New GOP schools chief names 2 former Democratic staffers to leadership team
South Carolina’s new schools chief, Republican Molly Spearman, will take office in January with a new team of deputies, including two former state officials who worked in Democratic administrations.
Spearman has tapped Betsy Carpentier to be her chief of staff at the S.C. Department of Education, her transition team said Wednesday.
Carpentier directed the S.C. Department of Revenue under Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges from 1999 to 2003. She then worked in the Education Department from 2003-11, mostly as a deputy superintendent for school innovation for Democrats Inez Tenenbaum and Jim Rex and, briefly, for outgoing Republican superintendent Mick Zais.
Spearman was a deputy superintendent under Tenenbaum when Carpentier came to the agency. The pair worked at the agency for about a year before Spearman left for a job at the S.C. Association of School Administrators, where she is the outgoing executive director.
Also joining Spearman’s team is Julie Gore Fowler, an assistant superintendent in the Greenwood 51 school district, and Angela Bain, a human resources officer for Lexington-Richland 5 school district, education consultant, and former Education Department official under Tenenbaum.
Fowler and Bain are expected to be two of Spearman’s deputies.
The agency’s third deputy superintendent position currently is vacant. Spearman hopes to announce an appointment soon, said Ryan Brown, a spokesman with Spearman’s transition team.