Six candidates vie for District One School Board

Two incumbent Bamberg School District One Board of Trustee members’ will face opposition in the April 12, school board elections, while two political newcomers will contest for another open seat on the board.

In the election for Seat 1, incumbent Rita M. Sease, who described herself as a “lifelong educator”, said it is with “profound pleasure” that she seek re-election to her current seat on the Bamberg District One School Board. Sease cites her experience in the public schools, knowledge, experience, training and “attitude” towards the tasks of being a board member as reasons she should be reelected. Sease, who has completed level 5 of 6 of the Boardman ship Institute Training Program, stated she has lobbied for issues in education at the state capital and possess “many hours” of study in current school law issues. “I’ am a voice for my constituents and all students, I plan to assist the school district in becoming the best in the state,” Sease said.

Sease, is being opposed in the Seat 1 election by Paulette Bamberg- Jamison, a native of Bamberg, who is Director of “A Step Ahead Learning Center” of Bamberg, a military veteran and the parent of three children in the Bamberg School District One School System. Bamberg-Jamison, who described herself as a “mom on a mission” said as a parent with three children in School District One “I know we can do better.” “We need leadership that looks at new ideas and are willing to work together to improve our children’s education, our community and our county,” adding “We deserve a school system that is as good as our parents, teachers and children. Every child deserves a world class education. I care deeply about what is happening in our education system,” Bamberg-Jamison said.

In the race for Seat 2 representing Ehrhardt on the Bamberg School District One School Board, Chris Wallace, who is a native of Lake City, South Carolina and has lived in Ehrhardt since November 1994, said he is seeking election to the District One School Board “to provide the best learning atmosphere and experience for all the students in District 1.” Wallace, who has been employed as the County Executive Director of Bamberg Farm Service Agency since 1993 and is the parent of two young children in the Bamberg School District One School system, said “this is a critical and exciting time” in the life of the Bamberg District 1 Schools, with the construction of a new “stateof- the-art” elementary school and “much needed” upgrades to the middle and high school. “I feel that we are beginning to invest in the futures of our children in a very positive way,” Wallace said, adding “I want this new school to start off on the right foot with input from parents, teachers, students and taxpayers about how to get the best results from this investment.”

Wallace is being opposed in the race for Seat 2 on the District 1 School Board by Latasha Smart, a native of Ehrhardt, who is employed as a Technology Coach at Blackville-Hilda High School and the parent of a child in the Bamberg District One School System. Smart said her reason for running for the District 1 School Board was a “deeply rooted and vested interest” in knowing that her son and all the other children of the district obtain “the best education possible.” Smart said she thinks that it is important that parents and children be “kept abreast “of matters as it relates to “transparency and communications.” “I believe it is important to equip our youth with a strong education, which will set the foundation for our future leaders to come.”

In the election for Seat 5 on the Bamberg School District One School Board incumbent Tony E. Duncan said his first priority as a school board member is to see that the children in the district “get the best quality education” they can get. Duncan noted that his other priorities as a board member included: “making sure that all children in the district are being treated fairly, not misguided, misinformed, miseducated and are being challenged and properly governed by the school board.” Duncan said that seeing the new elementary school built will be a “great accomplishment” for the district. He noted that he would always be there for the citizens of the district and he was “willing to take a step forward and be their voice.”

Duncan is being challenged for another term on the District One School Board as a trustee representing Seat 5 by Lisa S. Peay, a Registered Dental Hygienist, who has lived in Bamberg for the last 13 years, and is the parent of two children that attend the District 1 Schools. Peay said she had “nothing but good things to say” about the “high quality of education” her children have received in District One, noting that many new residents to this area chose to pay out of district tuition to send their children to the Bamberg Schools because of their “excellent reputation.” Peay said however she recognized that these are “challenging times” in education with lack of parental involvement, decreased funding and declining test scores. “My job as a board member would be to assist the group of elected community representatives to make sure the superintendent has what is needed to effectively run the schools in support of our children,” Peay said.

Polling places for the Bamberg School District One Elections open at 7:00 a.m. on April 12th and close at 7:00 p.m.