Ponda A. Caldwell, daughter of Pondo C. Alvanos and Dorothy M. Carpenter, was born in 1953. Caldwell graduated Cum Laude from Aiken High School in 1971 and received her A. S. Degree from USC -Aiken in 1973, graduating with highest honors.
Judge Caldwell was appointed on January 13, 2005, by Governor Mark Sanford to fulfill the unexpired term of Judge Raymond C. Eubanks, Jr., and was sworn in on that date by the Honorable E. C. Burnett, III, Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. She has served the citizens of Spartanburg County for the past 31 years, 27 of which have been in the Probate Court.
Judge Caldwell has been active in the Spartanburg County, South Carolina, and National Associations for Legal Staff Professions since April of 1983. While serving those organizations, she has received both the local and state Legal Professional of the Year Awards in 1994 and 1999 respectively.
She has served her fellow Probate Judges as Secretary/Treasurer of the S. C. Association of Probate Judges from 1997 until October of 2004, and is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Policy and Procedures Committee, and as a member at large on the Probate Court Advisory Committee to South Carolina Court Administration.
Judge Caldwell has served on the Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Program at Converse College since its inception in 1996. In the fall of 2004, the Paralegal Program was moved to Spartanburg Methodist College, where Judge Caldwell continues to serve on the Advisory Committee. She has taught a course on Probate Law in this program each year from 1998 to 2005.
Judge Caldwell is a member of the First Monday Club and the Greater Spartanburg Republican Women's Club, and is a member of the United Methodist Church of the Covenant, where she has served on several committees and councils over the years.
Ponda is married to Edwin B. Caldwell, Jr., and they have one son, Mitchell, age 29, who is a 1998 graduate of Clemson University, and is currently employed in Spartanburg at MTH Information Solutions.