About Us

Excellence in South Carolina Public Schools

Today – more than ever – private commitment to public education is critical to enhance our schools.  South Carolina Future Minds serves as the hub for private support of public schools. We make it easy for individuals and businesses to support 750,000 children and 50,000 teachers in nearly 1,200 schools throughout our state.

Economic development, personal income, thriving communities, and quality of life all begin with education. South Carolina Future Minds provides the infrastructure to support investments in public school innovation throughout the state. We do this by:

  • Celebrating teachers through such programs as the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration and May’s Teacher Appreciation Month.
  • Channeling individual donations into classrooms through innovative partnerships.
  • Partnering with corporate donors to find and support successful programs in schools.
  • Building networks for the wide-array of stakeholders supporting public education in SC.
  • Promoting good news about South Carolina public schools.

Our Vision

A South Carolina education system that equips each and every student with the tools, knowledge, and attitude for success in work or post secondary education.

Our Mission

South Carolina Future Minds champions world class student achievement by developing excellence in teaching, encouraging collaboration, and connecting private financial support to public schools.
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Our Guiding Principles

  • SCFM exists to benefit all children of South Carolina.
  • SCFM seeks to build ongoing and grassroots support for its work by being a strong voice for public education excellence and a catalyst for growth and beneficial change; it seeks to raise the educational aspirations of the state.
  • SCFM gives priority consideration to enabling programs that can be replicated, are sustainable, and have a potentially broad impact upon public education.
  • SCFM works with the state Department of Education and other community minded partners to identify educational needs, source best practices and solutions, and support measurable and accountable programs for educational improvement.
  • SCFM fosters programs clearly linked to academic achievement.
  • SCFM emphasizes the recruitment, retention, recognition, and compensations of the highest caliber teachers.
  • SCFM supports equity of access to excellent effective education for all SC public education students.
  • SCFM works to elevate the teaching profession.

Our Board of Directors

Nella Gray Barkley, Chair
Co-Founder, Crystal-Barkley Corp.

Chris Verenes, Treasurer
President/CEO, Security Federal Bank

The Reverand Susan Heath, Secretary
Coordinator of Bishops, Public Education Initiative

Ken Childs
Childs & Halligan, P.A.

Dr. Steve Wilson
2017 Superintendent of the Year

Jim Stritzinger
Connect South Carolina

Theodore B. Dubose
Attorney, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

Dr. James H. Rex
SC Superintendent of Education, 2006-2009

David Cote
Assistant VP, BlueCross Blushield of South Carolina

Patrick White
Supply Chain/VP, Comporium

Jennifer Wise
2017 Teacher of the Year

Scott Price
Executive Director, South Carolina School Boards Association