The Charleston Forum To Host Virtual Forum To Discuss Electing Qualified Tri-County School Boards In 2022

September 23, 2022

Charleston, S.C. – The Charleston Forum will host a two-part virtual forum to discuss the qualities of an effective school board member. The November 2022 School Board Elections in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties will shape education policy in our region for years to come. In the Charleston County School District, every school board position will be on the ballot.

The online panel discussions will be held via Zoom at 12:00 pm on Thursday Sept. 28 and Friday Sept. 29. The Thursday panel will feature experts and advocates in the field of education. The second panel on Thursday, Sept. 29 will feature educators from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Register for the free panels at this Eventbrite link.

The participants in the 1st Panel to meet at 12 noon on Thursday Sept 28th include:

● Moderator Neil Robinson is a lawyer at Nexsen Pruet law firm. He chairs the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee, an independent, nonpartisan group made up of educators, business people, and elected officials appointed by the legislature and governor to enact the South Carolina Education Accountability Act. Robinson is the founder and Past President of the Charleston Education Network.

● Joan Robinson-Berry is Vice President and Chief Engineer for Boeing Global Services. She has previously served as Vice President and General Manager for South Carolina operations of the Boeing Company. Joan was recognized in 2019 by Black Enterprise as one of the most Powerful Women in Corporate America. She serves on a number of community boards, with a particular focus on STEM and improving education outcomes. She serves on the board of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative.

● Jamie Devine is president of the South Carolina School Board Association which serves the 73 public school districts in SC. It is a non-profit organization that supports the four major roles envisioned for all of the nation’s school boards: vision, basic structure, accountability and advocacy. He leads the SCSBA staff work in support of all phases of a school district superintendent search.

● Ted Dintersmith is a Charleston resident, and has been a General Partner of the Charles River Ventures which has raised over $4.3 billion in venture funding. More recently he has been an advocate for education priorities; the producer of the award-winning film "Most Likely to Succeed” and the top-selling education book, "What School Could Be.” He leads a community platform ( supporting vitally-needed innovation at the school, district, and state level.

The Participants in the 2nd Panel to meet at 12 noon on Friday Sept 28th include:

● Moderator Hillary Flynn is the Education Lab Editor at the Post and Courier, investigating inequities and solutions in South Carolina's schools.

● Shameka Washington, Ed.S is the Principal of Goose Creek High School. Her experience includes over 17 years as a social studies teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Goose Creek. She has a Bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University, a Master of Arts from Winthrop University and a Master of Secondary Education Administration from Charleston Southern University.

● Heather Ducker is Principal of Sedgefield Middle School in Goose Creek, SC. She served as an academy coach at Goose Creek High for one year, and then as an assistant principal for four years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Government from College of Charleston and a Master of Education, from the University of South Carolina.

● Andretta Manning is a Sixth Grade Math Teacher and Grade Level Chair at Simmons-Pinckney Middle School. She has served in the capacity of Parent Educator, Title 1 Coordinator, and School Improvement staff member. She has lived and served in several South Carolina communities with her husband The Rev. Eric Manning, who is currently the Pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, SC.

● The Rev. Rhonda D. Heyward serves as a Literacy Interventionist at E. B. Ellington Elementary School in Ravenel, SC and is pastor of St. Phillip African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, S.C. She has a BA degree in sociology from Voorhees College, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and is seeking a Doctor of Ministry from Erskine Theological Seminary.

About The Charleston Forum

Born out of the tragedy at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, The Charleston Forum began in 2016 as a group of local political, business, educational and religious leaders who wanted to provide an opportunity to share perspectives on issues of race and proposals to address those issues across many different topic areas. Along with panels throughout the year, The Forum hosts its annual event each June as part of the Mother Emmanuel commemoration and has welcomed over 40 local and national speakers and more than 1,800 guests.