Columbia, S.C. – At the December 14, 2021 meeting of the State Board of Education, Georgetown County School District’s Alan Walters was sworn in as the chair of the State Board of Education (SBE). The SBE also unanimously elected Crystal “Crissie” Stapleton, superintendent of Barnwell School District 45, as chair-elect while recognizing four members who have fulfilled their terms on the board.
“I look forward to working with my fellow board members and Superintendent Spearman as we strive to overcome the educational challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Walters. “This must include strengthening current and creating new school safety initiatives that will allow our teachers and students to focus on instruction and learning.”
Alan Walters was selected by the Georgetown legislative delegation to represent the Fifteenth Circuit (Horry and Georgetown Counties) on the State Board of Education in 2019. He currently serves as Executive Director of Safety and Risk Management for the Georgetown County School District, a position he has held since 2014. In 2017, Walters was named the National K-12 Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety magazine and was recently named the 2022 S.C. District Level Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.
Prior to joining the school district, Walters served for 17 years as a Summary Court Judge in Georgetown County as Magistrate and as Municipal Court Judge for the Town of Pawleys Island. Walters also spent 17 years as a highly decorated law enforcement officer. Walters holds a B.S. degree in Education from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Criminal Justice degree from the University of South Carolina.
The SBE is the policy-making body for public K-12 education in South Carolina. It is established in Article XI § 1 of the South Carolina Constitution. The SBE consists of 17 members, one appointed from each of the state’s 16 judicial circuits by the legislators representing the various circuits, and a 17th member appointed by the governor. Members are appointed for four-year terms. County representation within a given circuit rotates from term to term. A full list of the board members may be found here.
In addition to Mr. Walters and Ms. Stapleton moving into leadership positions, four board members have fulfilled their terms and will be rotating off the board at the end of the current year. Their names and respective represented areas may be found below. (Bold represents county of residence).
Jon Butzon – 1st Circuit (Calhoun, Dorchester, Orangeburg)
J.R. Green – 6th Circuit (Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster)
Cynthia Downs – 8th Circuit (Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry)
Jean Pearson – 12th Circuit (Florence, Marion)