School board approves superintendent’s 2nd year evaluation

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Board of Educational members discussed the progress of the second year of service for Darlington County School District’s superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram, giving him a stellar score from the nine category points on his annual evaluation.

According to board chairman Connell Delaine, “Dr. Ingram is moving the Darlington County School District toward becoming a world class educational institution. He shows the commitment and initiative we need to move forward, even when doing so is not popular. We applaud him for being open to new ideas.”

Ingram received his highest scores on his fiscal management skills. Board members shared that he “does an excellent job on staying abreast of financial matters” and “Makes good use of district physical and personnel resources” while others pointed out he “monitors the financial activities of the district and communicates regularly and often with the district’s comptroller.”

The district ushered in a plan to make the district a future trendsetter with a plan to make the students of the district 1 : 1 with technology, in hopes of making the mostly rural school district able to better compete with students from more affluent – and technology savvy – regions across the state.

Diane Sigmon, DCSD Technology Director, updated the board on the Digital Transformation Plan. Meetings are scheduled for parents and community members to attend throughout the district; the first will be in Darlington at the St. John’s Elementary School Auditorium on September 29. (time to be determined)

During the citizens comment period of the meeting, resident Mr. William Heitsman addressed the board with his concerns on the viability of the expense of the technology, whether they actually need them, and the “death of privacy” since all devices have cameras.

“I believe education should be a contact sport.” said Heitsman, a faculty member at Francis Marion.

In other matters, the board voted to approve the following action items:

• 1415-15 Restroom Renovations at Miscellaneous School: Bid approved to Moore Construction based on their overall low bid of $450,000.

• 1516-14 Waterproofing and Roofing at Thornwell and Carolina Elementary Schools

• Board approved awarding bid to Strickland Waterproofing based on their overall low bid of $199,775.

Board member Dr. Thelma Dawson was lauded by her fellow members and Dr. Eddie Ingram for her participation in the dental program brought to Darlington schools by NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s Give Kids A Smile oral health education program. Dawson was joined by host Wendy Venturini from the Performance Racing Network to help teach little ones the importance of brushing their teeth, and eating non-sugary snacks. Each child was given a packet containing electric toothbrush, floss, an apple, and a mirror cling to remind them to brush twice a day for two minutes.

Dr. Dawson told board members that the number one reason children miss school is toothaches. “There are virtually no pediatric dentists in the area,” said Dawson, who refers her patients to one in Sumter. “Poor dental care is a consistent problem in this area- for children and adults.”

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, October 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the board/community conference room at the Darlington County School District Administrative Annex I in Darlington.

Author: Duane Childers

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