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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

York legislators named Champions for Public Education

The South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) honored two York County legislators May 12 for their support of public schools and students - not only in York and surrounding counties, but statewide.
Senator Robert "Wes" Hayes, Jr., and the Representative Carl L. Gullick were presented with the SCSBA Champions for Public Education Award by SCSBA General Counsel Scott Price on behalf of the association.
Sen. Hayes and Rep. Gullick were nominated by the four school boards in York County, which commended Hayes and Gullick for their accessibility, openness and responsiveness. The four school boards include York School District One, Clover School District Two, Rock Hill School District Three, and the Fort Mill School District.
"In a time when we are having a tendency in our Legislature to move further and further away from local control of public education, it's encouraging to know that there are people who have the courage to go out on a limb on behalf of public education," said Rock Hill Three Board Chair Bob Norwood.
The award is presented quarterly to community residents, organizations or local businesses/industries whose support of and contributions to public education have significantly benefited the entire school district or public schools statewide. Nominations are open to the state's school boards and judged against the award's criteria to determine eligibility.
The four board chairs stated both Sen. Hayes and Rep. Gullick are always willing to meet with them, discuss legislative issues that impact local schools, and "makes sure that our voice is heard in Columbia."
"Sen. Hayes and Rep. Gullick are always reachable by telephone and approachable in person. They share their viewpoints openly and listen to school board members," said Rock Hill Three Board Member Walter Brown. "They are always supportive of public education, not only for our students but for all students in the state."
Sen. Hayes serves as a member of the Senate Education Committee and chairman of the Senate Education K-12 Subcommittee. He has represented District 15, serving York County since 1991. He also served in the House from 1985 to 1991. In addition to chairing the education subcommittee, he chairs the Senate Ethics Committee and serves as a member of the Banking and Insurance Committee, the Corrections and Penology Committee, and Finance Committee.
Rep. Gullick serves as a member of the House Education and Public Works Committee and a member of the K-12 Education Subcommittee. He has represented House District 48, serving York County since 2007.
"The invaluable service and leadership that Sen. Hayes and Rep. Gullick provide to the students not only in York County but statewide is greatly appreciated," said SCSBA Director Paul Krohne. "Both gentlemen recognize the crucial partnership between and State and local school boards. They are to be commended for standing up for public schools and for their continuous support of dedicated teachers, students, and parents who are building our state's future every day."
To receive the award, recipients must meet the following criteria:
§ shows leadership in support either of ongoing or special programs authorized by the school board;
§ demonstrates, through actions, pride for the school district and effectively works for the betterment of the schools in the district as a whole or for public schools statewide;
§ understands public education's importance to democratic society and does his/her/its part to inspire support for quality public schools within the community or state; and
§ makes a difference for the entire school district or schools statewide because of his/her/its involvement.

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