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"N" is for Nielsen, Barbara Stock [b. 1942]

South Carolina A to Z

"N is for Nielsen, Barbara Stock [b. 1942]. State Superintendent of Education. Born in Ohio, Nielsen, in 1984,  became the curriculum specialist and director of business-community partnerships in the Beaufort County Schools. In 1990 she was elected state Superintendent of Education on the Republican ticket—becoming the first woman to hold that position and only the second woman elected to a constitutional office. Her accomplishments included the development of frameworks for all subjects and grades and new performance-based assessments for statewide tests. She oversaw the introduction of computer technology and access to the Internet in all schools, the implementation of full-day kindergarten for all children, and the introduction of pre-kindergarten for at-risk three and four-year-olds. Supporters and critics agreed that Barbara Stock Nielsen helped bring national recognition to the state in several areas of educational reform.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.