Three retirees, 2 from district, seek open seat on school board
Two of the candidates for the vacant at-large seat on the Georgetown County School board retired from the school district.
The third is a long-time visitor and property owner who moved here permanently after retiring in 2017.
They will be on the ballot in a special election March 29 to fill the seat held for 27 years by Jim Dumm until his resignation in December.
Kathy Ferdon-Anderson, who was the last to file, taught English and theater at Andrews High School for 33 years before retiring in 2018. She lives in the Colonial Estates neighborhood outside Georgetown and returned to teaching in 2019 to start a theater program at Georgetown High. Her position was eliminated due to budget cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferdon-Anderson said people had been urging her to run for school board for years.
“There are things going on that are good, but there are things that need to be improved,” she said. “If you’re not making your teachers happy and you’re not doing things to make their life easier, things kind of fall apart. Kids aren’t happy and parents aren’t happy. I know that education is more than happiness but happiness helps a lot.”
In the past, teachers were discouraged from attending school board meetings and had no input on major projects in the district like the construction of new schools, Ferdon-Anderson said.
“Those things need to be changed,” she said. “Teachers need to have a voice.”
The other two candidates are Waccamaw Neck residents.
Jon Tester, who lives in Pawleys Retreat, retired as an assistant superintendent at the end of June after 32 years with the school district. He is a former principal of Waccamaw Elementary School.
Scott DuBose, who lives in Pawleys Plantation, retired as a senior vice president of a management consulting firm. After renting and then owning a house in Pawleys Island for several years, he moved here permanently in 2017.
Both Tester and DuBose are finalizing their campaign strategies.
“I’ve got a circle of people that I’ve been talking to. We’re just kind of bouncing some ideas,” Tester said. “I’ve got some key people I want to meet with to talk about strategy.”
DuBose is reaching out to community groups, like Rotary Clubs, to see if he can speak at meetings.
“My goal is, I would like to speak to as many folks and individuals as I can in all seven districts,” DuBose said. “To the extent I can in the time available, that’s what I’m planning to do.”
As a teacher in Andrews for many years, Ferdon-Anderson is confident people know her on the west side of the county.
But, she said, she needs to get her name out on the Waccamaw Neck.
“There will be some kind of campaigning, I’m still looking at things,” Ferdon-Anderson said. “I need to talk to some people and get out there.”
Filing for the nonpartisan election ended on Monday. Whoever wins will have to run again in November for a full four-year term.
The Georgetown County Republican Club has invited the candidates to speak at its meeting on Feb. 28, said Karol Anderson, who chairs the county GOP.
The county Democrats are meeting remotely and have no plans to meet with the candidates. Marianne Mackey, who chairs the county party, said they will meet with school board candidates before the November election.
Both Tester and DuBose said if elected they will run again in November.
Ferdon-Anderson said if she wins in March, she will evaluate what the experience of serving on the board is like before deciding whether to run for re-election.
If she loses, she’ll take a look at her campaign to see what she could have done better and then maybe run again.
“I don’t have a definite answer either way,” she added.