Letter to the editor: Our district superintendent is moving in the right direction


There were decisions made as far back as 1995 that are currently affecting our children's education in Sumter County. Dr. William Wright is moving the school district in a positive direction to improve our school system for all of our children. I hope people with goodwill will support the superintendent and his new staff in making the necessary improvements. I pray people with their own agenda will tell the whole story and all the facts. Let us take a look at some of the facts surrounding R.E. Davis and the state of education in Sumter County.

In 1995, Sumter School District 2 purchased 20 acres of land off U.S. 378 with plans to build a new elementary school to replace Saint John elementary. During this time, Mayewood was a high school. District 2 then built Crestwood and Lakewood high schools, moving Hillcrest and Mayewood High School students to Crestwood and Furman High School students to Lakewood. District 2 then converted Furman, Hillcrest and Mayewood into middle schools. After consolidation of the two Sumter school districts, a decision was made to close Mayewood Middle and F.J. Delaine. The district then sold Edmunds High to Sumter County and Saint John to a nonprofit organization. These decisions were made some 30 years before Dr. Wright took over as superintendent. Dr. Wright inherited these decisions; now he has to move forward, not point out past decisions. At the back of the site of R.E. Davis was wetlands and a swamp not suitable for football or a track field. The board decided not to buy property bordering R.E. Davis. Dr. Wright saw and should have been clear to the school board that the children of R.E. Davis deserve the same opportunities and facilities as Bates, Furman, Ebenezer, Hillcrest and Chestnut Oaks middle school students. Since the property at Mayewood could accommodate the students at R.E. Davis, Dr. Wright made the right decision to provide all children with safe and sanitary facilities. Fact checkers, please correct me if I am wrong.

I would respectfully ask the school board and The Sumter Item to publish in The Item and online educational data for the last five years on the percentage of students receiving a high school diploma, the average SAT and ACT scores, the racial and income level at each school and academic grade given by the S.C. Department of Education Report Card. This will give the people a clear understanding of the state of education in Sumter County.

Let us all work together for our children. Sumter County economic development and prosperity depend on education and infrastructure.