Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Lexington area resident Chris Rice has filed to run for Lexington County School District One's Board of Trustees. He lives with his family in the River Bluff attendance zone. Rice ran once before in the 2018 election, but was edged out by Jada Garris who claimed the seat.
Rice is a mechanical engineer at DAK Americas, formerly known as the Carolina Eastman plant in Calhoun County. He and his wife have two children, both of whom are or were students at Lexington One schools. The couple have a daughter who graduated River Bluff in 2018 and is a student at the USC Honors College in Columbia. She is studying both public health and public policy. Their son is in the ninth grade at The College Center in Gilbert.
Rice said recently that he thought his skills at moderating opposing sides could be beneficial to the leadership of Lexington District One. “I think the school board would be a good place for me to serve,” he said during a recent interview. “I feel as if one of my strong points is looking at both sides of a coin and helping to unite people and groups who are having difficulty getting along. There seems to be a great deal of division on the school board and in the community that board represents right now,” Rice continued. “For some time, I didn’t realize that School District One had such a diverse population. I believe when citizens who live in the River Bluff or Lexington attendance areas cross I-20 and travel into the more rural areas of the district, they can sometimes be shocked at just how different our students and families are. Because the population is so diverse, there seems to be hard feelings stemming from a feeling of inequitable treatment that has existed for some time. I’d like to think I could help moderate between these different groups. Hopefully, at some point we could soothe some of the hard feelings and bring about more trust in the district’s staff and the school board,” Rice concluded.
Rice uses the acronym SHAPE to sum up the priorities he’d like to work toward with the other members of the school board if he’s elected to serve.
The S stands for an emphasis in STEM education in all schools. STEM itself is an educational acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These are areas of study that the US Department of Education has made a priority because the fastest-growing career fields worldwide require employees that are well educated in these studies.
The H in his acronym stands for a high-quality education for all students no matter their zip code. Once again, this goes back to the issue of providing an equitable distribution of resources so that all students in District One receive the same quality of education no matter where they live.
The A stands for accountability and transparency. Rice believes that each board member should be held accountable to all the constituents of the district, not just to the citizens of the attendance areas they live in. He also firmly believes that the district should be transparent in everything it does so that all taxpayers feel included in the decision-making process at Lexington School District One.
The P stands for prioritizing safety in schools. Rice said that students cannot learn and staff members cannot teach if they do not feel safe in schools. He would like safety to be the district’s top priority at all times.
Finally, the E stands for empowering the teachers at Lexington School District One. He would like to see all teachers have the power to maintain order in their classrooms and teach in a manner best suited for their students at any given moment.
If you would like to find out more about Chris Rice you can call him at (803) 476-2256. You can also follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/criceforlex1/.