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4 finalists named for new Sumter charter's executive director

All will visit Sumter next week for interviews

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 6/5/20

Sumter STEAM Charter School has been moving forward since it was officially approved six weeks ago as the first tuition-free public charter school in the county.

On Thursday, four finalists were named for the charter school's founding executive …

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4 finalists named for new Sumter charter's executive director

All will visit Sumter next week for interviews

Posted

Sumter STEAM Charter School has been moving forward since it was officially approved six weeks ago as the first tuition-free public charter school in the county.

On Thursday, four finalists were named for the charter school's founding executive director post, according to a news release. The executive director will function as the school's principal but have other duties, as well - including fundraising - because the charter is a nonprofit organization, charter Chief of Staff Trevor Ivey said.

The four finalists include three education leaders with experience with charter schools from out of the state and one public middle school assistant principal from Darlington.

The finalists are Vanity Jenkins of Dallas, Texas; Khalil Graham, also of Dallas; Kim Scott of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Michael Van Tyne from Darlington County School District.

Jenkins and Graham both currently work with Dallas-based Teaching Trust, which delivers training and support to transform public schools in Texas, according to the agency's website. The organization works in partnership with public school districts, charter school networks, universities and community organizations to strengthen schools and their leaders, Ivey said.

Jenkins is Teaching Trust's senior managing director and a veteran of Teach for America, according to Ivey. She holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a masters from Delta State University.

Graham is a program managing director with Teaching Trust. He has worked as a teacher and leader in charter schools in New York City, Houston, San Antonio and Washington, D.C., according to Ivey and the news release. Graham holds education degrees from the University of Richmond, Sacred Heart University and the University of Kentucky. Additionally, Graham has received an Urban School Leadership Certificate from Harvard University.

Scott currently serves as principal of Veritas Community Charter School in Charlotte. Scott holds education degrees from Lee University, North Carolina A&T State University and University of Phoenix, according to the release.

Van Tyne is currently an assistant principal at Darlington Middle School. Van Tyne holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York and education degrees from Francis Marion University in Florence and University of Phoenix.

The finalists will visit Sumter next week on Tuesday and Wednesday for interviews with Sumter STEAM Charter's Founding Board of Directors and a community reception, among other activities.

The board hopes to select an executive director by the end of June, Ivey said.

MORE ON SUMTER STEAM CHARTER

The charter school's original 11-member planning committee formally transitioned to a founding board of directors on May 18, according to another news release.

On April 16, the state Public Charter School District's six-member board, based in Columbia, unanimously approved Sumter STEAM Charter School's application to begin operations in fall 2021.

The school will start with kindergarten and first-grade levels and an estimated 144 students, expanding to further grades and more students in ensuing years.