Florence School District Four closer to choosing new superintendent

Parents, students, and board members heard more Tuesday night about the ongoing search for a new superintendent of Florence School District Four.

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Florence School District Four School Board members met Tuesday evening in Timmonsville. On the agenda, the continuing search for a new superintendent, and an update on school improvements after a difficult year.

It was a packed house in the Florence Four media center as parents, students, teachers, and board members all crowded together to learn more about the state of their schools.

“I feel like it’s been a major improvement,” said one parent.

It’s easy to talk about improvements a school district is making. It’s easier when students like Terry and Tyqwan succeed like they did last month at Florence District Four’s inaugural Spelling Bee.

“It was kinda scary, but then I got over it,” recalled Tyqwan McDowell, who competed hard but didn’t make the final group.

“I wasn’t shy or nothing,” boasted Terry Lowery, who came out the winner of the District Spelling Bee. “But, I felt the tingling in my stomach.”

Students who competed in FSD4's Inaugural Spelling Bee were honored at Tuesday's School Board meeting.
Students who competed in FSD4’s Inaugural Spelling Bee were honored at Tuesday’s School Board meeting.

Lowery and McDowell–fourth graders at Brockington Elementary–and their classmates who competed were honored during Tuesday night’s meeting. Many proud parents said this is a sign that as far as their children’s education in Timmonsville goes, things are looking up.

“He brought a trophy home and it was nice,” said a beaming, proud Christine McCallister, Terry’s mom. “Now the only thing he needs to do is study more.”

Board members spent the rest of the meeting doing just that–studying what’s next in its search for a new superintendent to replace outgoing interim superintendent Dr. Zona Jefferson.

“I’m one of these parents,” said Timothy Charles. “A concerned parent.”

Charles has a 10-year-old daughter at Brockington Elementary School. He’s worried a new superintendent will have a rough time coming into a district facing unique challenges.

"I'm one of those parents, a concerned parent," said Timothy Charles, whose 10-year-old daughter attends Brockington Elementary.
“I’m one of those parents, a concerned parent,” said Timothy Charles, whose 10-year-old daughter attends Brockington Elementary.

“If we get a new superintendent, may God bless him,” Charles said. “I hope they can carry District Four in the way it should be carried.”

Officials in charge of the search reported that they have several candidates and interviews will soon begin.

Many parents had strong opinions on what they want from a new superintendent.

“Somebody that’s involved, somebody that knows about the community,” said Stephany McDowell. “She needs to really be able to say ‘I can,’ and not just look at people and say, ‘Oh you know no one wants to come to Timmonsville,’ and come with a positive motive.”

Board members plan to hold a community forum later this month so the parents can meet those vying for the top job in Florence District Four. That date has not yet been set.

Members agreed in Executive Session Tuesday night on an option asking interim superintendent Dr. Jefferson to stay on and help train the new superintendent when he or she is chosen, which she agreed to do. Jefferson said how long she stays will depend on the amount of help needed by her successor.

The board still hopes to make its final choice by March 28th.