Last updated: March 03. 2014 7:54AM - 1238 Views

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UNION — Two retired educators are the newest members of the Union Community Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Union Community Foundation is a local, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the development of a community tradition of philanthropy by assisting individuals, families, corporations, businesses, and charitable organizations to establish funds in support of organizations and entities that will provide for the mental, moral, intellectual, and physical improvement, assistance, relief, and well-being of the citizens of Union County, South Carolina.

The Union Community Foundation came into existence in 2006 with the first official board meeting chaired by the late Col. William “Jack” Whitener on April 28, 2006. Each elected Union Community Foundation board member serves a seven year term.

The board’s newest members are Lewis Jeter III and Michael D. Cassels. Both men are retired educators with the Union County School District.


Jeter was a special needs teacher, athletic coach, student mentor, faculty advisor for Jr. Civitan and Black Awareness Youth Association (BAYA). He served as an Assistant Principal at Jonesville High School and Principal/Director of the Union County School’s Achievement Academy. Jeter was asked to develop this program for the district and through much research and attending numerous programs and seminars, he wrote the academic program along with the total curriculum for the Achievement Academy. The last 10 years of his career, Jeter served as the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Pupil Services.

Jeter is an active and vital part of our community serving on the Board of Carolina Community Actions and the Commission of Higher Education for Union and Laurens counties. He is a member of Rotary International where he serves as President-elect of the Union Rotary Club.

His past commitments include serving on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Education Association, Union Services, Union Housing and Union County Disabilities and Special Needs. Jeter was a member of the City of Union Election Commission and the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustment and Appeals. He has held numerous officer positions including Political Action Committee Chair for the NAACP and Vice-Chair of the Union County Democratic Party executive committee. Jeter is also very active member of New Horizon United Christian Church serving as a Deacon.

Jeter is a graduate of Sims High School and holds degrees from The University of South Carolina, Winthrop University and Converse College. He resides in Union with his wife, Marie Ann Cohen Jeter.


Cassels has been a part of the Union community as a teacher, coach and school administrator for almost 40 years. He is a graduate of Chester High School, received an Associate’s Degree from USC-Union, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Charleston Southern University, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Winthrop University.

Cassels oversaw all areas of school management including administrative, financial, curricular, and supervision of staff and sought opportunities for development of school programs and curriculum. He served as principal of West End Elementary, Union Middle School, Jonesville Elementary, Excelsior Middle School, and most recently the Union County Achievement Academy. Cassels was a member of the SC Association for School Administrators.

During his educational career, schools lead by Cassels received SC School Incentive Grants for 7 years, were deregulated as determined by high achievement. He received the Principal Incentive Award for two years and was nominated for SC Art Education Association Middle School Principal of Year and SC Middle School Principal of the Year. He is a winner of the Conservation Educator of the Year award.

Cassels has served on the Union Carnegie Library Board, Board of Visitors of the Palmetto College of The University of South Carolina, the American Red Cross Board, the American Cancer Society Board in Union and the Union YMCA Board and former member of the Union JayCees. He is a member of Rotary International — Union Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Cassels is an active member of Grace United Methodist Church where he serves on numerous committees. Mr. Cassels resides in Union County with his wife, Linda Melton Cassels.

“The Union Community Foundation is excited to announce the two board appointments — Lewis Jeter and Michael Cassels,” commented Lisa Morris, Chairwoman for the Foundation. “Their interest in the betterment of the Union community and their philanthropic mindsets will be instrumental in the continuous success of our Foundation.”

This story was provided by the Union Community Foundation.

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