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September 5, 2019

Keith Liner
Aiken County School Board
Aiken County Public School District
1000 Brookhaven Drive
Aiken, South Carolina 29803

Dear Keith:

I have been a member of the Aiken County School Board since November 2012. During that time the
district has transformed from an average district that provided a good education to its students, to one
that has become innovative and proactive and now offers a world class education to its current student
population. In addition, during this time the School Board, along with the superintendents and staff, has
improved numerous school building facilities and added more rigorous course work and standards. The
district is much better off today, then it was just seven years ago when I began.

It is my belief that this board has lost its bearing and is not focused on improving the schools or its
curriculum to maintain a high standard that would sustain our mission to become a Premier School District
in South Carolina. This board has been focused on reversing decisions that prior boards had put in place
to help us achieve the “Premier” designation by disregarding proper procedure and protocol while
ignoring factual supporting date. This board has caused division and dissention among itself and it has
become quite burdensome to get meaningful policy passed.

Tonight, this board has taken a huge step backwards, which I believe has further reversed the progress
prior boards have made. This is in addition to those previous reversals that have happened since last
November’s board election. I attribute this to a lack of leadership and a willingness of the leadership to
make choices that were inappropriate and perhaps unethical; the lack of full-board communication, and
collusion by certain members, has been allowed, which has further deteriorated this board’s ability to
govern. I do not believe future board relations will improve any time soon.

I am proud to have been able to serve as a board member for the past seven years, and I appreciate the
citizens of my district entrusting me with this responsibility and honor. I have been a witness to substantial
positive change and improvement at this district, and I am quite happy with what I have been able to
accomplish with my colleagues on past boards. For that I am thankful.

However, because this board is not in line with my beliefs and values, it is with deep regret, much prayer,
and after consultation with my family, that I have decided to resign my position as the District 8
representative of the Aiken County School Board, effective upon the conclusion of tonight’s meeting.

I wish this district, its teachers, staff, and administration all the best and I pray for a promising future for
all associated with this district.


Thaddeus D. Barber

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