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WWSC 2017

The Honorable Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg) has served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 1992-2002 and 2011–present. She is currently chair of the House Education and Public Works Committee. In 2015, Speaker Jay Lucas appointed her as chair of the House Education Policy Review and Reform Task Force, charged with proposing policy changes in response to the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling in Abbeville v. South Carolina. A strong, long-time advocate for education improvement in South Carolina, Representative Allison has worked tirelessly for the children of South Carolina, setting aside partisanship and bringing people together to tackle important education issues.


Linda O'Bryon is president and CEO of South Carolina ETV and oversees a statewide network of 19 television and radio stations and an education service reaching schools throughout the state. She joined SCETV in 2010, and in that time, the network has opened a new state-of-the art radio production facility and completed a major renovation of the ETV Telecommunications Center. In 2009, O'Bryon received a national Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in Business and Financial Reporting from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 



The Honorable James Smith (D-Richland) has served in the S.C. House of Representatives for 20 years and is a longtime champion for early childhood education. He partnered with Governor Jim Hodges and others in 1999 to introduce and create South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness, the state’s comprehensive school readiness initiative. After chairing a 2015 review of the initiative as a member of the House Legislative Oversight Committee, Smith served as a primary sponsor of legislation to permanently reauthorize First Steps, which passed the S.C. House in February 2017 by a vote of 101-5.

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