Education is the key. We’ve all heard that. The key to a better life, a better community, and a better economy. As a scientist, I never expected (or aspired) to run for political office, but events of the past 18 months have led to me to question the world around me and to open my eyes to some stark realities and uncomfortable truths: like how South Carolina schools are ranked last in the nation and how our schools are currently funded under pre-recession levels and that many school districts had to sue the state in order to obtain “minimally adequate” education for their children. I am a mother of 5th grade twins, and someone who attended Aiken County Public Schools. I was happy with my education and my teachers. In fact, I remember thinking that my Elementary School, East Aiken, was the greatest place on earth. I am someone who turned the key of education and watched a door of opportunity open up in front of me. I am asking you to help me take this message to Columbia and remind our legislature that to hide from the statistics does nothing but keep the door of opportunity locked for our children and our economy. It is time to step up, time to take responsibility for our actions and for our inaction. I have decided to hold myself accountable, and venture out from my safe, warm bubble and confront these uncomfortable truths – and I am asking you to join me, for the sake of our children. Join me in making education a priority, and through that, enhancing our communities and strengthening our economy. Thank you for your support.