SC State Superintendent pleased with Aiken Co. Schools - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

SC State Superintendent pleased with Aiken Co. Schools

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) -

He's the top educator in the Palmetto State, but Monday, he stepped out of his Columbia office and walked the halls of Aiken County Schools.

"You can't lead anything from behind a desk," says State Superintendent Dr. Mick Zais. "I think it's very important that I get out of Columbia and meet with our teachers, administrators, and our principals."

Zais stopped by three schools Monday, and says despite challenges the district faces, including a poverty level over 70% and less than average funding, he's pleased with the direction of the county's schools.

"Aiken schools are beating expectations," he says. "Given the level of poverty, I think they're doing a fine job."

But there's always room for improvement, he adds.

Aiken Co. Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Everitt agrees.

"We have schools across our county that are some of the finest in the state," she says. "We just want every single school to be at that level."

One area for improvement, Zais says, is a better technical education for students.

"There is an enormous shortage of high-trained folks for our technical manufacturing jobs in South Carolina," he says. "And these are high paying jobs."

Zais also touched on school safety. He says he's not opposed to arming administrators or faculty in each school, but says he'll leave that decision up to each individual district.

"I'm not against or opposed to a few, well-trained, well-vetted staff persons being armed," he says. "I think that's a local decision."

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