In September 1963, we both were ushered into Ellen Bridges' first-grade class at North Augusta Elementary School. We were good friends then and are good friends today. Bill has always been a people person, but more importantly, he is a person for the people. He is a listener, a collaborator and a problem-solver -- all qualities we need in someone who will work for us in the South Carolina General Assembly.
I have been in education for 30 years -- a teacher and principal at Merriwether Elementary School, a district administrator in Edgefield and Aiken counties and currently superintendent in Saluda County, S.C. Bill values and supports public education. He believes our strongest resource in education today is our teachers -- and I agree wholeheartedly.
It is no secret that the education budget in South Carolina has suffered devastating cuts over the past two years. The budget cuts, which are the most severe of my career, have resulted in teacher and support positions being eliminated; loss of pay for employees in furlough days; and elimination of essential enrichment and remedial programs. Without proper funding our students will suffer.
Bill is committed to providing adequate funding for our schools so that we can retain quality teachers and programs. Additionally, he believes in holding us accountable, assuring the public that education will be kept to a high standard, and assuring our students that they will graduate from high school with the skills necessary to be productive citizens in the 21st century.
I encourage the citizens of House District 83 to vote for Bill Hixon on June 8. A vote for Bill is a vote for education.
David M. Mathis, Ed.D.
North Augusta, S.C.