by Paul Bowers
Toya Hampton Green tendered her resignation from the Charleston County School District Board of Trustees this morning, effective immediately.
Green, who held the downtown seat on the nine-member board, had about two-and-a-half months left in her term. She is leaving for a new job as director of policy and legal services for the S.C. School Boards Association, a nonprofit organization that provides information for the state's 83 public school districts. Green says she needed to move to Columbia in time to enroll her children in school there. In Charleston, she worked as an attorney at the McNair Law Firm.
"I have learned a great deal from my service with both of you and will forever be grateful for the opportunity," Green wrote in her resignation letter to Board Chairman Chris Fraser and Superintendent Nancy McGinley. "It has been a true privilege to serve the citizens of Charleston County on the School Board, and I look forward to continuing to assist in a different capacity through my work at the SCSBA."
Green served for nearly six years on the school board, including one year as board chair in 2009. In a phone interview this morning, she said some of her fondest memories from her time on the board are of touring schools with fellow board member Elisabeth Ann Oplinger.
"This is going to sound kind of funny, but I enjoyed the book-banning hearing," Green said, referring to the fall 2011 controversy over the inclusion of local author Bret Lott's novel The Hunt Club in school libraries. "That was really interesting, with the librarian getting up and advocating for the books and the family talking about their concerns and the author being in the room. I thought it was fascinating." Green voted against banning the book, and it ultimately was not banned.
She also says she will always remember the tough decision to close five schools in the district in 2009. "I'll never forget how communities care about their schools. They showed it to us," Green said.
Green said the politics of the school board could be "frustrating at times," but she added that she had "by far more good than bad" experiences on the board.
"I feel almost like I grew up on the school board," she said.