UNION — Consolidation of three high schools into one, the construction of two new schools and the development of a talented and dedicated teaching staff are the achievements District 6 Union County School Board candidate Kakie White says she wants to build on during the next four years.
White, who was first elected to the board in 2000, is seeking her fourth term in office. She said that during the past 12 years the board has taken a number of steps that she feels has improved educational opportunities for Union County’s children.
One of those changes was the consolidation of the county’s three high schools into one, a step White said was initially controversial but has since worked out well for the students attending the consolidated county high school.
“The consolidation of the county’s high schools was a major achievement,” White said. “It was trying, but since it has happened it has been a good thing for our students and I think the majority of them would agree.”
Another achievement of the past 12 years was the construction of the new Sims Middle and Jonesville Elementary/Middle K-8 schools.
“The construction of the two schools was another major achievement of the board,” White said. “The new schools are state of the art facilities with all the technology the modern classroom needs.”
One achievement that White said will be especially important to the school district is the teaching staff the board has put in place over the past 12 years.
“I think the staff and faculty that we now have in place are second to none,” White said. “I truly believe that our children get a quality education from our district. I think our teachers truly enjoy what they are doing and have a love for our students. They want them to learn and grow and gain all the knowledge and experience they will need to be successful after they graduate.
“I think a well-educated child is the future of Union County,” she said. “We’re going to have to make sure that we provide the resources our teachers and students need to prepare them for their future and Union County’s future.”
White said providing those resources will require building on the fiscal achievements of the past several years when, despite cuts in state funding, the board balanced the district’s budget without laying off teachers. She said this will be especially important given the condition of the economy which she doesn’t expect to improve anytime soon.
“I don’t see where the economic situation is going to get any better in the next several years,” White said. “We’re going to have be diligent in developing budgets that will allow us to continue providing the services we do and also keeping up with changing technology and educational innovations.”
The board, along with the City of Union, Union County, the Union County Chamber of Commerce, and the Union County Development Board, recently passed resolutions committing to support the Work Ready Communities program. The goal of the program is to develop a trained, nationally certified workforce that can be used to market Union County to new industry and to help retain existing industry.
White said if elected she will work to implement the Work Ready program which she described as important to the future success of the county and the students who would be graduating in the years ahead.
“The work environment is changing to a more career-oriented or technologically-based workforce,” White said. “Our school district has committed itself to working with different agencies, businesses, industries, and other educational institutions to help students prepare for that work environment. To do that, we will work to help students determine what field they may be interested in and point them in that direction. I think this is going be a very positive endeavor to prepare our students for the workforce of the future.”
White is a Union native who graduated from Union High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Winthrop College. She was employed for 30 years with the Department of Social Services in Union County, the last 20 of which as director. White and her husband, Sam, are members of Tabernacle Baptist Church where they teach seventh and eight grade Sunday School. They have two children and two grandchildren. White is a volunteer with the Union County Pregnancy Center.
White is opposed for reelection by Terri Ransom-Renna.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.