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'We need a variety of people to be on that board': Four new members elected to Sumter School Board

Daniel Palumbo, Brittany English, Tarah Johnson, and Jeff Zell are the four newly elected board members to represent Sumter districts.

SUMTER, S.C. — The unofficial results are in for Sumter County’s school board. 

Four new members were elected in yesterday’s runoff election, including Tarah Johnson.

"I think bringing in those fresh perspectives is critical," Joyhnson said about why she ran. "It’s critical to the success of our Sumter community, it’s critical to the success of our students..."

In Tuesday’s runoff election, Daniel Palumbo was one of the other new board members to be elected.

"We need a variety of people to be on that board to become a team and to in this case make Sumter better," Palumbo shared.

To do that, Palumbo tells me he hopes to focus on student discipline and teacher retention while serving on the board.

"We have the greatest teachers here. I know we do. And we’ve just got to be there to support them," he started. "We want to build our reputation to say 'Come here. We have the best schools and we’re the best in the state."

Incumbent Shawn Ragin won re-election on Nov. 8. He says it’s not about the people who serve necessarily, but about the mindset they bring.

"We have to all think together, work together and make sure that we’re there for the number one cause. And that’s for the betterment of Sumter School District," Ragin elaborated. "We have to look forward to what we can do together with our new board in place to push this district to the next level."

To accomplish that goal, Sumter resident Lameshia Dennis believes communication is key.

"It would be nice if there was a way for the schools and the school board to interact more with the parents," she said. It would be nice if there was more of a cohesion between the two."

This is something Johnson says she’s aware of.

"It does involve making certain that we’re in front of the parents, we’re in front of the community on an ongoing basis," Johnson said. 

Palumbo is excited for this opportunity, he tells me. 

"I can't wait to talk to parents, I can’t wait to talk to the teachers, and start implementing different changes that makes everybody’s lives better," Palumbo shared.

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