Filing Closed at Noon Monday with all Incumbents Challenged
Taking funds from classroom teachers, increasing debt and raising taxes during a deep recession and period of high unemployment are some of the factors attracting candidates to challenge members of the Greenville County School Board this election year.
Political opposition can change the attitude of incumbent school board members who may have been less than sensitive to their constituents during their lengthy four-year terms.
Since gaining opposition in the early filing days of the 2010 election campaign, first term school board member Dan Moravec has withdrawn his bid for a second term and will no longer seek reelection. Moravec had two challengers last week. Now six candidates are seeking the District 28 seat with Moravec out of the race. Alexander Bolan and David Walker were the first to file. With no incumbent in the race, W. Charles Harris, Gary Franklin Hughey, Chantal Masterson and Lisa Hannah Wells have joined the group of candidates wishing to represent District 28.
Roger Meek and Lynda Leventis-Wells, representing Districts 26 and 22, had voted with other trustees to take away funds for reimbursing classroom teachers for out-of-pocket expenditures for classroom supplies, but had a change of heart after their opponents filed to run against them in the election.
Both Meek and Leventis-Wells reportedly said they had a change of heart after talking with teachers. They were joined by 4 other board members to vote 6 to 5 in the Committee of the Whole to add back $125 of the $275 taken away for classroom supply reimbursement.
Carole Gibson is challenging Roger Meek, the longest serving member on the board. Mrs. Gibson is a former teacher with a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Masters Degree in Education.
William Harold Graves, a former school district employee who has sought the position previously is challenging Mrs. Leventis-Wells.
Matthew J. Wells is challenging incumbent board member Chuck Saylors, current national president of the PTA and Vice President of MB Kahn, Construction Company, a major builder of schools. Robert H. Harrison is challenging Patrick Sudduth, a retired teacher and coach at Greer High School for the District 18 school board seat that represents Greer and the surrounding area, including part of Spartanburg County.
David Alvin Estes Jr. has filed for the school board in District 24. Megan Hickerson, the current board chairman, is the incumbent in District 24.
A final vote by the full board on classroom teacher reimbursement will take place during the regular August board meeting on Tuesday, August 24th. If all members are present, 7 votes will be required to restore a portion of the funds for classroom supply reimbursement.
There are no primary elections or runoff contests for school board. The candidate who receives the largest number of votes is the winner and will serve on the Greenville County School Board for the next four years, from January 2011 until January 2015. It is possible that one of the candidates in that race could win with less than 25 percent of the total vote.