Beaufort News

Washington to continue to lead Beaufort County school board

Fred Washington Jr. of Beaufort will continue to serve as chairman during his second term on the Beaufort County Board of Education after a vote Tuesday.

George Wilson of Okatie will replace former board member Bob Arundell as vice chairman, and Laura Bush of Bluffton will continue as secretary.

"I think our leadership in the past four years, or at least the two years I've been involved, has been outstanding and I think we need to continue that," said board member Wayne Carbiener, who nominated all three officers in one motion.

His motion passed on a 9-1-1 vote, with Michael Rivers abstaining and the newly elected Bill Evans opposing. Evans said he voted against it because he thought each candidate should have been considered individually rather than as a slate.

Washington, who has served as the board's chairman since 2007, said he is honored to keep the position. However, he warned his colleagues he intends to challenge the board to become more engaged with parents and residents in the next few years, as well as work more closely with various partner organizations.

"I want you to know if I am elected, there will be many assignments," he said.

The seven board members elected in November were sworn in Tuesday, including three new members:

  • Steven Morello, a local business owner with two children in Hilton Head schools, replaced Joan Deery to represent Hilton Head Island's District 1.
  • Julie Bell, Beaufort County's membership director for Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina who has children in local schools, replaced Arundell to represent Hilton Head Island's District 2.
  • Evans, who spent 24 years as a principal and administrator in the Beaufort County School District until he retired last year, replaced Jim Bequette to represent Lady's Island District 7.
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