We endorse Clover-area businessman Rob Wallace in the upcoming vote for Seat 5 of the Clover School Board. Seat 5 covers the central Lake Wylie area.
Wallace was appointed more than a year ago to fill the remaining four-year term of the late Barbara Parrish, who died in January 2013. This is his first time running for election.
His opponent, Jamie Henrickson, is a sales and financial adviser who openly opposed the $67 million school bond approved by voters in March.
Both candidates have children in Clover schools, both have business backgrounds, and both live in the Lake Wylie area. But that’s about where their similarities end.
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Wallace says he’s seeking election “to keep a good thing going.” But Henrickson said she’s running for office because she disagrees with some of the decisions the school board has made and with Wallace’s votes.
Wallace supported the bond and the $99 million package of construction it will enable, though he said the Lake Wylie aquatics center should have been put to voters as a separate question.
However, Henrickson opposed the ninth grade academy/high school plan, the artificial turf at the three athletic fields and the aquatics center. She said the construction package included some waste, and she argues Clover High School will become too large.
Another issue the candidates differ on involves technology, specifically the school district’s three-year, $4.6 million one-to-one Connected Classroom project, implemented this year.
The project aims to put a personal iPad or Macbook Air in the hands of every student from third grade through high school. Students are allowed to take the devices home.
Henrickson questioned the value of some aspects of the project, saying she has yet to see the benefit of all elementary school-age students having an iPad to take home. She questioned whether classroom iPad sets would be enough access, especially for younger children.
But Wallace said he supports the technology project, saying the use of technology as a teaching tool in classrooms is crucial in today’s world.
Henrickson said the Clover school district needs to do a better job of managing its money, and should spend more wisely. She said there is a need for better planning.
Wallace said implementing the maximum tax increase on businesses for school operations each year is “killing businesses,” and that that practice needs to be addressed.
Both candidates acknowledged the unfortunate problem of divisiveness between the Clover and Lake Wylie communities, which emerged during the bond campaign.
But the bond has been approved by voters, and both candidates say it’s time to more forward and focus on future needs.
Henrickson has clearly done her homework. She is an intelligent candidate with strong views, and she would bring energy and passion to the board.
However, we believe Wallace is a stronger candidate for the task of moving forward. We believe he would bring to the board a capacity for listening and thoughtful decision-making and the ability to create compromise and work well with others.