Education

A Hilton Head native is running for a seat on the Beaufort County school board

A “Vote” poster lies on the table at The Rotary Community Center at Oscar Frazier Community Park polling location located on Recreation Court on Tuesday morning as voters and poll workers approached the polling table.
A “Vote” poster lies on the table at The Rotary Community Center at Oscar Frazier Community Park polling location located on Recreation Court on Tuesday morning as voters and poll workers approached the polling table.

A Hilton Head native who grew up in the Beaufort County School District has announced she is running for a spot on the county's board of education.

Rachel Wisnefski announced Tuesday that she will seek the board's district 7 seat, which includes the Rose Hill, Island West and Hampton Lake neighborhoods in the greater Bluffton and Okatie areas, though she has not formally filed yet.

"Being that I was born and raised here, I have a lot of first-hand knowledge and experience of going through the school system, which I can bring to the board," Wisnefski said.

District 7 is represented by majority board member Evva Anderson, who says she has not yet decided if she will run again. Anderson ran as a write-in candidate in 2012 and was uncontested in 2014.

"What I want to see for our district is someone with as much passion and compassion as I have," Anderson said in a recent interview.

Seven of the board's 11 seats are up for grabs in the upcoming Nov. 6 election — four from the board's six-person majority and two from the board’s five-member minority bloc. So far, only two of the seven board members whose terms are ending — Joseph Dunkle and Cynthia Gregory-Smalls — have filed for re-election.

Rachel Headshot.png
Rachel Wisnefski

Wisnefski, 33, was born and raised on Hilton Head Island and is an alumna of Hilton Head Island High School.

She has followed the school board closely in recent years and has grown concerned about "the direction things have been going," she said.

"I want to make sure the school board and school district are ones that the county can have confidence in," she said. "... And I decided a long time ago that there needed to be some change in order to bring accountability and transparency to the board."

Wisnefski earned her PhD in public policy and administration and has worked as an educator and education consultant for the past 10 years.

She works as an adjunct professor at Park University in Beaufort and a consultant for an international online language program for kindergarten through sixth-grade students, according to her resume.

Wisnefski lives in Bluffton with her husband, Michael, and their three daughters.

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