A key measure of the quality of life in any community is the caliber of its schools. Quality education underpins all aspects of community life from preparing young people for success, to providng an adequate workforce for economic development.
In support of continuous improvement in our schools, Public Education Partners will involve stakeholders from throughout the community-parents, students, businesses, primary, secondary and post secondary institutions – in the identification and development of programs that support the life-long, life-wide education of our citizens.
As a principle partner of the Aiken County Public Schools in establishing a county-wide learning community, Public Education Partners will build upon its success during the past five years and will:
· Serve as a catalyst to improve public awareness,
· Facilitate two-way communication between the School District and the public,
· Establish an ongoing source of funding,
· Facilitate the development of specific programs to overcome core public school challenges that will allow all students to achieve their highest potential while becoming more educated, more capable, more responsible citizens, and
· Serve as an information resource and point of collaboration for private K-12 institutions.
…is to further unite the community in understanding the supporting the needs of local education. To that end, a diverse group of community leaders have come together and developed a Four-Year Strategic Plan for Public Education Partners. With broad support and funding from both the public and private sectors, this plan will establish Aiken County as a premier 21st century education community.
Coordinate and expand adult education programs to accommodate larger enrollment numbers at current facilities, which have exceeded capacity.
Implement research-based programs to improve K-12 student performance in math and reading.
Establish technology-rich learning centers for schools, preparing students for today’s workplace and tomorrow’s workforce.
Promote character education programs county-wide and provide opportunities for students to experience and understand the importance of community service and develop an expanded appreciation of citizenship.
Establish six family learning centers located throughout the county. These centers will provide opportunities to enhance occupational and parenting skills, pulling families together into a learning environment.
Establish opportunities for dialog among SRRDI, Chambers of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership, higher education and other organiztions.
Establish a teacher-driven professional development institute in partnership with the public school district and higher education.
Develop programs that will enhance administrators’ skills in communication, management and leadership.
Advocate the needs and expectations of business for a qualified workforce.
Advocate for the issues and challenges confronting our schools in public discussions and task forces.
Implement a county-wide public awareness campaign centered on the need for community involvement in education to increase the level of volunteerism, community and parental involvement in schools.
Our Strategic Plan Task Force Members:
Sid Ballentine, SCE&G
Dr. Cindy Besson, Women’s Health Associates and Public Education Partners Chairperson
Dr. John Bradley, Aiken County School Board Chairperson
Mr. Robert Brooks, Brooks Funeral Home
Mr. David Burkhalter, SCE&G
Mr. David Caver, Asst. Superintendent for Area One Schools
Mr. Larry Clark, Taylor Auto Group
Ms. Mary Jo Dawson, ABBE Public Library
Mr. Randy Duckett, USC-Aiken
Dr. Linda Eldridge, Superintendent of Aiken County Schools
Mr. Geof Fountain, Public Education Partners Board
Ms. Lawanna Furtick, Furtick Realty Company
Mr. John Girardeau, Southern Mortgage Company and Public Education Partners Vice-Chair
Dr. Tom Hallman, USC-Aiken
Mr. Fred Humes, Economic Development Partnership
Rev. Nathaniel Irvin, Pastor North Augusta
Ms. Sherre Jones, First Baptist Church of Aiken
Ms. Margaret Key, Aiken County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Council
Mr. John Lindsay, Westinghouse Savannah River Company
Mr. Ted Mangelsdorf, Bechtel Savannah River Company (retired) and Public Education Partners Board
Mr. Tom McElmurray, Clemson Extension
Mr. Tom Meesseman, Allegra Printing
Ms. Vicky Meyer, Parent
Ms. Margaret Mullen, Midland Valley High School Principal
Mr. Troy Nobles, Asst. Superintendent for Area Three Schools
Dr. Elizabeth Purvis, Aiken County School District
Mr. Andy Reeves, Asst. Superintendent for Area Five Schools
Mr. Jeffrey Reynolds, H. G. Reynolds Company
Dr. Frank Roberson, Deputy Superintendent Aiken County School District
Ms. Betty Ryberg, Dollars for Scholars
Ms. Joy Shealy, Asst. Superintedent for Area Four Schools
Dr. Pam Simpson, Teacher, Chukker Creek Elementary
Dr. Nancy Smith, Asst. Superintedent for Area Two Schools
Mr. Lee Smith, CSRA Community Foundation
Ms. Barbara Smoak, Westinghouse Savannah River Company Education Outreach
Mr. Paul Summer, Advanced Glassfiber Yarns
Ms. Lisa Tharp, Parent
Dr. Carolane Williams, Aiken Technical College
Mr. Ed Woltz, Precision Tune Auto Care