AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A new superintendent is at the helm of Aiken Public Schools.
“I’m very pleased that the board had that confidence in me,” King Laurence told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
Laurence got straight to the point when asked about how he felt when finding out he will be the next person to lead the Aiken County School District into the future. A vote following a four-hour special called meeting Tuesday solidified his appointment.
“I very much look forward to working with the members of our board, our leadership team, administrators and teachers to chart a path of uninterrupted success for all Aiken County students,” he added.
He’s no stranger to the district, with 22 years of service under his belt. He served in a number of roles before taking on the interim title five months ago.
But following the announcement, some in the community voiced their concerns feeling as if the will of the people were being ignored after such a quick announcement. My issue is more so with the transparency on the board’s part and the way that things played out,” Dexter Price said.
Officials held sessions to find out what the community would like to see in the next superintendent. Something that the father of two is now questioning. “The thing that we’re concerned about is distrust because what were the meetings for? Was it a dog and pony show? Did they really want feedback or did they already a person in mind?” he asked.
“All I can say is it appears that the board was pleased with the direction that we were going over those last several months,” Laurence said. “I really can’t speak to their process and their decision. I do appreciate the confidence that they’ve placed in me,” he added.
As for Laurence, his short-term and long-term goals for the district includes listening to the community to gauge its needs.
“I want to pay attention to what the community is looking for in its school district. I want to get out there into the community with some town hall meetings in the short term. I see a need for the district to come together to create an atmosphere where our students feel safe, our parents feel safe in sending their students to school, and our teachers feel safe and secure,” he shared.
He’s looking forward to carrying the torch of excellence that Aiken County Schools is known for.
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