Education

‘We’re wasting thousands of dollars’: Hilton Head man joins race for Beaufort Co. 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.

Eager to help the Beaufort County Board of Education regain public trust, a former educator and businessman has announced he will run in Nov. 6 election.

John Eddy, a Hilton Head resident who has spoken out against Superintendent Jeff Moss and the board members who support him, announced his decision to run for the District 8 seat on Tuesday, but has not formally filed yet.

The seat, which represents portions of Hilton Head Island and the Bluffton area, is held by Mary Cordray.

Cordray, a school choice advocate and supporter of Moss, said earlier this month that she had not decided whether she will run again.

“I think there needs to be a new voice on the board who represents all of the people in District 8 and not just a faction of it, as it is right now,” Eddy said in a recent interview.

Je Headshot.jpg
John Eddy

Eddy, 71, said he would like the board to provide more thorough oversight of the school district’s operating budget, which was approved at $241.3 million for the 2018-19 school year.

“We’re wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Eddy said, pointing to the cost of Moss’ exit package, the failed referendum in April and the “marriage counselor” the school board hired in January.

Eddy spent about 15 years as a teacher and principal at schools in Ohio and Colorado before working as a salesman and director at various education-related companies. He also served as the children’s youth and teens program administrator at U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Eddy lives in Hilton Head Plantation with his wife, Christine, and works part time as a tour guide on Hilton Head.

“(The board members) are there for a reason and that’s to help the kids,” he said. “But that’s not happening.

“So hopefully someone new, someone different, someone who says ‘let’s work together’ can help the board do that.”

At least three police reports were filed by Beaufort County Board of Education members in 2017. From insults hurled behind closed doors to verbal threats to a dead rat left on one member's doormat, here's a look back at the threats lodged among Be

Who else has filed?

Seven of the board’s 11 seats are up for grabs in the November election. As of Friday:

District 1: Seat held by board member Earl Campbell is up for election in 2020.

District 2: Longtime Lady’s Island resident Terry Thomas filed in April. Board member David Striebinger filed for re-election in July.

District 3: Board member Cynthia Gregory-Smalls filed for re-election in March. No one else has filed.

District 4: Board member Joseph Dunkle filed for re-election in July. No else has filed.

District 5: Two retired military men — Richard Geier and Ray Johnson — have filed to run. The seat is held by board member Geri Kinton, who said she plans to vacate when her term ends.

District 6: Seat held by board member John Dowling is up for election in 2020.

District 7: Hilton Head native Rachel Wisnefski and Bluffton father Chris Davey announced they are running for the seat this week. Board member Evva Anderson said she has not decided if she will run for re-election.

District 8: Former educator John Eddy announced in July he is running. Board member Mary Cordray said she has not decided if she will run again.

District 9: Seat held by board member Christina Gwozdz is up for election in 2020.

District 10: Peter Kristian, the manager of Hilton Head Plantation, filed for the seat in late June. Board member Bill Payne said he has not decided if he will run again.

District 11: Seat held by board member JoAnn Orischak is up for election in 2020.

Those interested in running for school board have until noon Aug. 15 to file for candidacy.

To find which board district represents you, visit https://bit.ly/2FyQiNW.

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