Aiken County's new superintendent lays out 'vision' for district

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Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2020

King Laurence was named Aiken County Schools Superintendent in a 7-2 vote Tuesday night. (Source: WRDW)

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Aiken County School Board voted 7-2 to name Interim Superintendent King Laurence as the new superintendent.

The vote came after almost four hours of an executive session.

Laurence has been serving as interim superintendent since September when Dr. Sean Alford resigned.

"My vision for Aiken County is that it will be the destination of choice for quality educators," Laurence said.

Quality educators are just one of many concerns for Laurence.

"We have certainly heard from them that they are concerned about the safety and security of our schools," Laurence said. "They are concerned about discipline, they are concerned about assessment."

Laurence is working to fix those problems through facilities, infrastructure, and training.

But some parents have been left in doubt.

Just last week, the school district hosted a community meeting, seeking input from parents and community members about what they would like to see in the next superintendent. There was no indication at the time they were considering an internal candidate.

After that meeting, one parent, Teresa Pope, even voiced her concern to us, saying, "My concern was they don't have a firm in place to actually look for a superintendent."

Other parents, such as Dexter Price, have been worried about transparency.

"the transparency just didn't seem to be there and for them to appoint a new superintendent two weeks later, it makes you wonder was there even an actual selection process," Price said.

Laurence says they are always open to ideas and they will continue to have those meetings.

"At least five, maybe six of those town hall meetings so that everybody has an opportunity to come ask questions, have their input, and have their voice heard," Laurence said.

Laurence says over the next few weeks, there will be more opportunities to express concerns and ideas. He will also be engaging the community and talking to groups in all areas of the county.

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