Dr. Nichell Newton

A local mother who is an experienced teacher and current school counselor in Charlotte has become the first to file for this year’s Fort Mill School Board election.

Dr. Nichell Newton said she is running to support local schools by “helping to address social-emotional barriers that keep students from achieving their educational goals.”

Filing for three positions on the school board opened Monday and continues through noon on Aug. 17. Those seats are currently held by Chairwoman Kristy Spears, Tom Audette and Dr. Scott Frattaroli. Audette is on the ballot in November for County Council.

Dr. Newton is a Spartanburg native with two children, including one with special needs who was a part of the preschool program in Fort Mill. She also has a rising second grader at Doby’s Bridge Elementary School.

Previously employed with the Spartanburg School District, Dr. Newton currently works for Charlotte Mecklenburg schools as a professional school counselor.

“I have an EdD in Educational Leadership, two masters, one in professional counseling and another in International studies,” she told the Fort Mill Sun. “I have been a teacher, therapist, and a school counselor in the public school setting. I have also been on administrative teams.”

Why is she running? More than anything, Dr. Newton said she wants students to succeed.

“Their success depends on our investments in their education, their social-emotional needs, and their families,” she said. “It is this investment that will help us retain top teachers by supporting the whole educational learning structure – teachers, students and their families.”

If elected, Dr. Newton said she will bring a unique prospective to the school board. She has more than 14 years of educational experience as a teacher, school counselor and administrative teams.

“I understand how the educational process works and (have) knowledge about different educational programs that can support the students of Fort Mill,” she said.

The school board election is nonpartisan and takes place on Nov. 3.