School & District Management

Home-School Parent in High-Profile Seat

By Katie Ash — January 08, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

How many children should a person have in public school in order to be qualified to head a state school board?

None, according to Kristin L. Maguire, the mother of four home-schooled children and the chair-elect of the South Carolina board of education, whose recent election to that post has raised some eyebrows in the state.

“I fully recognize that having someone who home-schools their children serve in this capacity is unique, but at the same time it’s very disappointing that so much ink has been devoted to critics who have never met me and are wholly unfamiliar with my work,” she said in an e-mail interview.

Ms. Maguire’s four daughters range in age from 8 to 14 years old and have been home-schooled all their lives.

Kristin L. Maguire is the new chair-elect of the South Carolina state board of education.

Ms. Maguire, who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina, was elected by her board colleagues on a 9-7 vote over fellow member Fred “Trip” DuBard, who was the choice of the board’s nominating committee. She will serve as chair-elect throughout this year, then begin her duties as chairwoman for a one-year term in January 2009.

She was first appointed to the 17-member board in 2000 by her local legislative delegation, and has since been twice reappointed by Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican.

“Kristin is by far and wide one of the smartest people on the board, and one of the most devoted to public school education,” said Libby W. Swad, the board member who nominated Ms. Maguire for chair-elect. “With someone like Kristin Maguire as the chair, we’ll be able to make some politically courageous—and probably unpopular—decisions about what to do with education.”

That’s exactly the fear of critics such as Sheila C. Gallagher, the president of the 13,000-member South Carolina Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association.

“I perceive that [Ms. Maguire] has her own agenda, and that agenda is not what the chairperson of the state board is supposed to come with,” she said.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in South Carolina. See data on South Carolina’s public school system.

Ms. Maguire’s critics have pointed to her role as a co-founder of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education, a grassroots organization that supports abstinence-only sex education, the teaching of intelligent design in schools, and tuition vouchers for private schooling.

Ms. Gallagher is also concerned about potential deadlocks because of policy disagreements between Ms. Maguire and state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.

But Ms. Maguire said she does not anticipate any such problems:

“There is entirely too much work to be done to make the progress that our state’s public school children need for either one of us to be distracted by past political differences.”

A version of this article appeared in the January 09, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management What the Research Says Most Schools Have Early-Warning Systems. Some Kids Are Still Getting Lost
A study finds that one such system prevented absenteeism among some students but not others.
4 min read
Illustration of a warning symbol.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Restorative Practices Don’t Just Belong in the Classroom. Leaders Should Use Them, Too
Respectful conflict resolution, starting meetings with a talking circle, and other ways this administrator is walking the walk.
Sonja Gedde
5 min read
A team of colleagues comes to a resolution in a conceptual illustration about building bridges
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Electric Buses Hit Some Road Bumps, But They're Still Catching On
The number of electric school buses is rising—and there’s no shortage of growing pains involving funding, legal mandates, and operations.
8 min read
Yellow electric school bus plugged in at a charging station.
Thomas W Farlow/iStock/Getty
School & District Management This State Created a Retention System for Principals. Here’s Why It Worked
Missouri has deepened the support it offers to new principals through a partly federally funded, two-year mentoring program.
6 min read
Photos of principals walking in school hallway.
E+ / Getty