Executive director of the S.C. Education Oversight Committee JoAnne Anderson, Florence 4 Superintendent Valerie Harrison, and State Department of Education official Susan Durant are among individuals scheduled to testify the week of February 9 as the education adequacy trial resumes in Manning. The trial, which began in July of 2003, is being held at the Clardenon County Courthouse.
Superintendent Valerie Harrison of Florence 4 will be the first witness to testify next week. Ms. Harrison will be the sixth school district superintendent to testify in the case. Following Ms. Harrison’s testimony, Alice Johnson will take the stand. Ms. Johnson is the principal at Brockington Elementary School in Florence 4.
After the witnesses from Florence 4, Susan Durant of the State Department of Education will testify about special education offerings in South Carolina. Her testimony is expected to be followed by the completion of the testimony of Kim Tiedemann, a teacher specialist for Orangeburg 3's Holly Hill-Roberts High School, and John Suber, director of the State Department of Education office that coordinates placement of top-performing teachers in underperforming schools. Each appeared during the trial's January session.
Vicky Kirby, currently a principal leader in Orangeburg 3, is also expected to testify next week. Ms. Kirby will testify regarding her experiences in Lee County, where she served as a principal leader from 2001-2003. As a principal leader, Ms. Kirby acts as a mentor to school principals.
Lawyers for the plaintiff school districts plan to end the week with the testimony of JoAnne Anderson. Dr. Anderson is the Executive Director of the S.C. Education Oversight Committee, an independent, nonpartisan group made up of educators, business people, and legislators who have been appointed by the legislature and governor to monitor the implementation of the South Carolina Education Accountability Act of 1998.
Other witnesses who have already taken the stand in the trial include state senators, business leaders, and State Department of Education officials.