King Laurence 1

King Laurence listens Tuesday, Sept. 10, as the Aiken County School Board votes to make him the interim superintendent of the Aiken County Public School District during the panel's meeting at Silver Bluff High School.

Following the resignation of Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford and three school board members, an interim superintendent has been named and a tentative election date has been set.

Alford resigned from the board on Sept. 5, and his final day as superintendent was Sept 13. School board members Tad Barber, Rosemary English and Ahmed Samaha also resigned. The school board has accepted Barber and Samaha's resignations and will take action on English's resignation Sept. 24.

During the school board's Sept. 10 meeting, King Laurence was named interim superintendent. Laurence previously served the district as chief officer of administration.

After the Sept. 10 meeting, Laurence said, “I think that the most important thing right now is that we begin the healing process. I think that my first responsibility is to try to provide a sense of calm and make sure that our school district stays on track, that we focus on our children, that we focus on continuing the good work that we're doing, to focus on high academic expectations, maintaining the safety of our students, maintaining fiscal responsibility and just staying on target and ensuring that we meet the needs of our children, our families and our communities.”

An election to fill the now-vacant school board seats has been tentatively set for Dec. 10, but that date could change, as it's dependent on when the Aiken County Registration and Elections office receives official notice of English's resignation.

The resignations have been rife with speculation and controversy, and both Samaha and Barber have made claims of ethics violations within the school board.

A group of Aiken-area officials have now asked the S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to investigate ethical issues regarding Alford's resignation.

Reporters Larry Wood and Colin Demarest contributed to this report. 

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.