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. During her time at UGA, Sydney served as the graduate assistant for the travel writing study abroad program in Munich, Germany. She spent two summers leading students as they studied the intersection of journalism, history and culture in Western Europe.

Sydney is a classically trained vocalist who loves live music and musical theatre. You’ll also find her yelling “Go Dawgs!” every Saturday in the fall!


The Luncheon for Literacy is Generously Sponsored By:


Sealevel Systems



Jackie Crane, Realtor:

Allen Tate

Duke Energy


Jim Kaplan

Pinnacle Financial Partners



Blue Ridge Electric


Gilstrap Roofing


Prisma Health


Spero Financial


United Community Bank


Youngblood Development Corporation



Pickens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board



Mike and Julie Thompson

Two What Knots