Founding Board of Directors Biographies
Cameron G. Chandler
Cameron (Cammy) Chandler retired after 25 years of service with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as an Assistant United States Attorney and Associate Director of the National Advocacy Center, the DOJ’s legal training facility and continuing legal education provider for all DOJ attorneys. She oversaw the development of a core curriculum for newly hired prosecutors and new training on emerging areas of the law, providing more than 200 residential courses and distance learning events each fiscal year.
As a graduate of public school and daughter of a public school teacher, Ms. Chandler understands the importance of a strong and vibrant public school system. Moreover, as a former drug prosecutor, Ms. Chandler witnessed first-hand the hopelessness and vulnerability of young adults who lacked the education or skills for a productive future. Based upon her personal and professional experience, Ms. Chandler is committed to the mission of the Liberty STEAM Charter to provide a premier public school education opportunity to Sumter youths,
who will be equipped to excel in college or their chosen career.
Stephen M. Creech was raised in Sumter, graduated from Edmunds High School in 1968 and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Newberry College in 1972.
He is an independent insurance agent. Mr. Creech has a love for his community and has been actively involved in charitable and government organizations for years. He served the City of Sumter as a Council Member from 1981-88, as Mayor Pro Tem in 1981 and as Mayor from 1988-2000. He has been Chairman of the Salvation Army Boy’s Club, Secretary for Santee-Lynches Council on Governments and Secretary for the Tuomey Healthcare System Board
of Trustees. Mr. Creech volunteered as a Board Member with the National Bank of South Carolina, as an Ex-Officio Member of the Development Board, Sumter YMCA, Sumter City-County Planning Commission, and as a member of the City-Council Liaison Committee. He organized the Unity Program in 1996.
Mr. Creech has a deep respect for the military. He was a member of the Governor’s Base Defense Committee, the South Carolina Military Base Task Force, ACC Commander’s Group and the Sumter Base Defense Committee, which he organized. Mr. Creech continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for NBSC, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee for the Sumter Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Salvation Army Board of Directors, a member of the Executive Committee for the Military Base Task Force, the Air Combat Command Commander’s Group and as an Alumni Member of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Civic Group.
Dexter Davis, Vice-Chairman
Dexter Davis attended Sumter public schools and Clemson University. He was recognized as a football All American in 1988 by The Sporting News. In 1991, he left Clemson to enter the National Football League draft; he played professional football for six years before his career was cut short due to injury.
Mr. Davis studied Industrial Technology and Environmental Science, continued his education with executive education classes at The Citadel and University of Phoenix, and graduated from the J.E. Dunn Mentor-Protégé Program, the Kauffmann Foundation Fast-track Graduate Entrepreneurship Program and the Leighton Cubbage Mentor Entrepreneurship Program. Mr. Davis founded Eagle Universal Services in 2009 and provides environmental remediation, training, facilities maintenance, engineering, demolition and site services. He also has ownership in Tallo, a K-12 STEAM social media platform. He is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the CHAMPION Foundation, which is designed to mentor and equip young men and women to accept leadership roles in the community.
Ben E. Griffith, Jr., Secretary
Ben Griffith is a native of Greenville, S.C. and has been a resident of Sumter for over 40 years. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University and has served the university in various capacities, including the Board of Visitors, Clemson Foundation Board and the Clemson IPTAY Board.
Mr. Griffith is owner of State Farm Ben Griffith of Sumter and President of the Griffith Financial Group. He is also a Licensed Securities Representative. Mr. Griffith’s community service and leadership roles include serving on the boards of Sumter School District 17, Tuomey Regional Medical Center, Prisma Health—Midlands, Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and Sumter Rotary Club. Mr. Griffith also served as a member of Sumter School District Board of Trustees Finance Committee and is currently active in Kairos Prison Ministry and the local Gideon Camp. Mr. Griffith’s experience in public school finance and a proven record of entrepreneurial success are an asset to the SSCS Board of Directors.
Bronwyn McElveen is the deputy solicitor of the Sumter County Solicitor’s Office. Originally from Greenville, S.C., Mrs. McElveen graduated from Christ Church Episcopal School in 1999 and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in 2003. Mrs. McElveen received her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 2008 and has prosecuted criminals in Sumter for 10 years.
Mrs. McElveen enjoys volunteering and holds leadership positions within the Sumter Junior Welfare League, the Sumter Education Foundation, the Sumter County Museum Board and the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Committee. She serves as a member of the Alston Wilkes Society and the United Way Derby Day Committee and previously served on the USC Sumter Partnership Board, Young Professionals of Sumter and Sumter Senior Services Board. Mrs. McElveen received the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award and was the inaugural recipient of the Top 20 under 40 Award in 2018 from The Sumter Item. Other awards include the John R. Justice Community Leadership (2015), Tuomey Fellow (2017) and the Hugh L. Wilcox Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year (2008).
Rev. Dr. Marion Newton
Marion Newton received bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts and Divinity from the Morris College School of Religion and was honored in 1997 with an Honorary Doctorate in Recognition of Meritorious Christian Service and Inspiring Leadership. He has served as the Senior Pastor of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church since 1982. He is a man of vision, an inspiring teacher and a revivalist. Under his leadership, the Jehovah family has created two facilities — the Child Development Center and the M.H. Newton Family Life Enrichment Center — to serve the community of South Sumter.
Pastor Newton serves on many local boards: Unity Sumter, Tri-County Needs Assessment, Sumter County Ministerial Alliance, Sumter County Literacy Council, City of Sumter Police Advisory and the United Way of Sumter, Clarendon & Lee Counties. He is Chairman of the Sumter Empowerment Zone, the Sumter Community Vision (Visioning in Progress) and the Habitat for Humanity boards, and is an Executive Board Member of Central Carolina Technical College. He recently was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame. He brings to the SSCS Board of Directors a determination to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization for all stakeholders.
Kimberly Rauschenbach, Treasurer
Kimberly Rauschenbach, a process improvement professional, has been actively brokering partnerships between Sumter’s business and education sectors for the past five years. After recognizing that many of Sumter’s technical companies are struggling to meet workforce needs, Mrs. Rauschenbach recently launched SCOPE, a volunteer-led education initiative that focuses on preparing students for local jobs that will be waiting for them when they are ready to enter the workforce.
Mrs. Rauschenbach is a veteran of the United States Air Force, holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and certifications in Lean Green Belt, information management and change acceleration. She is employed by Thompson Construction Group as a Process Engineer.
Greg A. Thompson, Chairman
Greg Thompson is the founder of the Thompson Family of companies, a leader whose business acumen and commitment to community were the catalyst for the Liberty STEAM Charter initiative. He serves as President & CEO of Thompson Construction Group and Chairman of Thompson Industrial Services. With a dedication to quality, integrity and hard work, he led the company from its humble beginnings in 1986 with two employees to more than 2,500 employees today and made it the leading industrial cleaning company in the Southeast.
An advocate for community enhancement, Mr. Thompson is Chairman of the Sumter Economic Development Board, a founding member of the Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative and a former member of the Sumter School District Finance Committee. He is fully invested in his commitment to downtown Sumter and with his wife, Danielle, has revitalized Main Street with new restaurants, a Hyatt Place and Sumter’s first brewery. Improving community outcomes includes a focus on children. Thompson Construction is an active business partner for Crosswell Drive Elementary and teamed with Sumter School District to create the E3 Professional Development Conference and the State of the District Breakfast. His vision is to encourage collaboration among community leaders to create a school that serves the needs of Sumter’s families.
Dr. Rodney Thompson
Rodney Thompson, PhD., spent 25 years as a teacher, administrator and superintendent in South Carolina public schools. He holds degrees in education from Clemson University, The Citadel and the University of South Carolina. His doctorate dissertation focused on the contributing factors of graduation rates for rural school students. Before retiring, he was a faculty member in The Citadel’s Zucker Family School of Education. He co-wrote “Collective Impact: What Does it Mean for Educational Leaders?” for the School Superintendents Association’s Journal of Scholarship & Practice.
Many South Carolina students struggle to meet the expectations of college and career; Dr. Thompson looks forward to working with other leaders to formulate a world-class educational option for Sumter-area students. His experiences provide valuable insight on the obstacles our struggling students face, and he believes the unique opportunities offered by the Liberty STEAM Charter will be a valuable asset to both the students and the community.