By Heather Ruppe
Colleton County residents who live in Districts 2, 4, and 6 have a choice to make in who will they vote onto the Colleton County School Board.
These three seats – 2, 4, and 6 – are up for re-election on the school board. They mostly represent the greater parts of Walterboro.
These three school board seats will be on the ballot in the upcoming November 8th election.
Anyone wanting to run for these open school board has had about two weeks to file. That filing period closed at noon on Friday, August 10th.
Now, there are five new people and one incumbent who have chosen to run in this election.
They are: Wayne Shider, who is running for District 6; Lynn Carter Stroble, who is running for District 6; Anna Bright, who is running for District 4; Craig Stivender, who is running for District 4; incumbent William Bowman, who is running for District 4; and Daryl Erwin, who is running for District 2.
Shider and Stroble will face each other for District 6. The current District 6 school board member, Harry Jenkins, is not running again for this seat, citing health reasons.
Bright will face Stivender and current District 4 school board member William Bowman: Bowman is a longtime school board member and is also the current chairman of the school board.
Erwin has no competition for District 2. The current school board member for District 2 is Tim Mabry. However, Mabry cannot run again for this district because he no longer lives in District 2. According to Mabry, the new school board lines released earlier this year changed District 2’s geography and Mabry’s current address is outside of those new lines for District 2. Based on the new lines, Mabry now lives in District 3.
Meet the Candidates
Daryl Erwin – District 2
Daryl Erwin is running for District 2 on the Colleton County School Board.
He is a 45-year-old Walterboro native who currently works as a computer technician for the Dorchester District Four School District, in St. George. He is also the pastor of Cottageville Baptist Church. Previously, he worked in the local technology department at the Colleton County School District.
“We have to have something better for Colleton County than what we have now,” he said. “Our kids, our parents, our staff … everybody deserves better than what is happening now in our schools and within our district.”
If elected, Erwin said he wants to focus on improving staff morale. He also wants to focus on improving the work atmosphere within the district, including the district’s administrative office.
Anna Bright – District 4
Anna Bright is running for District Four on the Colleton County School Board.
Bright, 66, is a Walterboro resident and a Colleton County native. She is also a retired educator: Bright served as a school teacher more than 40 years in Colleton County and in nearby Dorchester District Four.
She came out of retirement last year, in 2021, to be a part-time teacher at the Colleton Academy for Success. This is the alternative school program for the Colleton County School District. Bright is returning this year to the alternative school, where she will teach part-time.
“Having had 40 years of experience, I feel I know what students and teachers need,” she said. “This is something I have always wanted to do. It’s a lifelong goal.”
If elected, Bright said she wants to focus on retention of teachers.
Craig Stivender – District 4
Craig Stivender is running for District 4 on the Colleton County School Board.
Stivender, 39, is a certified law enforcement officer and fireman. He is currently an arson investigator with the Walterboro Fire Department. Stivender is also a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Cottageville Baptist Church.
“Over the past few years, I have been attending the school board meetings and I don’t like the direction our district is taking on behavioral issues and the level of education that our kids are getting. I also see the issues that our leadership has,” he said.
Stivender has two children who are in the local public school system. Their third child was removed from the Colleton County School system because of their lack of satisfaction with Colleton County Middle School, he said.
“We need good people to step up to the plate and change this board. It’s time for some new ideas and new blood,” said Stivender.
William Bowman – District 4
William Bowman is currently representing District 4 on the school board. Bowman has represented District 4 on the school board since 2018. He is a local small business owner and a professional volleyball officiant and referee.
As an incumbent, Bowman said he decided to run again because he wants to continue in his original campaign promises. “I want to be a representative of all people in District 4,” he said. “I believe I’ve done that so far, and I want to continue on the promises I made in 2018 and make sure our students grow … I want to create a school system that is actually going to help our students. There is an old saying, ‘The progression of every state is in the education of its youth.’ That’s one of the reasons I chose to run for school board again, to make sure all students rise to educational proficiency.”
Bowman also said that the school board has also already made progress academically to help boost the economy and to educate the local work force. “I want to show the community that I can be a representative to all people, especially the people of District 4,” he said.
Wayne Shider – District 6
Wayne Shider is running for District 6 on the Colleton County School Board. He is a former elected member of the Colleton County School Board, and served for more than 30 years for District 6 before being defeated by current District 6 incumbent Harry Jenkins. At 62 years old, Shider is now a retired government service worker. He is also currently self-employed as a realtor and tax-repair specialist. When asked why he is running again for the school board, Shider said he wants to run again because of the “current climate” within the school district.
“With my experience, and skill set, it was time for me to seek the board again,” he said. “It’s also my strong desire to assist in the transformation of our school district, from the front lines. I don’t want to hear about this second-hand. I want to assist the district into transforming into something where student achievement goes up, where our schools are safe and to reassure the stakeholders that it’s important for us to all be a part of the decision-making in the district. We must all work together.
“All of our students should be able to move to a higher level. We also need to build trust upon the public again, having a positive relationship with everyone,” he said.
Lynn C. Stroble – District 6
Lynn Stroble is running for District 6 on the Colleton County School Board.
Stroble, 59, is a retired Colleton County school teacher and a retired administrator from the local school district. Since her retirement, she has continued to serve as a voluntarily supporting teacher for many different schools in Colleton County. She has also helped with POLARIS, a charter school in the Lowcountry. As a former teacher and administrator, Stroble says she decided to run for the Colleton County School Board because her grandchildren are going to be future students in our public schools.
“I should be able to see my grandchildren receive a positive public-school education,” she said, adding that the school board should have elected leaders on it who are educators.
“Our country should be a place where we want to see our children go to school,” she said. “Our schools should be a family, a place where we want to go to work and where we know we have a family support. “I’ve been on my knees praying a lot, and this is something I am being led to do.”