CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The Horry County school board welcomed a new leader Monday, as Ken Richardson was sworn in as school board chair.
After about nine months without a permanent chair, Richardson now officially leads the board for Horry County Schools.
“I was brought up that when a prayer is answered, you say amen, so I’d like to say amen,” Richardson said after judge Larry Hyman swore him into office.
Richardson won the Republican primary in June and an uncontested election in November. He takes over for interim chair Neil James of district 10, who replaced former chair Joe DeFeo after his death in May.
Richardson has been to many meetings for HCS in the last six months, studying for his new job.
“I wanted to come in and not have to play catch-up,” he said. “I want to move the schools forward the best I can. I’m more concerned about the future than I am the past.”
Richardson says his first goal is to establish next school year’s budget.
“I promised the taxpayers, I want to raise your children, not your taxes,” he said. “I’m going to try to stick to that.”
One of Richardson’s campaign priorities was school safety and he says he hopes to get financial help from the state to deliver on a promise.
“I want to put a police officer back in every school in the county,” he said. “Now, of course, the governor’s on board with that too. He wants to do the same thing. We’re going to be getting together with (the governor’s office) and find out what their plan is for us.”
Helen Smith was the other new board member sworn in Monday. She represents district 6, which is most of Socastee. Five other returning members also took their oaths.
John Poston, who represents parts of Carolina Forest in district 8, was elected as the board’s vice chair.