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Mike Perkis, a true leader and friend

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As a friend of Mike Perkis and someone who worked with him for years on the rebuilding of Sullivan's Island Elementary School, I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing.

Throughout the five-year journey to rebuild our school, I had a front row seat opportunity to share many special moments with him.

Mike had an incredible ability to listen, to show empathy and to work hard to find solutions that were in the middle without being mediocre.

Mike had extraordinary energy, passion and commitment for our cause. He believed that having a public elementary school was critical to having a vibrant community.

Over the course of our journey, Mike and I shared many poignant moments discussing the various perspectives about the merits of rebuilding our school.

I was amazed at his level of patience and compassion, and humbled by the sheer quantity of time and energy he gave to this cause. He was quiet and soft-spoken, but strong as steel.

It was an arduous journey, and I knew that I could always count on Mike to keep things in perspective. Though he was new to being in the public eye, he had a gift for building consensus and not being inflammatory.

He was articulate, passionate and compelling. He knew how to define success, and he worked as hard as anyone I've ever seen to achieve it.

I am going to miss Mike, his wit, his passion and his sensibility. SIES is going to educate generations of children who will be forever indebted to him, as will their families and our entire community.

And that goes well beyond our island. He clearly set the bar extremely high as a great example of what being a leader and a public servant should be.

Loren Ziff


Sullivan's Island Elementary School

School Improvement Council

Lowcountry Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

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