FOUR VIE FOR TWO SCHOOL BOARD SEATS – KERSHAW SEAT 2 – A Q&A WITH CANDIDATES ON THE BALLOT IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARY

Incumbent Sherri Brosius will face Nissary Wood in the race for Seat 2 on the Kershaw County School Board during the June 13 primary.

The winner of the primary will be unopposed on the ballot during November’s general election.

The school board recently approved borrowing $102 million – without asking voters – to make upgrades to buildings throughout the district. Did you/would you have voted for the spending plan?

* Brosius: I did not vote for the plan. It circumvents the voter and does not provide the direct democracy necessary to pass a tax increase. My opinion is also shared by the majority of House and Senate members, who have now made this type of financing illegalas of Aug. 1. There is a need for many of the projects. The priorities of safety, deterioration and growth, however, were not the driving factors in developing the first phase.

* Wood: I would not have voted for the spending plan without first seeking the support of the voters. It is my belief that the voters would have supported a bond referendum. The overall findings and possible solutions should have been sent to each voter. Before voting on the plan, I would have asked the board to educate, really educate our voters on the necessities of our district and earned their support.

Do you support the school board’s decision to give laptop computers to all high school students?

* Brosius: I have supported the development of a technology plan. The laptop plan would not have been my first choice. I ultimately supported the plan because the need for our high school students to graduate with a technological 21st century work skill was growing rapidly. The district needs to develop a comprehensive K-12 plan for technology that touches every child in every grade, not just high school.

* Wood: No, I do not. However, I do support an increase in the number of computers per classroom across the district, via a more cost-effective program. I think students having access to technology is a wonderful thing. The problem with the laptop initiative is that there is no accountability or real measure of its effectiveness. Providing a laptop for every teacher would have a bigger impact and be a more effective use of our money.

How would you, as a school board member, affect student learning?

* Brosius: We need to be supportive of our staff and give them the necessary components to increase learning. We need to meet with our government officials to ensure that dollars are allocated to our district to support the programs that the educators have had proven success with. There is a formula in education that includes these responsibilities, the parents’ role to be supportive at home, and the student’s role to learn and work hard. Board members need to encourage this formula.

* Wood: As a school board member, I would affect a student’s learning by advocating for continuous improvement of our school district. I would actively seek out effective educational programs implemented by other districts and seek to implement them in Kershaw County. In addition, I would continually promote open communication throughout the district regarding what’s working and what we need to improve. Through constant self-analysis and improvement, we will continually improve our impact on students.

PROFILES

SHERRI BROSIUS

Age: 38

Education: Kutztown University; National Kitchen & Bath Association Design School; Real Estate School of South Carolina and eight years of continuing education

Occupation: Real estate agent

Political experience: 31/2 years on the Kershaw County School Board

Community organizations: Previously served on Blaney Elementary School Improvement Council and Stover Middle School’s PTO; Chamber of Commerce member through Russell and Jeffcoat Realtors in Kershaw County and Northeast Richland. Member of Columbia Builders Association’s Sales & Marketing Council. Kershaw County Board of Realtors member and Grievance Committee member. Greater Columbia Association of Realtors member and Grievance Committee member. Board legislative contact, Kershaw County School Board. Member of First Baptist Church of Camden. First Baptist Church of Camden Real Estate Committee member. Athletics Boosters of Lugoff-Elgin High member.

Family: Married to Matthew Brosius; three children

Favorite book: “So you want to be President?” by Judith Sr. George. I have a large children’s library in my home and find that children’s books are the most inspiring! I have read this book many times to children and it shows them that anyone’s humble beginnings could make a president. It also is the type of book that makes history fun!

Political role model: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for overcoming huge obstacles and thinking outside the box to move our country to a new level of democracy.

NISSARY WOOD

Age: 36

Education: Bachelor’s in psychology, double minor in early childhood education and African-American studies

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom and volunteer

Political experience: None

Community organizations: PTO president and School Improvement Council at Doby’s Mill Elementary; vice chairwoman at Leslie M. Stover Middle School School Improvement Council; volunteer for Junior Achievement; Red Dress Ambassador for Providence Hospital

Family: Married to Todd LeJuan Wood; four children

Favorite book: “My Mother had a Dream” by Tamara Nikuradse. I read this book on a regular basis for inspiration and spiritual uplift. It reminds me of all the wonderful, strong women like my late grandmother, Teretha Fling. It reminds me of the struggles they endured and how strong they were as a result. It tells of God’s promise and how we, as women, can endure anything as long as we keep faith in him.

Political role model: Todd L. Wood. Todd is the first person who encouraged me to run for this position because of my experience and involvement as a volunteer in the school system. He is very supportive of everything I do personally and professionally.

June 8, 2006  State (published as The State)  Columbia, South Carolina
Page 60

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