Return to Headlines

Local Leaders to Get a Close Look at Day-to-Day School Operations through Chamber, Florence One, School Foundation Partnership

Through a three-way partnership among Florence One, the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and The School Foundation, a program designed for business and community leaders to spend time getting a unique, behind-the-scenes look into schools in Florence One continues in its fourth year.  The program, known as the Fellows in Education Program, began with an orientation today for its members.

During the duration of the program, there are plans for business and community leaders to see first-hand some of the successes and daily challenges educators face in the classroom.  Within this program, there will also be an opportunity for interested participants to take part in a “Principal for a Day” exercise where the local leader will spend a portion of the day with a school principal as he or she conducts the duties of running the school.

“We are extremely excited about having members of our business community visiting our schools again this year, “said Dr. Richard O’Malley, Superintendent of Florence One Schools.  “The commitment on the part of each of these individuals is greatly appreciated.  During these visitations, the Fellows in Education will gain knowledge of the many outstanding school initiatives, as well as the needs and the resources in our schools. Through their in-depth understanding of these outstanding programs, the needs and resources, we believe that they will be better able to serve as advocates for students in Florence One Schools,” he added.  

Organizers of the program say the ultimate goal of Fellows in Education is to create a cadre of local leaders who will be able to collaborate with policymakers and community members in developing better education policies in the local community.  In its third year, the Fellows in Education Class of 2018 held an orientation for group members today at the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

The first of eight sessions began on Tuesday, October 2nd with a visit to Wallace-Gregg Elementary, and sessions will be held thereafter on the first Tuesday of each month through the month of May at different Florence One schools. (See schedule.)

For this fourth class of Fellows in Education, members of the three-way partnership have again  sought after a select group of over twenty community and business leaders whom they believe are civic-minded supporters of the need for expansion of local educational resources.

Members of the third group of the Fellows in Education Program include: Derrick Cattenhead, Central United Methodist Church; Kent Caudle, Palmetto Commercial Real Estate; Ryan Connor, Prime Pediatric Dentistry; Gloria Cooper, Cooper & Associates; Bailey Dabney, Morning News; Joe Edick, A1 Medical Inc.; Nick Foong, Pepsi of Florence and Pee Dee Food Service; Maggie Glover, Retired educator and former member of the SC House of Representatives Senator; Kevin Goodwin, SPC Credit Union; Annie Ham, McCall Farms; Yulandra Heyward, Retired FMU Educator; Debbie Hyler, The School Foundation; Tryon Jones, Florence-Darlington Technical College; Jessica Jordan, Palmetto Pee Dee Behavioral Health; Jerry Keith, Jr., Maud & Co. Rehab  Services; Christina Lawson, Florence Area Literacy Council; Doris Lockhart, Accustaff; Brandon Lyles, First Bank; Philip Maenza, News Journal; Barbara Merrill, Health Facilities Credit Union; Mike Miller, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce; Bryant Moses, Wilson Alumni Association; Teresa Myers-Ervin, Florence City Council; Dr. Richard O’Malley, Florence One Schools; Gregg Parsons, Raldex Hospitality; Tania Patel, Naman Hotels; Tommy Pruitt, Ruiz Foods; Aaron Robinson, Honda of South Carolina; Tiffany Straus, Hope Health; Don Strickland, PDRTA; Mindy Taylor, Duke Energy; Lauren Vause, Junior League of Florence.

For more information contact Debbie Hyler, Executive Director, The School Foundation, ; Michael Miller, President, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce,; or Dr. Richard O’Malley, Superintendent, Florence One Schools, .


The 2018-19  Schedule for the Fellows in Education

October 2, 2017             Wallace-Gregg Elementary School

November 13, 2017       Southside Middle School 

December 4, 2017           West  Florence High School 

January 8, 2018             Savannah Grove Elementary School

February 5, 2018            Lester Elementary School

March 5, 2018                Wilson High School

April 2, 2018                   Dewey L. Carter Elementary

May 7, 2018                    South Florence High School