COLUMBIA – As lieutenant governor for South Carolina, André Bauer is well aware of what is not working in the public school system, and he says he is committed to making it better. While encouraging innovative ways to improve the education system, he holds St. Martin de Porres School as a model for other schools.
As the guest speaker at the school’s first Parent-Teacher Organization meeting in September, Bauer applauded St. Martin de Porres School for 65 years of continued success in educating children, especially those children who would otherwise be considered at risk.
“Kids are excited about going to school here because they know the people at St. Martin de Porres School love and care about them,” Bauer said. “I am thrilled to see the positive influence, and I want to continue to work on trying to model our public schools after you.” Bauer later said jokingly, “If I had gone here, I probably would be the governor.”
Bauer said the school defies the general rule that funding, class size, and economic factors determine student performance. St. Martin de Porres students continue to score high on national testing despite the fact that they face some of the same challenges seen in neighboring public schools. He said that the love pouring from the St. Martin community and the dedication and cooperation of parents and staff are a model for other schools and have proven to be essential in education.
Bauer was especially impressed with the high parental involvement he witnessed while visiting the school. One hundred parents were present at the PTO meeting, a high percentage for a student body of 120. The attendance is always high, according to Principal Sandra Leatherwood, and the school continues to look for ways to nurture the strong bond between the parents and the teachers at the school.