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Talley presented with "Champions for Public Education" Award

Batesburg-Leesville, SC - At the June 12th meeting of the Lexington County School District Three Board of Trustees, Mrs. Joan Talley was presented with the South Carolina School Boards Association’s “Champions for Public Education” Award. Wesley Hightower, President of the SCSBA, was on hand to give the award.

Mrs. Talley has made it her life mission to put books into the hands of students across the state. In fact, over the past few years, she has provided more than 49,000 books to students in Lexington School District Three, Edgefield County School District, Sumter School District, Allendale County School District, Greenwood School District 51, Saluda County School District, and McCormick County School District.

Dr. Randall Gary, Superintendent of Lexington County School District Three, said of Mrs. Talley’s pilgrimage to deliver books: "Mrs. Talley has proven to be a blessing to thousands of students through her selfless commitment and dedication. Her giving has not only helped build classroom libraries and reading nooks, but has allowed students to take books into their homes as well. She has truly exhibited the qualities of servant leadership at its finest."

Mrs. Talley, who resides in Columbia and does not have children or grandchildren in any of the districts that she has donated to, personally selects and purchases books from Salvation Army collections. She then cleans the books and provides a label for each one denoting the Lexile reading level. Then, she delivers the books to each district, having totaled more than 1,000 miles throughout the years and potentially reaching more than 28,000 students.

To receive the award, recipients must meet the following criteria: ● show leadership in support of ongoing or special programs authorized by the school board ● demonstrate, through actions, pride for the school district and effectively work for the betterment of the schools in the district as a whole, or for public schools statewide ● understand public education’s importance to a democratic society and actively inspire support for quality public schools within the community or state ● make a difference for the entire school district or schools statewide

Congratulations Mrs. Talley!

Pictured from left to right are Superintendent Dr. Randall Gary, Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Gariane Gunter, Mrs. Joan Talley, Mr. Wesley Hightower (President of the SCSBA), and Board of Trustees member Cheryl Burgess.

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