Residents react after Aiken County School District Superintendent, 3 members of school board resign


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — The Superintendent of Aiken County Schools has resigned, according to district officials.

“Totally shocked and baffled,” Diane Boyd told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked her thoughts on the decision.

“I know a lot of the community has a lot of questions right now,” Joshua Wilson added.

Wilson has a nine-year-old daughter in Aiken Public Schools. He says that he has concerns on what will happen, “and what the school district is going to do moving forward with things.”

The resignation of Dr. Sean Alford came following a special meeting where officials went into executive session for more than three hours.

Two other board members, Ahmed Samaha, and Tad Barber parted ways effective immediately, Rosemary English also resigned effective later in September.

“I don’t know all the facts about this particular incident but I do know that his man has done a lot for our public schools,” Annette Distasio said.

The former educator in the Aiken public school system says that she could see the difference in the district since Dr. Alford came on board. “He wanted better things for all of us and there could have been something that was said or done that was misappropriate or misconstrued who knows and it’s kinda unfortunate,” she added.

People close to the situation, who refuse to be identified, said the resignation came after threats toward a former employee. “There are two sides to every story and it seems like maybe he didn’t get a fair chance,” Distasio shared.

For Diane Boyd, her children are already out of the school district but she says that the graduation rate went up and the kids were excited when Dr. Alford came to town. But she wants to get down to the bottom of the shakeup.

“I just spoke with someone that I mentioned it to and they told me they work with the school system and they were totally shocked, too. They had a look [on their face] and I said ‘It had to be politics?’ and they said ‘yeah’ and that was it,” she shared.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alford’s resignation is effective September 13.

The Board of Education issued the following statement:

The Board and Dr. Alford have reached an amicable resolution and Dr. Alford will resign effective September 13, 2019, to pursue other career opportunities. Dr. Alford wishes to thank the District for their support of him as superintendent during his years of service. The Board appreciates and acknowledges his excellent leadership and performance during his time as superintendent of Aiken County Public Schools.

Dr. Sean Alford issued the following statement:

It has been the highest honor of my professional career to serve as Aiken County’s Superintendent.

To ensure that our relationship promoted the goals of the District and community, it has always been my goal to work collaboratively with the members of our Board of Education, both collectively and individually. We have not always agreed on every issue, and I certainly would never expect us to do so, but I have made every effort possible to hear the thoughts and concerns of each board member while considering the important decisions for our organization.

This is not an ideal circumstance for our organization, however, the Board is operating within their scope of responsibility to select a superintendent of their choosing. I am confident that our employees will carry on with the same excellence they have displayed during my tenure as superintendent with whoever is selected as the District’s future leader.

I wish our ONE TEAM family all the best in the future and look forward to celebrating Aiken County Public School’s continued success.

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