New Darlington County school board member elected days after longtime member’s death

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Darlington County School District is mourning the loss of one of its longtime school board members, Dr. Themla Dawson.

Dawson, who died Oct. 30, served the district for more than three decades.

Now, a woman who grew up admiring her passion is set to take on her role and continue her legacy.

“My name was not on the voting machine at all,” said Audrey Gore, who was elected to Dawson’s seat during Tuesday night’s election as a write-in candidate.

After 10 days of campaigning, 204 people wrote for Gore’s name on the ballot in Darlington County. It’s a place she holds close to her heart because is also where she grew up.

“As I look around this community I know what education can do. District 3 is where I live. District 3 is where I grew up and I am a product of District 3,” said Gore.

Gore grew up admiring Dawson and what she offered in the community. She said wants to honor her when she takes on Dawson’s seat.

“I wanted to continue her legacy. Some of the things that she started I wanted to make sure they are completed,” said Gore. “I knew Dr. Dawson since I was a child. I had always admired her. I know what education did for my life and I want to make sure that every child has the same opportunity.”

Others in the district were also devastated by the loss.

“It is with great sadness we share the passing of Dr. Thelma Dawson, who served for nearly 34 years on the Darlington County Board of Education,” the district said in a statement. “Always a champion for children, Dr. Dawson fought hard in the best interests of the students of Darlington County. She will be deeply missed, and we offer our sincerest condolences to all of her family and friends.”

Gore will start her term and take on her new role in January.