Mitchell M. Zais, Ph.D., and Brigadier General (Retired) is seeking the Republican nomination for State Superintendent of Education.
He believes he is uniquely qualified for the job of State Education Superintendent because of his “proven leadership, experience in education and record of results.”
He served in a variety of leadership positions in Vietnam, Korea and in the United States. As the child of a career military father, he attended 10 public schools in 12 years. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and earned Master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington. For three years, he taught organizational behavior, management , and leadership classes to cadets at West Point.
Since retirement with 31 years of military service, Zais has been president of Newberry College. During his tenure, enrollment has nearly doubled, the endowment more than doubled, facilities have been constructed and renovated, academic programs have been added, and athletic teams now compete for NCAA regional and national titles.
For the last two years, the U. S. News and World Report has named Newberry College as one of “America’s Best Colleges.”
Although Dr. Zais believes that South Carolina has some superb schools, more can be done to ensure that every child in the state has access to an excellent school, is led by an excellent principal and is taught by excellent teachers.
He stresses that “parents must be empowered to have a choice in the educational environment of their child.” He believes that “Legislators, district superintendents, and school boards must ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent on programs that affect educational outcomes and those expenditures must be transparent to the public.”
Zais describes himself as a conservative who believes in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.
He has been married to the former Susan Fincher for nearly 30 years. They have two children.
They are members of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Newberry.