2 new DD2 board members share future plans, visions following election

Cynthia Powell and Kellie Bates are the newest board members for Dorchester School District Two.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:21 PM EST
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Two new members will be joining Dorchester School District Two’s board in the next couple of weeks after the election, and they have revealed what they plan to focus on over the next four years.

Cynthia Powell and Kellie Bates are the newest board members for Dorchester School District Two.

Powell is 37-year veteran educator, who taught ancient history and Language Arts, and wants to cut into the shortages the district is suffering.

“We, as educators, have never been paid what we are truly worth,” Powell said. “Then, along with that, we need to work on the discipline problems that sometimes motivate teachers to just say, ‘I’ve had enough.’”

Bates is a parent who has been involved in her children’s education in Dorchester School District Two.

She said her main goals include improving student safety, student discipline and increasing transparency.

“I think school safety is on the heart of everybody in our community,” Bates said. “I think it’s really important. As a parent, I want to know I can send my kids to school, and that they’re safe.”

Powell is the first African American elected to sit on the board in over 10 years.

She believes she can bring a fresh perspective for an ever growing and diverse district.

“I believe when God created us in multiple colors, he intended for us to be seen as we are,” Powell said, “so sometimes, you may think you understand the perspective of someone of a different ethnicity when you really don’t.”

Bates, meanwhile, said she wants to tighten up the district’s finances, adding the board needs to be accountable for how they spend money.

“I think with the new superintendent coming in, it’s really important to take a deep dive in our finances,” Bates said. “The way we’ve been spending our money and ensure we’ve been doing it responsibly in a way that honors our community and serves our students.”

Powell and Bates will be sworn in during the board’s next meeting on Nov. 28. Both have also worked as substitute teachers in the district prior to their election.