Darlington County School District honors Board of Education, swears in members and officers
DARLINGTON, S.C. – January is School Board Recognition Month in South Carolina, and the Darlington County School District celebrated the dedication and service of the Darlington County Board of Education Monday night. Board members also took the oath of office for new terms and elected officers.
The Darlington County Board of Education is responsible for maintaining and operating the system of free public schools for all children living in the district. The board manages the district’s long-term vision including budgeting, strategic planning, curriculum auditing and inclusion of the community. The board ensures accountability of itself and all district operations while overseeing a $77 million annual budget that serves 10,200 students in Darlington County.
Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram said the Darlington County School District appreciates the difficult yet important service of the board.
“Serving as a school board member is one of the most challenging tasks as an elected official,” Ingram said. “We appreciate their selfless dedication to improving public education for all children.”
State Sen. Gerald Malloy, assisted by state Rep. Robert Williams, administered the oath of office to board members Connell Delaine, Charles Govan and Jamie Morphis. Board member Warren Jeffords, unable to attend the meeting, will take the oath later this month. The board also elected new officers. Members chose Morphis to be chair, board member Maureen Thomas to be vice chair and Govan to be secretary. Scott Suggs, Darlington County clerk of court, administered the oaths of office to the newly elected officers.
During the meeting, the district also recognized two members for benchmark years of service. Jeffords has served 25 years on the board, and Delaine has served 15 years of service.
Board members Billy Baldwin and Wanda Hassler recently received recognition for reaching new levels of the S.C. School Boards Association’s Boardmanship Institute in the past year. Baldwin reached level two, and Hassler reached level three. The institute offers a year-round training curriculum focused on leadership skills for board members on state and national educational issues.
Voters living in the Darlington County School District elect the eight members of the board, and their tenures represent the voters’ confidence. Alongside the two members being recognized Monday, Dr. Thelma Dawson has served 26 years on the board, while Morphis and Govan have each served 16 years. Thomas, Baldwin and Hassler are all serving their first terms.