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Lexington County Chronicle & The Dispatch-News | www.lexingtonchronicle.com
resentation between teachers, parents, and taxpayers.
D) Maintaining the privacy
and safety of our children.
BraD PittS
I have been a resident of
Lexington for 8 yeays and
have owned a dental practice for 7 years. I am married with 2 children that
attend Midway Elementary
The Lexington County
and are in the French ImChronicle & Dispatch-News
mersion program. I am a
mailed a short questionaire
graduate of the University
to the 35 candidates seeking
of S.C. College
election to school boards in
of Pharmacy
Lexington Districts 1-4 and
(1993) and alRichland-Lexington School
so a graduate
District five. Thirty-four canof the Medical
didates responded.
University of
S.C. College of
Dental MediDistrict 1
cine (2001). I’m currently
SanDra Backman
practicing dentistry at an ofMy name is Sandra Kay
fice by Flight Deck Shopping
Backman. I moved to LexCenter.
ington in 1977 and I curQualifications: Business
rently live in the White Knoll owner for 7 years, fiscally
area. I have two children.
responsible, advocate of stuMy son Tyler
dents and teachers.
is a graduate
I believe our most imporof White Knoll tant issue that we face with
High School
our school district is that we
and is attend- strive to maintain our exceling the Unilence through technology
versity of
and to follow the model of
South Caroli21st century learning even
na and my daughter Faith is during hard economic times
a first grader at Carolina
and many budgetary conSprings Elementary School. straints.
I am a member of First Baptist Church of Lexington
DaviD r. WhetSell
where I am a member of the
3:16 puppeteers.
My name is David WhetI have been an Orthodon- sell and I am running for a
tic assistant for 25 years and seat on the Lexington One
have been employed at The
School Board. My wife DebBraces Place of Lexington for bie and I have lived in Lexthe last 13 years.
ington for over 27 years.
I am a working mother
Our two children graduated
and have volunteered in our from Lexington High School
schools. I have talked with
and we have two grandchilconcerned parents and
dren attending Lexington
teachers about problems our One Schools and three in
students and teachers are
Greenville. I am a founding
facing. I feel that my life ex- member of Covenant Comperiences as a parent with
munity Church, and served
on the building committee.
children in Lexington One
I am retired from Richland
School district and my constant interaction with people County School District One,
working in maintenance. I
in our district has given me
am consulting
a unique perspective and
with several
understanding of issues our
schools are facing. I feel I
on alternacan bring a common sense
tive energy
approach to these problems.
projects and
There are a number of
I am a memimportant issues facing our
ber of the S.C.
schools in Lexington District
Last year
One. Our schools are facing
a new
budget cuts and ever inhome, which is highly enercreasing dropout rates.
gy efficient, economical and
Due to today’s economy
low maintenance. Since I do
there will have to be cuts
not work full time, I would
made. We need to make
have much time to devote
good use of the funds that
are available to us. We need to school board duties if
to arm our kids with the
I served in the U.S. Navy
proper tools to survive in
and attended USC in Methis economy and support
chanical Engineering, takprograms that will most ining courses in economics
sure a good future for the
and business. Working in
students of District One.
Richland One gave me years
We need to address the
dropout rate in our schools, of experience meeting and
observing students, teachers
parental evolvement is the
key. We need to identify stu- and administrators. I realize
changes need to be made in
dents who are at risk and
these hard financial times. I
work with them and their
have attended and spoken
parents to encourage and
at many school board and
support their child.
county council meetings, as
Joey DerBy
well as State House commitOccupation: Civil Engitee meetings.
Due to budget cuts, I
Qualifications: I am a
would like to see more of
Lexington High School grad- our limited funds shift from
uate (1998), attended Kadministration to the class12th grade in Lex. District 1, rooms. I believe that the
and graduated from South
District needs to use their
Carolina in 2003 with a
funds more wisely to benefit
Bachelor’s in
the children and the taxpayCivil Engiers. I would welcome more
neering. I
participation and input from
have worked
the parents, teachers and
the past 7
years. My pro- JameS taft
fessional exMr. Taft did not respond
perience is in roadway/
to the Chronicle.
bridge design and construction project management. I
leonarD BliSS
am a registered Professional
My name is Leonard J.
Engineer in S.C.
Bliss, local business owner,
Important issues facing
resident and taxpayer in Disschool district: A) Improving trict one for over 27 years. I
the fiscal management,
am married to Mary E. Bliss
transparency, and budgeting and am the father of two
practices of the school disLexington One graduates.
trict. B) Reviewing efficienMy company, Bliss Services,
cies of programs such as free provides commercial comand reduced lunches. C) En- puter services to area busisuring a fair balance of rep- nesses.
My qualifications and experiences are as follows:
1. Eagle Scout and former
Scout leader at both local
and district levels
2. Former chairman of
the Advisory
for Electronic/Electrical
at Midlands
Technical ColBliss
3. Former instructor at
Midlands Technical College
4. Local small business
owner (commercial computer services for over 27 Years)
5. Over 10 years in law
enforcement as a State Constable, Reserve Officer for
the Town of Lexington Police Dept., Reserve Deputy
for Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
6. Currently serving as a
Warrant Officer in the South
Carolina State Guard Provost Marshal Detachment.
Received numerous commendations for service to
the people of SC.
7. Served on the Lexington One School Board 19932002 (Board Officer 2000
-2002). Received the Highest
Level, Level 6, from the SC
School Board Association.
8.Currently serving on
the SC SAT Team, First Responders Emergency Management Division.
9. Former Assistant Director of Engineering Services
at Lexington Medical Center
and started the Biomedical
Dept at LMC. Received the
“Most Caring Person” award
from LMC (First time ever
given to a non-nursing person)
10. Invented the first computer operated pole vault
system. Used all over the
world and in the Olympic
11. Recipient of the South
Carolina Engineering Technician of the year award for
the State of S.C.
The most important issues
facing our school district are
population growth, improving the class room environment and advancing our
goal of providing a world
class education without increasing the tax burden. The
future of this country, as
well as our district, will not
be business as usual. We will
be asked, and expected, to
do more with less.
Thursday, October 28, 2010 | A7
Council. Member, Schools of
the Future Task Force. Member, Lexington One Facilities
Study Committee. Director,
Central Carolina Community Foundation. Immediate
Past Chair and Executive
Committee Member, Greater
Lexington Chamber of Commerce. Chair, Chamber of
Commerce Education and
Workforce Development
Committee. Member, Doris
Burkett Scholarship Committee.
What are the Most Important Issues Facing Your
School District?
Maintaining educational
excellence in light of increasing growth; maximizing education dollars to attract and retain the best
teachers and fund classroom
requirements; restoring fiscal trust and respect through
full transparency; alleviating
hardship to parents from
collaborative planning days;
addressing school traffic
problems; and providing local Lexington businesses
with equal opportunities to
compete for District purchasing requirements.
I am Scott R. Adams and
I am General Counsel and
Vice President of Prysmian
Cables and Systems USA, an
international manufacturing
company with its North
located in Lexington County.
As the faAdams
ther of two
children attending Lexington One Schools, I observe
each day the quality of education being provided and
have a first-hand appreciation of classroom needs. As
the past Chairman of the
Lexington Chamber of Commerce, I have seen the impact that a trained workforce and quality schools
have on economic development, property values, and
overall quality of life and
the role of the Trustees and
community partnerships
necessary for achieving
these goals. As a Lexington
businessman and taxpayer, I
understand the importance
of holding the line on taxes,
cutting waste, promoting responsible spending, and demanding total transparency
in the use of tax dollars.
Bachelors of Arts degrees
in Public Administration and
Allied Legal Services from
the University of Central
Florida; Juris Doctor degree
from Brooklyn Law School,
New York, N.Y.
Member, Pleasant Hill
Middle School Improvement
graDy harmon, Jr.
• Who you are: Grady
Harmon LHS (1974) graduate. Married to Theresa (29)
years. Two sons that graduated from GHS and two
grandchildren our granddaughter is in the third
grade at Carolina Springs Elementary.
• What you do: Bi-vocational Pastor,
Safety Manager PBT and
DeBorah knight
retired US
Former Kindergarten
Army Combat
Teacher, Current substitute
and volunteer at Midway El• What your
em, Current Chairman of
Lexington District 1 Founda- are: I have had the privilege
tion Board, Member of the
to serve on the School Board
Lexington Medical Foundasince 2006. I am currently a
level 4 from the SC School
tion Board,
Bachelors De- Boards Association. I ungree-Elemen- derstand how to make hard
tary Education financial decisions. I also
- SC Certifica- think outside the box. I believe every child can learn.
tion in Early
We as educators must figure
Masters Deout their capabilities and
gree- Diverteach them at their level.
gent Learning, Member
This means we must have
NAEYC (National Associasmaller classrooms and fewtion for Education of Young er students to teacher ratio.
Children) PSTA Palmetto
• In 50 words or less,
State Teacher Association.
what are the most important
The most important issue issues facing your school
facing Lexington District I is district: The current level of
how to maintain our reputa- monies from the State and
tion of excellence while
Federal Governments. The
dealing with lost revenue
stimulus money received
and providing for growth in from the federal governour community. Having
ment runs out this year.
been a teacher, I would
What will the state governbring the perspective of toment do to offset this loss of
day’s classrooms to the
revenue? It is time for our
board. Citizens deserve reRepresentatives and other
sponsible spending based on elected officials to take a
the needs of students and
stand. Are they for public
resources that support good education or are they just
teaching practice.
giving us lip service.
Danny cook
Scott r. aDamS
utive management team sets
the future vision and lines of
business of our companies.
Extensive church committee
experiences include a senior
pastor search committee,
personnel, and a ministry
team that is studying new
ways to minister to children
and families.
4.)Issues - The most important issue that is facing
our district is discovering
how to continue providing
quality education while being fiscally responsible. We,
as a district, will have to do
like many of us have had to
do in our own homes – we
must find a way to stretch
and do more with less.
1.) Biographical Sketch
- I am Daniel (also known
as Danny) Cook. I consider
myself a Lexington native;
although I was not born
here, I got here as quickly
as I could. I attended Lexington 1 schools from first
through twelfth grades,
graduating from Lexington
High School in
1983. I graduated from
Wake Forest
University in
1988 with a
Bachelor of
Science in
Business. My
daughter, Hannah, attends
Lexington High School. I am
also a very active member
of Lexington Baptist Church,
serving as a deacon and on
numerous committees and
ministry teams.
2.) Profession - I am employed by P&S Construction
Co., Inc., a locally owned
and operated company that
serves the utility industry. I
began working at P&S as a
summer job and, upon graduation, I was offered a fulltime position. What started
as a summer job nearly
twenty seven years ago became my career.
3.)Qualifications - One of
my personality traits is a servant’s heart. I want to serve
the community that I love.
I am also fiscally conservative. As a part of executive
management at P&S Construction, I am involved in
finance, insurance, accounting, human resources and
capital purchases. Our exec-
District 2
naDine lann
Nadine Lann
Self-employed, Certified
Nursing Assistant
Elected political experience - none
Currently serves on the
West Columbia Planning &
Zoning commission.
Family: Husband - Wade
Lann, Sr.; 6 Adult Children
graduated and/or attended
Lexington School District
Two. Seven Grandchildren.
I would like to see the
dropout rate for students
decline and would work
hard to prevent any dropouts; I would
like to see the
volunteers aid
in the budget
cuts assisting
and schools
with supplies,
budgets cuts need to be
kept at a minimum. I would
like teachers to be staffed
with qualified volunteers
to ease overcrowding and
work with students that are
falling behind. And finally,
work with PTO and Booster
Clubs to better help students, teachers and staff. It’s
all about the children.
My personal qualities is
that I have been involved in
the school district in some
capacity for more than 30
years, having six adult children attend and/or graduate from Lexington County
Schools. I am concerned
about every child and the
importance of them having a high school diploma.
I attend most high school
events and I interact the students on a personal level everyday.
I am for increasing revenue for schools but not
at the expense of teachers
salaries and other staff/personnel. I am concerned that
school crossing guards jobs
have been eliminated and
hope those can be placed
back in the budget as soon
as possible.
rick Shull
President of Tri-City Fuel
and Heating Co., Inc.
Elected to Lexington Two
Board of Trustees in 2002.
Re-elected to Lexington
Two Board of Trustees in
Served as Chairman of
Lexington Two Board of
Trustees since 2008.
Served as Co-Chairman
of Citizens
for Better
Served as
of the 2002
District Two
Facilities Task
Served as Commissioner
on the Town of Springdale
Planning Commission.
Served as SC State Board
Chairman of Bethany Christian Adoption Services.
The greatest challenge
that we face is uncertainty surrounding education
funding. Funding reductions
previously incurred and future reductions continue to
stretch financial and human
resources. We must be proactive and creative in our
strategies to reduce expenses at every level, coordinate
services among schools and
evaluate the effectiveness of
Phil carter
Phil Carter, 53, Real Estate Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker United Realtors.
Qualifications: Prior to
my election in 2006 as a
member of Lexington
School District
Two Board of
Trustees I
served in a
role in numerous organizaCarter
tions. The
Cayce-West Columbia Dixie
Youth Baseball league, Airport High School Booster
Club, School Improvement
Council. Currently as a Director for the City of Cayce
Public Safety Foundation
and weekly as a driver for
the Nehemiah Project, a program for at risk students. All
have afforded me an opportunity to gain insight and
perspective to the needs of
our students and the community. It is important that
as an elected Board Member
I have the experience and
leadership qualities that are
necessary to be an effective
Important Issues: In today’s climate we face continuing challenges in the
classroom that are further
burdened by a difficult economy. Despite this our goals
remain the same, equitable
funding for each school,
maximizing classroom resources for our teachers and
students and funding advances in classroom technology. We will not allow a lack
of funding to impact the
quality of education for our
students. Thanks to our dedicated teachers and administration we have been and
will continue to be “Champions for Children”.
linDa alforD-Wooten
Linda Alford-Wooten, a
lifelong resident of Lexington County, educated in District 2. The mother of two
I am a healthcare professional with over 35 years experience.
Continued on Page A8.