Gov. Henry McMaster announced his three appointments to the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Task Force, which was created by the General Assembly to recommend policies for improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of teachers.
"South Carolina's teachers are integral to the success and prosperity of our state and we must do all we can to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed. Over the last 5 years – by raising starting teacher salaries by $10,000 and changing the way we fund our schools to ensure that tax dollars are making their way to the classroom – we have made progress, but more needs to be done," McMaster said.
"These three appointments will ensure that some of the best and brightest minds in South Carolina education are on the task force so that we can provide both our students and teachers with an education system that sets them up for success."
McMaster appointed Dr. Barbara S. Nielsen to serve as chair of the task force. An educator for 44 years who was a teacher, administrator, and consultant, Nielsen served between 1990 and 1998 as South Carolina’s 14th Superintendent of Education.
During her tenure, South Carolina was recognized as a leader in the development of curriculum frameworks in all academic areas including the arts and foreign languages. She recently served as a Senior Scholar at the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson University.
Upon the recommendation of the South Carolina School Boards Association, the governor has appointed Tim Rhodes, a member of the Abbeville County School Board of Trustees since 2007.
A founding member of the Calhoun Falls Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni Chapter, Rhodes also serves as president of the local nonprofit organization Faith Hunters for Youth.
A veteran of the Army and U.S. Army Reserve, Rhodes is Quality Assurance Coordinator for Prysmian Group North America, a manufacturer of underground and submarine cables and systems for power transmission and distribution.
And, upon the recommendation of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, the governor has appointed Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, superintendent of the Edgefield County School District since 2019.
O’Gorman has an extensive career in education having previously served as the chief academic officer for the Berkeley County School District and as an associate superintendent and principal for the Aiken County School District.
The task force, created by Proviso 1.114 of the 2022-23 General Appropriation Act, is to submit recommendations on the following to the governor, S.C. House Speaker, and president of the Senate no later than May 31, 2023:
* increasing recruitment to the teaching profession;
* improving teacher preparation;
* transforming compensation for teachers;
* enhancing the effectiveness of teacher evaluation;
* improving working conditions for all teachers; and
*identifying best practices from other jurisdictions and designing them for South Carolina.