Charleston County School Board kicks off new year with new appointed member Tripp Wiles

Charleston County School Board member Tripp Wiles. (PROVIDED 1/2014)

The Charleston County School Board is starting the new year with a new member who is new to the local education scene.

Tripp Wiles, 40, is a self-employed attorney who was nominated by the Republican-dominated Charleston County legislative delegation to fill a vacant seat on the nine-member board. Gov. Nikki Haley followed the delegation's recommendation and tapped Wiles to fill the seat in December.

Wiles will serve on the school board until the general election in November.

He was born in Charleston but grew up in Fayetteville, Tenn. He graduated from The Citadel in 1995 and returned to the Lowcountry in 2007 to open his law practice.

He has a master's degree from Hawaii Pacific University and a law degree from the University of Memphis. He's a former Army officer and research analyst for the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii and the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.

Wiles is married and has a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. This appears to be the first political office he's held.

The Post and Courier asked Wiles about his upcoming term on the board and his perception of the school district. Here's what he had to say.

Why did you apply for this school board seat?

I care about the education of the children of this community.

How well do you think Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley is leading the district?

I would be happy to answer this question once I have had more time on the board.

What are some of your biggest concerns with Charleston County schools?

I would be happy to answer this question once I have had more time on the board.

Do you think Charleston County schools are being adequately funded, and would you ever support a tax increase for schools? Why/why not?

I would be happy to answer this question once I have had more time on the board.

Do you support a more hands-on board that is involved in day-to-day operations or a board that focuses on broad policy-making and goal-setting for the district? Why?

I believe the role of a volunteer board is to establish written policies based on the values of the community they represent and to oversee/enforce the administration of those policies.

Do you think the district should move forward with implementing Common Core? Why or why not?

While I do not support Common Core, it is my understanding that the implementation of Common Core is a state level decision, not a district level decision.

Would you support opening more charter schools? Why?

Yes. I believe, for the most part, charter schools have proven to be a success in this district.

What's one thing about yourself that you want to make sure people know?

I am a product of the public schools, and I believe good schools can help parents prepare their children for the future and in turn greatly benefit our community.

Are you going to run for this seat in November?

If I am an effective board member, I will likely run.

Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.

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