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Clyburn running for reelection to school board Seat No. 5

Posted: June 6, 2016 7:02 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2016 1:00 a.m.
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Louis Clyburn

Louis Clyburn has announced his plans to seek reelection to Seat No. 5 on the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees.

“Education is critical to securing our future,” Clyburn said in a press release, “and I want the opportunity to continue representing not only District 5, but maintaining the safety and well-being of all students and staff within Kershaw County.”

As a lifelong Kershaw County resident, Clyburn said he has a passion for the future of the Kershaw County community. A graduate of Camden High School, he is married to Sharon Crolley Clyburn, a retired Applied Education Technology Campus (ATEC) nursing instructor, and has four grandchildren enrolled in Kershaw County schools. Clyburn has a business degree from the University of South Carolina, served in the S.C. National Guard and is retired from DuPont. He feels he is more adept as a school board member due to his participation in the Boardmanship Institute Training Program offered by the S.C. School Boards Association. Clyburn said he feels this has helped him become a more effective trustee.

Clyburn is an active member of First Baptist Church of Camden where he has served as deacon, Sunday School teacher, outreach leader and member of Gideon’s International. He is a former Cub and Boy Scout leader and the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, a member of the advisory committee for ATEC’s machine tool program and is an honorary member of the National Technical Honor Society. He is also a member of the American Legion, Masons and Shriners.

“My vision for the Kershaw County School District (KCSD) is that the employees of the district and the citizens of Kershaw County will empower and challenge all students to reach their maximum potential in a positive, safe and rigorous learning environment in which a highly motivated and nurturing staff prepares students for success,” Clyburn said. “I want to continue to be involved with decisions to help make a positive difference, not only for the schools, students and employees in District 5, but every school, student and employee in the Kershaw County School District. I truly believe in working to secure our finances and resources in such a manner that future fluctuations with the economy will have less of an effect on our children. This can only happen through a collaborative effort with our local school board, local school administrators, local and state government and all taxpayers in Kershaw County.”

Clyburn said the community must nurture the needs of students, saying the family is the foundational unit and, along with faith and education, are important to one’s success.

Clyburn said his top five priorities, which depend on collaboration for a common goal, are:

• Finances and protecting taxpayers’ interest -- “The state is not fully funding education. However, we are in a better position than we were in 2012. Taxpayers work hard for their money and I will continue to make sure every penny spent on education is spent in the best interests of the students.”

• Informing the community -- “Keeping the community informed is of upmost importance. (KCSD Superintendent) Dr. (Frank) Morgan, district office staff, trustees and community members have held town-hall type meetings in each area of the county discussing the school bond and penny sales tax referenda. Dr. Morgan has an internet blog, accepts phone calls and writes for the Chronicle-Independent to help keep the community informed and answer questions. The school board meets twice a month and includes an open forum for anyone to speak. This, at times, can be both good news and bad news. However, community with our citizens keeps everyone on the same page and increases our chances to finding solutions. As an elected official, I am a board member; I must hear your voice to represent you.”

• Communication with teachers -- As a reelected Kershaw County school board member, Clyburn said he would value the opportunity to continue to provide the district’s teachers with the proper tools to educate students. “I have talked with teachers at their schools, churches, grocery stores, athletic events and various meetings to discuss their concerns and seek their input. Teachers play a multitude of important roles in the lives of students at their best and worst moments. They are there to pick them up and make a difference in their lives. Teachers are the foundation of the educational world. With this foundation, and a positive foundation at home, we have a strong possibility of producing graduates who are prepared for the world after high school.”

• Collaborating with local industry/business -- “Collaboration with industries and businesses can lead to possible information and materials for the classroom. In turn, the classroom will provide a more educated and useful employee. The public school system will have the biggest effect on growth and prosperity of the community over the next 10 years, right next to law enforcement and industry.”

• Monitoring and motivating student achievement -- “The one person in the school who has the most influence on student achievement is the teacher. The establishment of a welcoming classroom environment will produce excitement. The visible enthusiasm of teaching is key to the student’s success. As a board member, I have visited schools, classroom and athletic events and observed education in process. I want to continue to talk with the teachers and administrators to discuss their needs, and to ensure they are excited about coming to work each day.”

As a result, Clyburn said, student achievements in various testing scores in certain grade levels have increased steadily during the past four years.

“I thank (voters) for the opportunity to serve on the Kershaw County school board for the past three and a half years,” Clyburn concluded. “I am asking the citizens in District 5 for their support and vote on June 14 to continue to serve the citizens of Kershaw County.”

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