Tanya Robinson remembers going on a field trip with her son’s class when he was 7 years old.
Robinson said the teacher called out three students in the classroom who stood up, looking like they were about to cry, and were sent to another teacher’s classroom. They did not go on the field trip.
Robinson later asked the teacher why the three students were not allowed to go on the trip. The teacher said, “They didn’t have any money.”
Robinson felt bad that the three students had been called out in front of the entire class. Ever since she was a little girl she has always wanted to be a teacher – and she feels it is never right to “hurt a child’s spirit.”
“I always wanted to be a teacher and be an adult who made little kids feel good,” she said.
This year Robinson is up for reelection in Dorchester District Two’s school board election. She currently serves as secretary and legislative chairman for the board, and was elected to the board four years ago.
This is her second time running – and probably her last, she said.
“I wanted to accomplish certain things and I think it’s important to have a mixture of new and seasoned folks,” she said. “I was grateful there were seasoned folks when I was new because they brought a lot of help to me and a lot of experience.”
Robinson and her husband of 39 years, Kent, are two of the founders of Tidelands Bank, based in Mt. Pleasant. Robinson is one of the seven directors for the bank.
Prior to Tidelands, Robinson taught in Berkeley County for a year before she had children. She then became active in Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and has been a PTA president under seven principals. She also taught 4-year-old kindergarten at Bethany United Methodist Church for 20 years.
Robinson became the district’s PTA president 12 years ago and is now the president-elect for South Carolina’s PTA. She also serves on DD2’s finance and budget committees.
Since joining DD2’s school board, Robinson says she is a voice representing the parents at the table. “Parents have got to be included in the decision-making and I think I’ve brought that to the forefront,” she said.
This summer DD2 held an education series for parents to learn what their children are going to be learning in class this year. Robinson said she asked to have an education series, and that the sessions have been “a blessing” to the parents.
“Parents have to know what’s going in their children’s lives if they’re going to be proactive in helping their education,” she said. “If they don’t understand all these new standards, how can we be held accountable in helping their most priceless commodity?”
If she gets re-elected, Robinson would like to keep trying to involve parents more, and keep working with legislation in the community.
Robinson would also like to see the three new elementary schools once they are built.
“It would be a sense of great accomplishment to have that,” she said. “We’ve had bumps in the road, but you can’t build a back porch without having a few bumps. We’re building three edifices.”
Robinson and her husband have four children and 11 grandchildren. They have also had seven foster children live with them.
Robinson said DD2 is in a great community.
“We’re the best of the best,” she said, “and it’s an honor to represent the best of the best.”
With the three new schools being built, Robinson feels she should remain on the board in order to contribute to that mixture of new and seasoned members.
“I know I will be conscientious and try to do a good job,” she said.