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Lex-Rich 5 board hires $10K consultant without details on duties


Angela Bain/PROVIDED 

COLUMBIA — Lexington-Richland School District 5's board voted to hire a two-time superintendent as a consultant July 12 without disclosing her duties.

District officials and board leaders did not respond to requests July 13 about the hiring if Angela Bain, former Lex-Rich 5 human resources director before leading school districts in Chester and Clarendon counties.

The only hint of her duties come from the board agenda item that said Bain, 62, was being brought in to “review the district’s organizational structure to increase efficiency.”

She will be paid up to $10,000 for the work. 

Trustees unanimously voted to retain Bain, who worked with the district covering Irmo and Chapin from 2006 to 2015. She also worked in the state Department of Education and spent five years at Lexington School District Two as assistant superintendent. 

Board members didn't speak publicly about Bain's hiring but trustee Catherine Huddle said on her Facebook page she was being brought in to assist Akil Ross, who began July 1.

"Since he has not been a superintendent before, this will help him get off the ground running and ensure we're focusing our spending and attention on the areas that will have the greatest positive impact on our students," Huddle wrote. 

Her last two stops were running the districts in Chester County for four years and spending the past year as an interim superintendent for a newly consolidated district in Clarendon County.

Board chairwoman Wanda Thomas and vice-chairman Harold Morrow were not immediately available for comment July 13.

During her time in Chester, Bain collected more than $94,000 worth of consulting fees between 2016 and 2018, a July 2018 Chester News & Reporter investigation found. According to the newspaper, Bain offered services to Clarendon One, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg counties schools over that span.

Bain eventually filed a defamation lawsuit against then chairwoman Denise Lawson and school district attorney Ken Childs, saying their claims that her consultations were a breach of contract are false.

The suit is still ongoing, according to publicly available court records.

On her LinkedIn page, Bain describes herself as an expert at “working with school districts as an advisor, independent work, time management, written and verbal communication, troubleshooting technical issues, and being proactive with questions and ideas.”

While it was not immediately known how much Lexington-Richland 5 was paying Bain, the district has already committed up to $415,000 on a pair of superintendents.

Ross signed a one-year, $175,000 deal that will send the money to HeartEd, an educational consulting firm he began in 2018. Trustees are also paying former superintendent Christina Melton $226,000 as part of a buyout package. Melton announced her resignation on June 14 and stayed on through the month.

Follow Adam Benson on Twitter @AdamNewshound12.

Benson joined The Post and Courier's Columbia bureau in November 2019. A native of Boston, he spent three years at the Greenwood Index-Journal and has won multiple South Carolina Press Association awards for his reporting.

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