FLORENCE, S.C. – The Fellows in Education program, designed to give business and community leaders a unique, behind-the-scenes look into Florence One schools, is preparing for its fifth year.
The program is a partnership between the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Florence One Schools and The School Foundation.
“Having our community leaders visit today’s classrooms allows a better understanding of how new technology is currently being used and how the students are adapting,” said Debbie Hyler, executive director of The School Foundation. “The foundation is proud to have the opportunity to showcase the numerous grants we have funded through the years allowing additional use of that technology.”
The chamber is enthusiastic about working with the foundation and district, said Mike Miller, president of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.
“To date, we have shared this nine-month experience with over 150 area leaders,” he said. “The purpose of the program is to create a community of educational ambassadors that can share firsthand knowledge of local student proficiencies and educator experiences.”
Florence One Superintendent of Schools Richard O’Malley said he is excited about the opportunities this program provides.
“The fellows program helps provide cohesive district-wide and community-wide communication and is re-energizing collaborations with our business community,” he said.
Organizers of the program say the ultimate goal of Fellows in Education is to create a large group of local leaders who will be able to collaborate with policymakers and community members in developing better education policies in the community.
“The chamber is proud to contribute to the development of better educational programs in the communities in which we all live and work,” Miller said.
An orientation meeting for the program was held Tuesday. The first of eight sessions will begin on Oct. 1, and sessions will be held thereafter on the first Tuesday of each month through the month of May at various Florence One schools.
Members of the three-way partnership have sought after a select group of approximately 28 community and business leaders whom they believe are civic-minded supporters of the need for expansion of local educational resources.