Wayne Bouldin, vice chairman of the Fort Mill school board, has announced his intention to run for re-election in November.
The announcement makes Bouldin the second incumbent in the race, following board chairman Patrick White’s announcement earlier this month. Michele Branning, who narrowly lost a 2012 bid to win a seat on the board, is also planning to run.
Bouldin, who was elected in 2009, has served a five-year term on the school board. A typical term on the board is four years, but Bouldin’s term was extended due to changes in the election process.
“We have had to deal with a lot of important issues over that term,” Bouldin said.
“I’ve learned a lot from it. I’d like to put that to use and maximize that learning by continuing to be on the board.”
Four of the seven Fort Mill school board members are up for re-election this year. Candidates can file to run Aug. 1-15. Voting is at-large. If there are more than four candidates, the top-four vote-getters win.
The biggest issue the district has dealt with in his time on the board has been constant growth, Bouldin said. He believes that growth will continue to be a major issue, which is why he hopes to remain on the board.
“I’m concerned about the rate of growth that we are seeing increase here as of late, in the past six months to a year,” Bouldin said. “That’s one of our key items that we’re going to have to address coming forward. I believe during a time like this, consistency on the board is pretty critical.”
Bouldin said he and the other members of the board have demonstrated an ability to handle growth during the past five years.
Working with and updating the 10-year plan allowed the district to expand its two high schools rather than building a new school, which Bouldin believes was a better use of taxpayer money.
According to Bouldin, the district’s move to expand the high schools is an example of “growing smart.”
Bouldin, an engineer, said he prides himself in his problem-solving skills and his ability to analyze facts and figures. He said these are two skill sets that he has been able to bring to the district.
Bouldin has had two children graduate from the Fort Mill school district. He has been a longtime member of school improvement council at various schools and helped run the district’s 2008 referendum before running for his position on the board.
Although Bouldin’s children provide him with an emotional connection to the district, he said his experience in business allows him to help the board make choices that are well thought out.
“Being able to bring my business and analytical perspective to the board, I think, helps the board as a whole to see things more so in that light and not make emotional decisions,” Bouldin said.
Bouldin said he hopes residents feel confident voting for him based on the district’s success in the past five years of his term.
“There’s no substitute for experience and personal involvement in these schools, which I have,” Bouldin said.
He added: “I would hope that they would see through the progress that we’ve made over the past five years, the good decisions and high performance of the school district during that time, and they would recognize my part in making that happen and would want to see that continue.”