Name: Frank Holleman
Political party: Democrat
Years living in area: I was born in South Carolina, grew up here, attended and graduated from public school and college here, and have lived and worked here during my adult life. I have lived out of state for approximately 11 years over the course of my life, in graduate school and government service, but have essentially spent my entire life in South Carolina.
Family: Anne and I have been married for 34 years. We have three children. Our youngest, Anna, entered Clemson this fall as a freshman.
Education: Seneca High School (Seneca, S.C. 1972) ; Furman University (B.A. 1976) ; Harvard Law School (J.D. 1979) ; London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc. 1981).
Current occupation/employer: Attorney, Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, P.A.
Previous employment: U.S. deputy secretary of education and chief of staff to Secretary Richard W. Riley, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.; deputy assistant attorney general, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; law clerk, U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.; law clerk, Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Baltimore, Md.
Military history: None listed
Volunteer history: Board chairman, Graduate Greenville; community partnership of the United Way, the School District, and the Alliance for Quality Education to increase the high school graduation rate; former board chairman and board member, Alliance for Quality Education. Greenville United Way; former board chairman, member, School Readiness Council; former chairman, Community Impact Cabinet; former chairman, Success by Six; former member, Community Partners Committee for a Community Impact Agenda; former board member, United Way of South Carolina; former board member, Voorhees College (historically black college in Denmark); board member and former chairman, board of visitors, University Center, a higher-education collaborative of eight institutions (Clemson, USC Upstate, University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina, Lander, S.C. State, Furman and Greenville Tech); former member, Education Plan Review Committee, Greenville County School District ; former chairman, education committee, Vision 2025, Greenville Chamber of Commerce; Furman University -- organizing advisory committee, Richard W. Riley Institute; advisory committee, Lily Center for Theological Exploration of Vocation; advisory committee, Center for Education Policy and Leadership, Richard W. Riley Institute; member, Ernest J. Walters Endowment Committee; Presbyterian elder and formerly member of the Session, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC; president, Naturaland Trust (land trust dedicated to protecting South Carolina's mountains); spokesperson for Conservation Organizations for the Stumphouse Mountain and Issaqueena Falls Protection Project (a project in Oconee County); past president and board member, Friends of the Reedy River; immediate past advisory board chairman and advisory board member, Audubon Society of South Carolina.
Public elected offices: None
Any unsuccessful political campaigns: None
Other political and government experience: Vice chairman of board of trustees and board member, South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness; member, K-12 Education Expert Panel and member, advisory committee of the U.S. Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office; member, Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance; chairman, Education Transition Subcommittee, Transition Committee of Governor-elect Jim Hodges; chairman, S.C. Democratic Party (1988-1990); manager, Inez Tenenbaum for U.S. Senate (August to November, 2004).
Endorsements received: Most education groups do not formally make public political endorsements. However, I have broad support among leading teachers, principals and superintendents across South Carolina. I have been endorsed by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina. Former Governors Dick Riley and Jim Hodges and former Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum also support my candidacy.
S.C. Ethics Commission statement of economic interests: None reported as of March 25
Campaign money raised: $400,632 raised this election cycle as of July 9
1. Why should people vote for you?
I oppose tax credit vouchers; my opponent supports them. I support early childhood education; my opponent opposes 4-K expansion. I want South Carolina to win a $175 million Race to the Top grant; my opponent opposes us even trying. I attended South Carolina's public schools, served as Dick Riley's Deputy Education Secretary and helped start S.C. First Steps. My opponent did not attend South Carolina public schools and has never taught or worked in a public school organization.
2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them?
We must continue to reform our high schools and middle schools to connect them more closely with business, our technical and community colleges and our universities. Students must have the knowledge and skills to succeed in a fiercely competitive 21st-century economy. We must increase our graduation rate and the excellence of our graduates. I chair a community graduation initiative and would promote community, involvement and instruction that recognizes students' different ways of learning.
High quality early childhood education is our best investment. My opponent opposes the expansion of kindergarten for 4-year-olds. I believe early childhood education helps children excel, closes the achievement gap, and yields more high school graduates and successful citizens. I have led efforts in the United Way and the business community to support early childhood. I would seek private support and grants and encourage public funding for early childhood education for children who need it.
We must support our teachers and principals. They need the freedom, time, resources, research and data to see that the children in their individual schools succeed to their full potential. Each school should be a professional learning community with an able faculty and led by a talented principal. I would work to reduce bureaucracy, unnecessary testing, paperwork, and all other distractions that hinder the ability of our teachers to teach and our principals to lead.
3. What other issues do you see as important?
High quality public education must be South Carolina's top priority. The Legislature must provide stable, adequate, and equitable funding; business must recognize quality public education as our leading jobs and economic development strategy; citizen groups must treat public schools as centers of community; parents must be involved in their children's education; and students must take responsibility for their learning. The superintendent must be a leading advocate for high quality -- not minimally adequate -- public education.
4. What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
As superintendent, I want to hear the advice of teachers, principals, parents, students and community members. I will gather representative groups to hear their ideas and suggestions. I will attend community forums around the state. I will continue to advance the presence of the department on the Internet, so that citizens have ease of access to information. The superintendent also should promote the dissemination of accurate data concerning education in South Carolina.
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
7. Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
I was born in South Carolina, graduated from SC's public schools, and went to college here. I am the only major candidate who attended South Carolina's public schools. My wife and our children are graduates of South Carolina's public schools. I have spent my adult life, other than government service, in South Carolina working in education, civic groups and business to improve our community. In 2004, I received the first Jesse Coles Early Childhood Education Award.