Beaufort News

Beaufort County parent announces run for school board

A Beaufort-area resident and recent critic of the Beaufort County Board of Education is running for the school board seat vacated last month by former Chairman Bill Evans.

David Striebinger, a Beaufort County School District parent and board treasurer for The Disabilities Foundation of Beaufort, announced Friday on Facebook that he plans to run in an upcoming special election for the District 2 seat representing portions of Beaufort, Lady's Island and Fripp Island.

The seat has been vacant since Oct. 6, when Evans resigned in the wake of public outrage over Superintendent Jeff Moss changing a nepotism rule and approving the hiring of his wife, Darlene Moss. Reached last week, Evans said he hoped stepping down would allow a "dark cloud" to clear from the board so it could return to the business of schools.

Striebinger wrote that he wants the same, though with enhanced focus on transparency and oversight.

"All of us, community and board members, need to work together in order to support the goals of educating our county's children," he wrote.

Striebinger has spoken at several school board meetings since Sept. 21, when the board announced the resignation of Darlene Moss just days after her hiring for as an innovation director.

On that night, before dozens of residents, Striebinger asked the board to immediately address gaps in district leadership, arguing that Jeff Moss should have anticipated that approving the hiring of his wife might be interpreted as nepotism.

"Vision is an important part of leadership, and I heard Dr. Moss has vision. It should have been used in this situation, or we wouldn't all be here. This crowd wouldn't be here," he said. "Instead of moving to diffuse the situation by acknowledging the legitimacy of the concerns and perhaps acknowledging he's made mistakes, he's taken an arrogant and combative posture that only magnifies the situation."

On Friday, Striebinger formed a Facebook page for his campaign and wrote that he supports diligent oversight of the district administration.

"Although I am sure the current board wants to focus on this, there seems to be something hampering their ability to achieve this goal," he wrote.

Striebinger, who is retired, writes that he can contribute a strong management skill set with his more than 30 years of experience in contract development and financial and compliance management.

Beaufort County councilman Rick Caporale, who also has been a recent vocal critic of the school board, wished Striebinger luck on the campaign and thanked him for "stepping up to this challenge."

"Being right is not enough, but it's a good start," Caporale wrote.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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