Challenger Katherine White won a seat on the school board in a landslide Tuesday defeating Mike Cowart, the board’s current chairman.
White got 1,203 votes to Cowart’s 380.
In all 10 percent of the registered voters cast ballots in the primary runoff, a turnout believed to be worst ever in a Pickens election.
In prepared remarks White thanked supporters, family and her opponent:
Dear Pickens County Community,
I come before you with meekness and appreciation for the confidence you have vested in me.
Today, I will speak only briefly to thank the people who made this moment possible. First, to my husband, Joe- thank you for all your guidance, support, but most importantly, your love. To our three children, Reagan, Reese, and Ridge-I am proud of you all. To the members of my church, to my many friends, to our extended family, and to all who have added brightness to our lives, I thank you.
Congratulations to those elected to serve with me and to my colleagues who did not have to face re-election this term. Thank you to all of our school administrators, teachers, staff members, to the parents, and to our wonderful community.
I thank the current board members for the hard work and time they have already invested. I also thank my opponents for caring enough about our school system and our community to run for this position.
To my supporters, by your allowing me to serve as your school board representative you have made many statements, among them are these:
1. You will help me assure that our students will not end up as a negative statistic.
2. You will help me work to make all of our students productive members of society preparing them earn their own way.
3. You will help me ignite within our student's purpose, faith, in their ability, to succeed despite the obstacles.
I am well aware that no one person can resolve every problem he/she might encounter during his/her service. But I can continue to build on the foundation laid by all past board members. My work is being added on to theirs. I pray that together with my present colleagues, we continue to move our school system forward.
My goal is service. As the great educator Dr. Mary McCloud Bethune would offer "Service is the price I must pay for the space I occupy." Not only that, I have been told: If you want one year of prosperity grow grain; if you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees; if you want hundreds of years of prosperity, grow children.
Again, for me personally and for my family, thank you to the Pickens community for the treasure of your support.
I appeal to my colleagues, let us make this a positive school year. Our community deserves no less. Thank you.