The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) has something -- or someone -- in common with Winthrop University. KCSD Executive Director for K-12 Instruction Tim Hopkins is also a member of Winthrop’s Board of Trustees. He joined the board three years ago.
“Every university has a board,” Hopkins said. “Usually the board is the school’s governing body … it’s the legal entity of the school.”
Hopkins said that much like the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees, Winthrop’s board handles such affairs as negotiating faculty contracts, granting student degrees and working with budgeting and administrative issues.
Hopkins brings an understanding of both the administrative roles and the roles of the trustees into his experience.
“I’ve worked with budgets for a long time now,” he said. “I understand the big picture vision, coupled with the shirtsleeve responsibility of making our sometimes limited funding work in various revenue streams.”
Hopkins has long been affiliated with Winthrop, having received his bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees there. After receiving his bachelors, Hopkins worked at the school as an admissions counselor, which allowed him to recruit students and to connect with graduates to encourage them to be part of alumni organizations.
“I helped spread the word of how great Winthrop is,” Hopkins said. “Once I graduated, I never really left.”
Hopkins said that a chief concern of Winthrop’s board is to make sure the facility is attractive to incoming students while remaining faithful to the traditions of the past. S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to his specific position on the board.
“Because Winthrop is a state-supported school, the governor designates a person to be a trustee,” Hopkins said.
In the case of Winthrop, the governor chose Hopkins.
“I am so grateful to have been chosen,” Hopkins said. “I have been a part of Winthrop for the last 30-plus years.”
Hopkins, originally from Winnsboro, now lives in Lugoff. He has worked with the district for 23 years and lived in Kershaw County for 25 years.
“I was drawn here by my wife, who I met at Winthrop” he said. “She grew up here. It’s a great place to live.”
Hopkins said the district also drew him to live in Kershaw County.
“This is a great school district. We have done so much with so much less money than other districts,” he said.
He attributes the district’s success to having “the best teachers anywhere.”
“Our teachers are so professional and never stopped working for a moment, not even during financial crisis, even when our resources were cut,” Hopkins said. “They were still doing everything they could.” He also praised the staff. “They’re excellent, hardworking, don’t complain and they get the job done,” he said. “The school board is very supportive. They listen and they don’t have folks with agendas.”