Aiken County School Board forum

The 10 candidates for three open seats on the Aiken County School Board will answer questions and present their platforms at a forum on Nov. 19.

A special election to fill the seats will be Dec. 10.

Sponsored by the Aiken Standard, the forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Aiken Municipal Building at 214 Park Ave. S.W. Doors will open at 6 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public.

Seating is limited to 150, so attendees must RSVP online at or call the Aiken Standard at 803-648-2311 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"I appreciate the opportunity to hear from candidates vying for these important school board positions on topics that interest Aiken Standard readers," said Rhonda Overbey, publisher of the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. "Our goal is to present a series of questions that allow candidates to provide us insight and their unique views.

"Aiken Standard readers are a large segment of the area's voters and they recognize the weight of their decision in the Dec. 10 election."

Two candidates, George Grieve and Patrice Rhinehart-Jackson, filed to represent School Board District 7, formerly held by longtime board member Rosemary English.

Four candidates filed to represent School Board District 8. They are Kristin Beard, John Bradley, Timothy Govenettio and Bruce Wheelon. Tad Barber formerly held the District 8 seat.

Four candidates filed to represent School Board District 9. They are Robert Byrne, Pamela Diaz, Keith Harp and Cameron Nuessle. Ahmed Samaha formerly held the District 9 seat.

The three districts represent the Aiken County Public Schools' Area 1 attendance zone.

Each candidate will have equal time to respond to questions during the forum.

English, Barber and Samaha resigned from the School Board in September after the board voted to accept the resignation of Dr. Sean Alford, the Aiken County Public Schools' former superintendent.

Information on the candidates is online at

Forum attendees are reminded that no political attire, T-shirts or buttons will be allowed at the forum.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.