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Cary elected to serve out term in District Three special school board election

Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) Sonya Winstead Cary won a seat yesterday on the Lexington County School District Three’s Board of Trustees. She prevailed by taking a total of 348 votes according to figures released by the Lexington County Election Commission late Tuesday night. 268 of the votes came from the Lexington County portion of the area and 80 were votes from the Saluda County portion of the district. This was a special election for the seat left open when Lancer Shull became the mayor of Batesburg-Leesville in November of 2017.

Cary, a retired school teacher who currently is a substitute in Lexington District One, is one of four who had filed for the single seat. She has lived in the area her entire life. She says she has the best qualifications after teaching for more than 36-years. She has taught from primary school through college level courses and has a list of certifications that would take an entire page to print.

Her children are all graduates of Lexington Three, and she said during a recent interview with The Ledger that she believes in opportunities for all students, no matter their age. She is not only interested in working with students K-12 but has some good ideas about things like Night High School for earning a diploma and transportation for Adult Ed students to make it easier for them to get to school after working to earn a living.

She also believes in transparency and accountability and would like to see the district live-stream its meetings so people who can’t attend meetings in person can see what the administration is doing from wherever they are. She wants all teachers' salaries released to the public, something that’s now only required of state employees who make in excess of $50,000 per year.

As a teacher, Cary is very pro-teacher. She is worried about teacher shortages now and in the future. She’d like to focus on a number of ways to make teaching a career that’s not so draining and has a number of plans already in mind for doing this. She also wants the district to build a dedicated career center that offers courses in building trades and things like auto mechanics. This allows students to graduate with a marketable trade or skill that pays a living wage, and sometimes more than a college educated employee. She’d like to see that center's offerings expanded to a number of more technical careers as well. Currently some trade classes are in place, but there’s not a single place a student can go for these courses like the larger districts have.

Cary had three other running against her in this race. They were Eddie Cogdill who took 225 votes, Jermain Barr who won the support of 325 voters, and Will Black who received 57 votes.

Sonya Winstead Cary

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