Public gets to meet first candidate for Berkeley County Superintendent

VIDEO: Public gets to meet first candidate for Berkeley County Superintendent

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - In just a couple of days there will be a new leader of the Berkeley County School District. Wednesday afternoon, district employees and the community got a chance to meet one of the candidates. It's all part of a three day meet and greet.

"Every kid deserves an amazing education so they can pursue all of their hopes and dreams in life," said Dr. Jason Van Huekelum.

Van Heukelum is one of three candidates running to be the next leader of the district.

"It has been a great day in Berkeley County. I've really enjoyed my time at the schools," said Van Huekelum.

Many people living in the county also enjoyed their time meeting Heukelum. Like Denine Fleming. She drove an hour to come to the meet and greet.

"I will be here each day. I want to see someone who has strong, ethical leadership. I want to see someone who is concerned about all children," said Fleming.

"Obviously the kids are the future of this country. It's very important that they have a great education," said Mike Wilkerson, Principal at Berkeley County Middle School.

Van Heukelum is the Deputy Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools in Concord, North Carolina. He also served as principal at two high schools and was also a headmaster. His former boss is also a candidate for the position. Dr. Barry Shepherd retired earlier this month as Superintendent of Cabarrus County schools. He said he retired to spend more time with his family.

The third candidate, Dr. Rocky Killian, is Superintendent of West Lafayette Community School Corporation in Indiana. Before that he was Assistant Superintendent in St. John, Indiana.

"We are looking for a dynamic leader who puts children first. I believe they all impressed the board," said Kathy Schwalbe with the Berkeley County School Board.

"Ultimately the decision rests with us, but the communities input is extremely important to this school board," said Mac Mcquillin with the Berkeley County School Board.

"This is the most important role in our children's future and we all need to have a part in it," said Jane Pulling, a resident in Berkeley County.

Even though this was a chance for the public to get to know the candidates, the district would not allow the media to question Van Heukelum.

Thursday at 4:30pm, Dr. Killian will be at district headquarters in Moncks Corner for a meet and greet. Friday Dr. Shepherd will have his turn.

The board says two candidates were selected from Carrabus County, because it is similar to Berkeley County in terms of its growth and district operations. They plan to have a new leader chosen by Friday.

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