New Superintendent

Mathis Resigns, Livingston Hired

By Dr. Arlene S.  Puryear
Saluda County School
District One Board Chair

  We are saddened to announce that Superintendent Dr. David Mathis informed the Saluda County School District One Board of Trustees at our meeting last evening that he wished to resign effective September 1, 2017. 
  He has been offered a position at the State Department of Education as Director of Early Learning and Literacy. 
  The Board has been extremely pleased with the outstanding leadership Dr. Mathis has provided to the District for the past nine years, and we will certainly miss his leadership in our District.  Importantly, Dr. Mathis has worked tirelessly to keep the focus on increasing student achievement, building an outstanding faculty and staff and providing numerous learning opportunities for our students to succeed.      
  As a Board, we also recognized that we needed to take steps immediately to identify a successor for Dr. Mathis so the District may continue with its progress and ensure a smooth transition in its leadership.  Faced with this prospect, the Board considered various options for conducting a superintendent search. 
  During our considerations, we discussed various circumstances, the understanding of which is essential for an appreciation of the decision, which we announced Monday evening.      It is well known that currently there is a great shortage of capable school administrators, including school superintendents, both in South Carolina and across the nation.  Further, the process of employing superintendents is extremely difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and potentially disruptive.  We believe it is in Saluda’s best interests to avoid these deterrents in determining our path forward.        The Saluda Board decided upon a strategy that we believe will be successful and lead to the result desired, i.e., the employment of an outstanding, experienced administrator, in our District, with minimum disruption and expense.  As a Board, we quickly realized that we are fortunate to have such an administrator already in our District. 
  It became clear to us that Assistant Superintendent Dr. Harvey Livingston is an excellent candidate to become the District’s next Superintendent.  Through his twenty years in our system, he has worked in a variety of capacities, including as teacher, Head Football Coach/Athlete Director, principal of Saluda High and Hollywood Elementary Schools and his current job as Assistant Superintendent, which has provided an array of experience working with human resources, public relations, student services and transportation.  Quite simply, he is the ideal candidate as he is fully versed in all areas of District operations and will be able to keep the District on the path of excellence.     
  It was the consensus of our Board that Dr. Livingston is the right person at the right time for Saluda.  Dr. Livingston has a highly successful track record with our District and is highly regarded in our District and community.  Dr. Livingston has been an integral member of the District’s administrative team for many years and is fully aware of, part of, and supportive of the exciting direction in which our system is heading - not to mention the upward momentum we are seeing with test scores and the graduation rate.
  During our meeting on August 7th, Dr. Livingston informed our Board that should we extend him the offer of the position of Superintendent, he would be honored to accept.  Accordingly, Dr. Livingston will be Superintendent-Elect until September 1, 2017, at which time     he will become Superintendent.  Dr. Livingston and Dr. Mathis will work together between now and the end of August 2017 to ensure a smooth transition.      
  We believe that our approach has enabled us to secure the employment of an outstanding administrator who can continue the current progress of the District with a seamless transition, is already completely familiar with our District’s operations and its staff, and is highly regarded in the State as an outstanding academic leader.  We are delighted to announce that Dr. Livingston will be our next Superintendent.

Late County Council Chairman Don Hancock’s chair was marked by a black ribbon at Monday’s Council meeting. (Standard-Sentinel photo)


County Council Holds

Poignant Meeting

Monday, Saluda County Council held its first meeting since the death of County Council Chairman Don Hancock.
  Vice-Chairman Gwen Shealy broke into tears when she said Chairman Hancock will be specially remembered at the September meeting.
  “We are very sad,” Councilman Frank Daniel said, “but we must go on.”
  Hancock was a proponent of economic development and Council took several steps in that direction at the August meeting.
  Second reading was given to an ordinance entering into  a contract for a fixed base operator, Saluda Sky Aviation, LLC, at the Saluda County Airport.
  First reading was given to an ordinance amending the Multi-County Industrial Park agreement between Saluda and Aiken County. Development Consultant Ed Parler said the agreement is needed to include recent development projects in the county.
  Council passed a resolution putting in the place the application of a fee in lieu of ad valorem taxes for a $45 million project known as Project PBM. An ordinance requiring three readings is the next step.
  Council agreed to apply for a grant that would run a waterline to the above mentioned Project PBM. The $740,000 project would install 11,600 feet of waterline on Duncan Road.
  Parler said the grant would be for $500,000 and the 25 percent match would be paid by the Aiken Edgefield Saluda Partnership with assistance from the electric cooperatives.
  Parler said residents on Duncan Road would benefit from the installation of fire hydrants, plus they can tap on to the county water if they should so choose. He said once the waterline line is completed, the county would deed the project to the Water and Sewer Authority.
  “In other words, this is a no lose situation for the county,” Councilman D.J. Miller said.
  Council took the first step that will lead to returning the Brooks and Roston Park to the community.
  First reading to an ordinance was approved to quit claim the property deeded to the Saluda County Recreation Association, Inc., in 1970 by Willette P. Satterwhite and Melverda Hook, to the Saluda Recreation District for a total purchase price of $5.00 and correction of a deed.
  Council approved adoption of standard operating procedures for EMS with year revisions, and modifying testing provisions of the Saluda County Abuse Policy and Procedures.
  Council approved Daniel’s appointments of Courtney A. Priester to the Saluda Nursing Center Board, and Margaret A. Nicholson to the Planning Commission.
  Shealy’s reappointment of Wayne Matthews to the Airport Commission was also approved.