Posted on November 13, 2018
By Greg Oliver
WALHALLA — Seneca native and longtime educator Sandra Sloan enjoyed a special evening Monday, as she was not only sworn in as the newest member of the Oconee County School Board, but also shared the experience with her mother, Ruby Crooks.
Crooks, a retired School District of Oconee County teacher, held the Bible that Sloan — who won election to the board’s District 3 seat last week — placed her hand upon to take the oath of office. Longtime trustee Jerry Lee, who won re-election to his District 1 seat in last week’s election, was also sworn in and later elected chairman.
“The fact she was a teacher in this district, it was significant she was able to come back as a retired educator and hold the Bible for me,” Sloan said, adding that the Bible was given to her as a present upon her graduation from Southern Wesleyan University approximately 20 years ago.
Sloan, who defeated 12-year incumbent and former board chairman Andy Inabinet in the general election, has been a regular attendee at school board meetings in recent months. But she admits that sitting behind the podium is a different experience.
“It’s different than sitting out there (in the audience),” she said. “But I look forward as we move ahead to have more input. I’ve been informed by the board that it’s a learning curve, and I look forward to being more involved.”
Lee, who is starting his fourth term in his second stint on the school board, also served as a Walhalla-area trustee from 1978-1994 and the board’s chairman in the final four years of that stint. Now representing the Salem area, Lee said he doesn’t expect any difficulty returning to the role as chairman.
“I hope I haven’t forgotten anything,” Lee said. “I’m sure (the board) will point out my mistakes. But it’s basically meeting and coming up with an agenda with the superintendent each month and conducting the meeting. I appreciate the confidence my peers have in me and will do my best.”
The new chairman said he looks forward to working with Sloan.
“I’ve talked to her several times and think she’s a capable lady who I feel will have a lot to add to the board and has a lot to give,” he said.
The board also elected Joe Rukat as vice chairman and Denise McCormick as secretary to round out its list of officers for the next two years.
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…we witnessed a stronger Democratic Party. Democrats exceeded our share of the electorate and increased Democratic performance by almost 135,000 votes. Most importantly, South Carolina Democrats won a majority of the races in which we fielded candidates, up and down the ballot. We won 184 races, from the County Council to County Treasurers to the State House, and that total doesn't even include Democrats who won in municipal and school board elections.
For the first time since 2008, we are sending two Democrats to the United States Congress. Joe Cunningham will join Representative Jim Clyburn in Washington, D.C. where he’ll fight hard to put the Lowcountry above politics.
We flipped a State Senate seat for the first time in more than a decade with Dick Harpootlian. We also flipped two State House seats with the election of JA Moore and Krystle Simmons. This is huge for Democrats, but it is just the beginning.
None of this could have happened without the outstanding candidates we had up and down the ballot. None of this could have happened without the work of our spectacular county parties. None of this could have happened without the amazing team of people these candidates surrounded themselves with. Most importantly: None of this could have happened without you.
I’m fired up and you should be too - but we’re not taking a break. We’re going to keep working until we flip this whole state blue and elect people who will move South Carolina forward. Thank you.
I appreciate you,
Trav Robertson Jr.
Chairman, South Carolina Democratic Party