Rantin: Midlands Girl Scouts get new leaders

brantin@thestate.com (803) 771-8306January 9, 2014 

— Two Columbia residents are among three newly elected board officers for Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands.

Rebecca H. Lever of Greer is the new chairwoman of the 22-member board that covers a 22-county area.

Karen L. Luchka of Columbia is the new vice chairwoman, and fellow Columbian Hammond E. Edwards III is the new secretary/treasurer.

Lever is general manager of construction and maintenance for Duke Energy and is serving her third, two-year term on the board. She’s served as chairwoman of the development and audit committees and as co-chairwoman of the property committee.

She assumes the post from Mary Winter Teaster of Columbia, who returns this year as an at-large member.

Luchka is an employment and labor law attorney with Fisher & Phillips LLP and is serving her third term on the board. She is on the governance, nominating and the Women of Distinction event committees.

Edwards is vice president and senior commercial lender for TD Bank and is serving his first term on the board. He serves on the finance committee and as board liaison on the Saluda Shoals Project Development Task Group.

The three assumed office Jan. 1 and will serve one-year terms.

Memories fuel teacher’s passion

Lewis Greenview Elementary School speech-language therapist Heather Abney is Richland 1’s Employee Spotlight Honoree for January.

Abney struggled with a speech impairment as a child and decided to pursue a career in speech therapy to help others facing similar challenges.

“My experience with stuttering helped me to understand what it feels like to have trouble talking and know first-hand the frustration that can accompany a communication problem,” Abney said. “What began as an obstacle has definitely proven to be a great opportunity for me to help others with their communication difficulties.”

Abney was one of five finalists for 2013-14 Richland 1 Teacher of the Year but counts her work with her students as her biggest honor.

“My greatest accomplishments in education are the successes I’ve achieved with my students,” she said. “The true rewards come from their accomplishments.”

The district’s monthly Employee Spotlight highlights district staff members for their commitment to students.

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