Thursday, August 28, 2014
Two years ago Louis L. Smith learned the school board business is not a job to take lightly.
Smith is the sixth and final candidate in Dorchester District Two’s school board election. He ran in the election two years ago and though results did not work out in his favor, Smith comes back undeterred.
“It’s an awesome job and people in DD2 take their school board very seriously,” he said. “And they have their right because they have an excellent track record.”
Smith is a manager at Dixie Furniture in Charleston and is also founder of the Community Resource Center in Summerville. He is the father of three and also has three grandchildren.
Smith said he has a background in education, administration, business and counseling – skills he hopes to bring to the table if he makes it onto the school board.
Smith has several reasons to join the board, saying he likes the dynamics of DD2 and considers himself a visionary – a person of the 21st century. He said he would like to see students have more technological skills and quantitative thinking.
“I do consider myself a voice for the voiceless – the ones who want someone to be a good steward and move DD2 into the 21st century,” Smith said.
Smith would like to see DD2 develop better vocational skills within the schools. He said he is also “wary” when it comes to the federal government getting involved with local entities and would like to see DD2 move away from Common Core, saying “one size does not fit all.”
“I am not in favor of Common Core,” he said. “I believe we in the state should have our own guideline of excellence. I feel we can approach that intelligently.”
Because this is his second time running Smith feels people have gotten to know him better.
“I feel people in the educational field know who I am and know the work I can do in building some bridges,” he said.
One thing Smith would like to be a part of is seeing the new schools be successfully completed.
“I believe Bob Folkman (capital improvements facilitator for the district) is doing a great job in the construction process,” Smith said. “He has worked through those problems in a gentlemanly manner and DD2 should be proud.”
Smith has already been involved with issues within DD2; he said this year the Community Resource Center had a hand in naming two of the new elementary schools – Alston-Bailey and Sand Hill. The center has hosted three town hall-style meetings this year for the public, one involving DD2 Superintendent Joe Pye, to allow members of the public to ask questions and discuss issues.
“I have been involving myself into the issues of DD2 and feel we have accomplished a lot,” Smith said.
Smith said if he gets on board, he will be “hitting the ground running.” He said his campaigning experience has been very positive.
“I’m extremely humble with the response Team Louis has gotten,” he said. “I’m optimistic and ready to go in meeting the good people in DD2.”
Smith said education has always been “ a part of my being.”
“It’s always been a part of myself to give a voice to the voiceless and help with children,” he said. “At this stage in my life I’m able to get back to the community, especially working with the children.”