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Superintendent of Education

Superintendent of Education

Montrio Belton Sr.:
*Married with 2 children.
*Served 8 yrs in the Army Reserves, reaching the rank of Sergeant (E-5).
*Graduate of Winthrop University with a Bachelors and Masters degree.
*Earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
*Currently, Dr. Belton is working on a law degree at University of South Carolina School of Law
*Has spent dearly 20 yrs as a public educator as a teacher, assistant principle, principle and South Carolina’s Director of
School Transformation.
*He founded the Urban and Rural Education Institute which focuses on educational policy analysis, government relations, professional
learning for teachers and administrators, virtual course offerings, and teacher placement in the math, science and special education

*Supports Common Core standards as a means of access to career and college standards.
*Opposes vouchers for private schools and home schooling, but supports choice for parents among public schools
*Supports examining and reforming the funding formula for public schools, eliminating inefficiencies and maximizing tax payer
dollars for the best education system South Carolina can have.
*Supports expanding 4K education
*Supports coordinating state and local resources to provide a crisis response team for all schools in dealing with tragic events, like
Sandy Hook and to combat bullying.
*Supports using the current South Carolina Teaching Standards evaluations in recruiting and retaining effective teachers and
and using them for evaluating current teachers.
*Rejects the idea that all that is needed to fix South Carolina’s education system is tossing more money at it.
*Supports keeping the Superintendent office as an elected position, rather than appointed.  He also believes it should be non-partisan.


Sheila C. Gallagher:
*Single with no children
*Graduated from Winthrop College
* Earned 3 Masters Degrees in Education from the following schools: University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina Greensboro
and Winthrop University.
*Retired middle and high school teacher after 30 yrs of teaching.
*Former President of the South Carolina Education Association

*Believes that the biggest problem with South Carolina schools is lack of funding.
*Believes we need to raise teacher’s pay by at lease 15%, but would like to see a 50% in order to make South Carolina the state with the
highest paid teachers.
*Supports reducing class sizes.
*Supports Common Core standards
*Supports expanding 4K education
*Favors a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics in our schools.
*Supports choice between public schools, but not outside the public school system.
*Supports Charter schools within the system.
*Believes that we need to reverse Act 388 that replaced property tax funding for schools with sales taxes.
*Supports keeping the Superintendent office as an elected position, rather than appointed.
* She has suggested that Parent/Teacher conferences be given the weight of a jury summons, so employers would be required
to allow employees take off the time from work and parents would have to explain to a judge why they didn’t attend.  This would,
according to Miss Gallagher, be one way to increase parent involvement in their child’s education, something sorely needed.
*Supports closing a number of the exemptions from sales tax to increase revenue for schools
*Calls for the legalization of marijuana and taxing it for education.  Claims that the state would have $188 million by taxing it and not
prosecuting and imprisoning users.


Jerry Govan:
*Married with 4 children
*Graduate of SC State University with a Bachelors of Arts
*Earned a Masters of Art in Teaching from SC State University
*Served in the United States Marine Corp
*Currently working on Education Specialist, Leadership and Administration from SC State University.
*Currently owns The Govan Insurance Agency
*Has served in various capacities in the Orangeburg Consoldidated School District, including Drop Out Prevention Coordinator, Literary
Consultant and Parent Educator
*Currently South Carolina Congressman for State House District 95, a position he has held since 1993.

*Believes that one of the major problems in South Carolina’s education system is reduced funds
*Believes that South Carolina has taken steps backwards in recent years with eliminating program like early childhood education,
dropout and truancy intervention.  He says that some of the priorities from Gov. Haley this year are addressing some of these
deficiencies, but there is still much work to do.
*Supports choice among public schools, but not outside the public school system.  Charter schools within the system is supported.
*Supports a overall reform to how we fund public education.
*Supports Common Core
*Opposes Act 388, says that the change from property taxes to sales tax has created an unstable funding source.
*Supports reducing the bureaucratic demands on teachers
*Supports expanding 4K education
*Supports keeping the Superintendent office as an elected position, rather than appointed.


Tom Thompson:
*Divorced with two adult children
*Graduate of University of Illinois with a B.S. in the Teaching of Mathematics
*Earned a M.Ed in Secondary Education with a specialty in Mathematics from the University of Illinois
*Earned a Ed D in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois
*Has over 40yrs experience working at various levels of education, from high school math teacher, high school assistant principle and
principle to University associate professor, professor and dean at various locations.
*Currently: PhD Specialization Coordinator, Walden University (online) Minneapolis, MN

*Supports Common Core standards
*Believes more stable funding is needed for South Carolina’s education system.
*Opposes Act 388 and would live to see it reversed.
*Supports school choice among public schools, but opposes it outside the public school system.
*Supports a reform to how we fund public education.
*Supports the expansion of 4K education.
*Supports keeping the Superintendent of Education an elected office, rather than an appointed one.
*Supports increasing teacher pay to levels that are competitive with neighboring states.
*Supports what he calls,”Birth to Kindergarten,” a plan that encourages a collaboration between parents, day cares, pre-k and beyond
to support the healthy development of our youngest children

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