FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — After losing in 2012 by half a percent of the vote, Michele Branning said she is making another run for the Fort Mill School Board.
Branning, a co-owner and manager at Carolina Mobility Sales, moved to Fort Mill with her family in 2007 and said she immediately immersed herself in local schools. Since then, Branning has been active in the Parent Teacher Organization, School Improvement Council and other organizations and projects at Pleasant Knoll Elementary, Springfield Middle School and Fort Mill High School.
She said she feels like serving on the school board is the next step.
“My kids have always joked with me a little bit about ‘Mom, why don’t you just get an office at the school because you’re always here anyway,’” Branning said.
After her 2012 loss, Branning spent 2013 working as a co-chairwoman on the district’s bond referendum campaign, which included plans to build a new Riverview Elementary and expand high schools in the district.
“If you’re going to be a good steward of taxpayer money, if you’re going to be a good steward of what’s right for our kids, you have to be involved and be in our schools and really know what goes on from a ground level, not just from a high level,” Branning said.
In addition to her businesses and management experience, Branning said her job allows her freedom and flexibility that would let her put a lot of time and effort into being a board member. If elected, Branning said, she would spend as much time listening as she would making sure her own voice is heard, and help lead the district as part of a collaboration.
Four of the the seven Fort Mill School Board members are up for re-election this year. Candidates can file to run for school board Aug. 1-15. Voting is at-large. If there are more than four candidates, the top-four vote-getters win. So far, Branning is the only one who’s announced candidacy.