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      Darlington County has new school superintendent

      In a special called board meeting Monday night, the Darlington County Board of Education voted 5-3 to hire Dr. Edward Ingram as the school district's new superintendent. Ingram replaces Dr. Rainey Knight who is retiring after 14 years.

      "We are excited to have Dr. Ingram join our district," said Warren Jeffords, Chairman of the Darlington County Board of Education. He says, "We began with more than 35 candidates, which we narrowed to eight, then the four finalists before finally choosing Dr. Ingram. It was an extensive vetting process that has resulted, I believe, in our selecting the best candidate for the job. Dr. Ingram comes from a school district very similar to ours and has dealt with many of the same challenges and projects we face. He shares many of our values and aspirations for our children and our schools. Our principals, teachers, and support staff overwhelmingly endorsed his selection. I believe Dr. Ingram will do well in our schools and for our district, leading us to a bright future."

      Ingram, who has 32 years of education experience, comes to Darlington County from the Franklin County School District in North Carolina where he served as its superintendent and was responsible for all aspects of its operations and instructional programming, according to a press release from the board of education.

      Under Dr. Ingram's leadership, the Franklin County School District saw an 8% increase in graduation rates and a 1.5% reduction in the dropout rate. Two of his high schools moved from state "Turnaround Status" to "Schools of Distinction," and another school, with the highest and fasted growing Hispanic population, showed a 12% improvement in academic achievement. He also worked with Novozymes, a bio technical company located in his district, to form a partnership to support science, technology and math education (STEM) at the schools, according to the press release..

      The school board is negotiating contract terms and a start date with Dr. Ingram. Dr. Knight has agreed to remain with the district for a time after Dr. Ingram starts in order to facilitate a smooth transition, according to the board of education.