I feel compelled to respond to the misinformation from a committee working to defeat the upcoming bond referendum for the Clover children on March 22.
Having served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 24 years, I can personally attest that board members are dedicated, thoughtful and intelligent people who make their decisions based on what is best educationally for the students, parents and the taxpayers. To imply or allege these public servants are doing anything less is unfair and unjust. They serve unpaid for the children and the public good.
In the past four years with Clover’s size as a AAAA high school, here are a few of the achievements: State Department of Education Academic Awards for overall performance - Palmetto Gold (three straight years); Excellent/Excellent State Report Card Rating (three straight years); State Department of Education Academic Awards for performance on SAT and ACT - Cum Laude of Achievement - two awards for overall score and one for improvement; 280 CHS students took Advanced Placement Exams, a 235 percent increase since 2011 when CHS tested 119 on AP exams (ref: 2012 AP Five Year Score Report, The College Board); AP Exam Pass rate of 73 percent – State AP pass rate is 58.9 percent and Global AP pass rate is 60.2 percent (ref: 2012 AP Five Year Score Report, The College Board); state championship in chorus, eight out of 11 years, five state champions in swimming; three region championships in athletics; 34 All-Region athletes; 42 scholar-athletes; five athletes chosen for state All-Star Games; one All-State athlete; 10 athletes sign athletics scholarships; two All State band students; five students accepted to Governor’s School; National and State Awards for FBLA, FFA, FCLA, DECA, and HOSA clubs; placed third at state and regional competitions for Robotics; 100 percent pass rate on CNA and National Health Science exams; Community service awards for Interact Club, Student Council, and ROTC; Moped to Memphis raised and donated $75,000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital; Distinguished Unit With Merit for ROTC (one of five in South Carolina!); ROTC Cadet selected for Naval Academy summer program; CHS Drumline place 14th at World Competition in Dayton, Ohio; State Teachers of the Year in Family and Consumer Science and Early Childhood; State Paraprofessional of the Year in Special Education; OEC Academic Quiz Team Champions for second straight year; Catapult Club first place at USC engineering competition; world record cardboard boat construction and voyage by physics and calculus students and teachers; and countless other individual student academic and performance awards.
However the previous plans from Superintendent Betty Riddle included the path this bond referendum would follow as an efficient way to maintain our quality schools and not overwhelm the taxpayer. The current board has studied the issues and has been developing this plan for at least five years.
At the public forum in May, the district invited more than 100 community members to participate in a planning session. Much input was provided that guided the board’s ultimate decision. Lastly, the district conducted an online survey in the fall that was advertised in the newspaper and open for anyone to participate. More than 1,800 people participated in the survey.
Three of the five seats have a geographic tie to Lake Wylie and Bethel. Sherri Ciurlik, Rob Wallace and Franklin Pendleton hold these seats. Joe Gordon represents Clover. Liz Johnson represents Bethany. The two at-large seats are held by Melanie Wilson of Lake Wylie and Mack McCarter, chairman, who lives in the Bethel area on Paul Boyd Road. If you consider Bethel and Lake Wylie together five of seven members live in that area.
Vote yes for the Clover children on the bond referendum on March 22.
Windy Bartee is a Clover resident.