Retired US Army Colonel running for Lexington District Two School Board
South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) - Retired US Army Colonel Joseph “Chuck” Hightower is running for Lexington County School District Two's Board of Trustees. Colonel Hightower retired from the United States Army after 31 years of service.
Hightower has been married to his wife Deborah for 45 years and the couple have three grown children. One is a schoolteacher in Richland District 1, another is a clinical wellness director, and the third is a captain in the US Army Reserves. Hightower and his wife live in the Indian Rivers neighborhood just outside the Town of South Congaree.
After Hightower retired from the US Army, he went back to work at Moncrief Army Medical Center as a civilian employee. There he served as the chief of operations for 13 years. He also is a former adjunct professor for Webster University, a position he held for 11 years.
He has been deployed several times while serving and in 2003-2004 he and a fellow officer set up all Medical Operations for Operation Desert Storm during the invasion of Iraqi. During his military career he served as a company commander, battalion commander, a brigade commander, and was a G3 who answered directly to the surgeon general of the United States. His military and civilian accolades and awards are too many to mention.
Hightower doesn’t lack for education himself. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University, a master’s degree of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, a bachelor’s degree in education from South Carolina State University, and has attended and mastered numerous leadership courses in the Army and civilian sector.
“I want to be a champion for children,” Hightower said during a recent interview. “I also have a great concern for our teachers and want to serve as a voice for both the teachers and students ofLexington School District Two. Those two groups should be our number one concern.” He said that it is important that we have better schools for a better future and that he has a deep concern for all our children. “Lexington District Two is doing a good job, but we still have a lot to do,” Hightower stated.
Hightower also wants to make sure that the students of Lexington District Two are, “ready to meet the rigorous demands of the future.” He went on to say that S.T.E.M. education that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math skills are some of the most important things that can be taught in a modern education system and are definitely necessary to prepare students to live in the future. “I also want to see us anticipate and address issues like having the best technology, the best faculty, anticipated teacher shortages, and future facility needs before we have to deal with any shortcomings in these areas. We need to be ready for any problems that may arise before we encounter them,” Hightower continued. “More than anything, I want to spend time listening to our teachers. They are our frontline troops and are experiencing interaction with the students daily. What they say is very important when managing this school district,” he concluded.
“I have learned that we sometimes overlook special needs children from my wife who has taught these children for over 20 years,” Hightower stated. “We need to teach those students life skills that will help them to succeed as adults,” Hightower continued. “Whether they need to be taught basic math, how to balance a checkbook or handle a debit card, how to be a homemaker, or to deal with any other skills that will help them in their everyday life, these children don't need to be left behind. We could definitely improve in these areas.”
Hightower says he is impressed with the district’s Innovation Center and wants to continue to see the district optimize its use. “At that center students can learn cosmetology, firefighting, study to have a career in science and health, or become a carpenter, an auto mechanic, and many other things. All children are not necessarily geared to go on to college, so we need to continue to expand our offerings there to prepare them for life after high school.”
He also said he’d expand the district’s partnerships with nearby Midlands Technical College. “I would also like to expand our efforts to partner with local entrepreneurs in the area; these people that have already become successful. They have a lot to give back to our students and they are normally willing to share the secrets to their success.”
Colonel Chuck Hightower says that he would welcome the opportunity to speak with voters about his candidacy. You can reach him by telephone at (803) 740-6562. You can also email him at email@example.com.