We have had the pleasure of knowing Rebecca Blackburn Hines as small business owners in Chapin and, as former teachers, within this district and neighboring districts. When Rebecca told us she was running for the District 5 School Board, we could not think of a better person for the job. We collectively taught for 18 years, between the two of us, and while we have not been extremely vocal about the exact reasons we made the choice to leave, we would be lying if we said that our decision had nothing to do with the disillusionment the majority of teachers are experiencing with the current education system in our state.

Our decision to leave the field was made prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in speaking with our close friends who still remain in the classroom, this has exponentially increased the work load and expectations for already exhausted teachers. In our many conversations with Rebecca regarding this, we can say with full confidence that she fully understands the challenges our teachers are facing; and, given the opportunity to serve on the board, there is no question that Rebecca will fight for teachers to her utmost ability. We can confidently say she would do all it takes to bring about much needed reform to our district, because another thing we know about Rebecca –  is that she is not afraid to speak up and be a voice for our students and teachers.  It is our opinion that much of the frustration felt by teachers is when big decisions are made that are not in the best interest of our children or educators. Educators do not feel our voices are heard when we bring forward these concerns. We continue to implement expectations that are developmentally inappropriate for children, pile on unrealistic expectations for teachers, and put into place systems that simply do not work for parents and families.

 Rebecca has been extremely involved in all meetings where these decisions are being discussed and she has been very vocal in standing up for teachers, students, and families. She is completely transparent and open minded. She welcomes discussion from all viewpoints. She has attentively listened to concerns from parents and teachers and genuinely cares about the impact that these decisions are going to have on all involved. But, I think it is safe to say that our favorite quality Rebecca possesses is that she is not a candidate that can be bought or persuaded. So often in politics, the people are misled with false hope of change. We can both attest to her character and say with full confidence that she is honest and sincere and genuinely has a heart for bringing about positive changes for our schools. She is a mother with children in this district. She understands the challenges we are all facing right now.

For most, there is no question that serious change needs to be brought about to our education system. While we are aware that incumbents have tried to make the best decisions possible, we strongly feel it is time for a fresh approach and a strong voice.  Our community needs someone who is not afraid to ask the hard questions and who will truly fight for what best for our children. We have no doubt that Rebecca will deliver what she promises. She will be a strong advocate for our students and teachers and we genuinely believe she will fight to bring the change to our schools that is so desperately needed.

Respectfully submitted,

Kerry Dominick Truluck and Samantha Truluck Butler

Teachers & Co-Owners of Southern Stitches