L.A. Times Feature

Saluda Native Featured in L.A. Times

Saluda native Mitchell Spearman was featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on July 10. The article centered on Spearman’s job as senior director of principal gifts for the University of Texas at Austin, and highlights how he has taken on new roles: counselor, supporter, wellness coach, because of the coronavirus. You can search for the article on the L.A. Times webpage. (Photo by Molly Spearman)

Former Saluda Teacher Selected
for Lifetime Achievement Award

  Four school leaders from across the state, including a former Saluda teacher and coach, have been selected by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) as 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award winners.
  This year, Dr. Connie Dennis, Superintendent of Clarendon School District Three; Dr. William “Bill” James, Superintendent of Lexington School District Two; Mrs. Jeaneen Tucker, Principal of Round Top Elementary in Richland School District Two; and Dr. Betty Jo Hall (posthumous), former Superintendent of the Abbeville County School District, were all selected to receive this award for their contributions to education in South Carolina.
  Each year SCASA selects exemplars of educational leadership to receive the SCASA Lifetime Achievement Award. These leaders have dedicated their lives to educating South Carolina’s children, serving their communities, and providing an example for those who aspire to lead.
  Former Saluda teacher and coach Dr. Bill James has committed his entire career in education to helping students in South Carolina succeed. Since his start in the classroom as a high school biology teacher, he has spent more than four decades in education, as an assistant principal, principal, educational consultant, and superintendent in two districts. In his current position as Lexington Two superintendent, Dr. James is nearing the end of a construction program that has added three new schools and upgraded all others. He has helped create a long-term finance and construction plan that highlights the path toward replacing older school facilities without the need for another bond referendum. As a firm believer in service, Dr. James supports initiatives to help families and the community. He advocated for the creation of the Lexington Two Community Education Center, which houses an award-winning adult education program and serves other needs with the distribution of food and professional clothing. Soon, the Lexington Two Community Education Center will offer childcare for adults seeking a GED.
  James’ wife Cynthia was a speech therapist in the Saluda Schools, and their son William was born while they were working in the district.
  “Connie Dennis, Bill James, and Jeaneen Tucker are highly respected among the state’s education community and are driving forces in the success of their communities,” said Elizabeth “Beth” A. Phibbs, executive director of SCASA. “They exemplify outstanding leadership among educators. We are thrilled to recognize their exceptional service to public education and SCASA.”
  Dr. Dennis, Dr. James, Mrs. Tucker, and Dr. Hall were honored on Wednesday, June 24, during a webcast presentation to over 1,200 school leaders as part of the closing ceremony of the 2020 Innovative Ideas Institute, SCASA’s annual conference. Each winner received a cash prize and commemorative plaque presented by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and a ring presented by Herff Jones.

Mid-Carolina donates
$23,000 to charity

  (Lexington, SC) Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative is pleased to announce a charitable contribution of $23,000 to two organizations close to the hearts of our cooperative family. The ALS Association is the first of those, supporting, assisting and caring for victims of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Our dear friend and co-worker, Russ Dantzler, former Vice President of Engineering and Operations, succumbed to ALS in February 2015 and we make this donation in his memory. The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization enhancing the quality of life for victims while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure for this debilitating disease. 
  The second charity was selected in honor and memory of all cooperative employees and any electrical workers who have utilized and benefited from the Burn Foundation of America’s services at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, GA.  Several utility employees across the state have suffered burns and received lifesaving treatment at our nation’s largest burn treatment facility. 
  In an effort to protect co-op employees, members and sponsors from exposure to COVID-19, the decision was made to cancel the 5th Annual Sporting Clays Fundraiser – the catalyst for these donations.  However, thanks to the generosity of more than 50 sponsors, we were able to once again provide support that will impact the lives of many.
  We are happy to announce the date for next year’s tournament is March 27, 2021 and encourage all those who share our dedication to community to participate. 
 Contact Janice Ayers at 803-749-6473 or Lacy Ridgell at 803-749-6471 for more details.