FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - On Tuesday night, the new Florence County School District One Superintendent Dr. Richard O'Malley held a question and answer session with parents address their concerns with the district.
Dozens of parents and school district employees attended the meeting eager to know how O'Malley plans to help improve Florence One schools.
O'Malley said he decided to hold the Q and A session as part of his entry plan to learn from the community. Just like many of the people in the room, he's not only the new superintendent, but a parent too.
"It's really important to me not only to hear from those people who work in the schools, but also the community especially the parents about what they expect from their school district," said O'Malley.
Listening to the community Is one reason why parent and school district employee, Amy Sansbury, showed up Tuesday. Sansbury said she thinks it's important to have events like this where parents can voice their concerns.
"He can hear what are issues already are, where we want to grow, build and improve, " Sansbury said.
Integrating a more diverse community, bullying and teacher shortage were among several issues brought up. Parents also commented on improving school security, more transparency and better communication with parents.
"I think he comes from a great base of knowledge. I think he has a great understanding on general education, special education, finance from when I heard he talk before," Sansbury said.
Ultimately, O'Malley and parents like Sansbury hope with new leadership, Florence One schools will achieve a level of academic excellence they believe the district has the potential to become.
"We need to have the community involved, we need to build trust within the community, we need 'um to build good leadership and accountability in the district," Sansbury said.