Incumbents, retired educator to face off in Beaufort County school board race

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Incumbents, retired educator to face off in Beaufort County school board race

By RACHEL HEATON
rheaton@beaufortgazette.com
Published Monday, July 16, 2012   |  639 Words  |  

Two Beaufort County Board of Education members will compete against a retired educator to represent part of northern Beaufort County in November's elections.

But another seat, representing parts of Hilton Head Island, will have no candidates on the ballot.

Monday was the filing deadline for those seeking seats in the nonpartisan school board races. Ten of 11 seats will be up for grabs after redistricting based on the 2010 Census scrambled the board's boundaries and composition.

Board Chairman Fred Washington Jr. and board member Michael Rivers were already competing for the District 3 seat. Joining them now will be former Port Royal Elementary School principal Bernie Schein. The three will vie to represent a redrawn district that includes parts of the city of Beaufort, St. Helena Island and Lady's Island.

The winner will serve until 2014.

Attempts Monday to reach Rivers for comment were unsuccessful.

Schein called the current school board "terrible" and said it's not been focused on setting policy. He wants to reduce standardized testing and said he would cut administrators' pay in favor of raising teachers' salaries. Washington, who was first elected in 2006, said he wants to increase state support for early childhood education and will work to boost parental and community involvement in the schools. He's also favors implementing a pay-for-performance system for staff.

In all, 17 candidates submitted petitions to appear on the November ballot, but no one filed to represent District 10, which includes central portions of Hilton Head Island.

District 2 member Julie Bell, who ran as a write-in candidate in 2010, currently represents much of that area. However, Bell was drawn into the new District 11 with incumbent Wayne Carbiener, and neither incumbent intends to run again. Bell said she wants to devote more time to family, and Carbiener has battled health problems that have limited his attendance at board meetings to teleconference calls.

For the District 11 seat, newcomer JoAnne Orishak and former board member Reid Eikner filed to run.

Current board member Steven Morello was drawn into the new District 10, but he hasn't attended a board meeting since October, citing job obligations, though he has called into some meetings.

Morello did not file for re-election, and an attempt to reach him for comment was unsuccessful.

The other candidates are:

District 1: Incumbent Earl Campbell, who will run unopposed.

District 4: Brian Herrmann and James Beckert.

District 5: Geri Kinton and incumbent Ronald Speaks.

District 6: Bert Walker and Paul Roth.

District 7: Evva Anderson, who will run unopposed.

District 8: Al Bischoff, Elisabeth Riordan and Mary Cordray.

District 9: Incumbent Laura Bush.

District 2, represented by Bill Evans, is the only seat that is not up for election in November.

Candidates had to gather valid signatures from 2.5 percent of the registered voters in their districts. Petitions will be certified by Aug. 15, according to county elections executive director Scott Marshall.

Related content

  1. Upcoming elections spell change for Beaufort County school board; June 23, 2012
  2. School board members lose out in county redistricting plan; Aug. 24, 2011
  3. Anger over school board redistricting erupts in email battle; Aug. 26, 2011
  4. School board wants to draw its own districts; Sept. 12, 2011
  5. School board faces many obstacles if it created its own districts; Sept. 13, 2011