Despite his move now to pursue a public charter school in Sumter County, private business leader Greg Thompson says he will continue to support Sumter School District.
That was evident Thursday at the Sumter Development Board's offices with two …
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That was evident Thursday at the Sumter Development Board's offices with two check presentations for a total of $85,000 to Interim Superintendent Debbie Hamm for this summer's district professional development conference.
As chairman of the Sumter Development Board, Thompson presented Hamm with a check for $35,000 on behalf of the board and the Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative. A main mission of the development board is to recruit new industry to the county and to work to satisfy existing industry's workforce needs and requirements.
Thompson also presented Hamm with a $50,000 check on behalf of his Thompson Family of Companies, which includes Thompson Construction Group, Thompson Industrial Services and Thompson Turner Construction.
It's the second consecutive year the Sumter Development Board and Thompson have reached out to support the district in hosting a professional development conference for district teachers and administrators, called E3.
Last year was the inaugural E3 Conference - which stands for Educate Your Mind, Empower Your Learning and Enrich Your Future - which had 500 attendees.
Thompson said he appreciated Hamm's leadership the last two years as the district's interim leader and noted the critical role of public education in economic development.
"The private sector is fully behind you," Thompson said. "We can't do economic development without the Sumter School District."
Hamm said she was grateful for the support and said last year's E3 event is one of the main highlights of her two-year term with the district because it showed that the community was behind the district's teachers.
"The essential thing for us is to have great teachers in our classrooms," Hamm said, "and we received great comments back from last year's conference. They said, across the board, it was one of the best professional learning opportunities that they have ever had, and they felt so appreciated."
This year's E3 Conference will be June 11-13 in Sumter and include a downtown block party for attendees hosted by local private-sector business and industry.
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