I felt compelled to run for SC House District 81 in order to make a positive change regarding the state’s education system, stagnant wages, and to return service to government. I grew up here in Aiken and attended East Aiken Elementary, Kennedy Middle, and South Aiken High Schools (go Thoroughbreds!).
In 2001, I earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the College of Charleston. After graduation I began graduate studies in Materials Science at Penn State, meeting my wonderful husband, Kevin, in the process. I moved back to Aiken after receiving a M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials.
I know the power of a dedicated, engaged teacher. No one can help steer the direction of your future like a teacher can. Unfortunately, we are losing teachers from our school district and from the profession from lack of resources and support. I am not quite sure where I would be or what I would be doing if not for my high school Chemistry teacher, Ms. Barton, and the support of my family. I want to increase our state’s support for public education in order to strengthen and grow our state’s economy.
While our opinions often differed, I was also influenced by Senator Strom Thurmond when I paged for him in high school. His commitment to service and his strong work ethic left a lasting impression on me. I want to return that level of public service to District 81.
I am now a principal engineer at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) where I study renewable energy. I serve as the Chair for the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Solar Council and am the immediate Past Chair for the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Biomass Council. I also serve on the City of Aiken’s Energy and Environmental Committee, responsible for Earth Day Aiken.
If you would like to learn more about me and why I am running, please listen to the podcast found here.
A second podcast update that can be found here.
If you are wondering if SC81 is your district, you can check out the House District 81 area map here.