Ellen Weaver announces master’s degree ahead of political debate

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Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 7:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After months of questioning and controversy, a candidate for the South Carolina Superintendent of Education race says she completed the requirements for a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Ellen Weaver (R) has been subject to scrutiny from educators and opponents for failing to adhere to the state’s requirement for candidacy.

Per the South Carolina State House, a superintendent of education must hold a master’s degree and have experience in public education. In turn, Weaver enrolled in Bob Jones University (BJU) and is said to have completed 33 hours of coursework in six months’ time.

“I am proud to say I did every lick of work that’s required of this master’s degree. I am incredibly proud of the hard work that I did,” said Weaver over the phone.

Dr. Jim Rex, the last Democratic Superintendent of Education, says Weaver’s academic journey was obscure.

“It’s highly unusual for someone to complete a master’s degree in that time frame. In my experience, it’s unprecedented,” said Dr. Rex in his home.

It is worth noting that at least one BJU faculty member donated to Weaver’s campaign earlier this year. Come August, she was photographed with BJU president Dr. Steve Pettit in his home.

“I don’t think you can draw, necessarily, an implication as to what that means. But it does raise a number of questions as to what that means,” said Dr. Rex.

Meanwhile, Weaver is using the past six months as an example of how hard she’s willing to work for the state’s educational system.

Weaver and Lisa Ellis are scheduled for a televised debate from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 2.

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