Parmer seeking District 3 seat on BOE

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Walter Parmer is seeking the District 3 seat on the Butler County Board of Education.

Parmer, a 1956 graduate of Greenville High School, said serious concerns about the “proper education” of Butler County’s children led him to run for a seat on the school board.

“An adequate education must be provided for our youth during their K-12 school years in order for them to compete in the global economy of today,” Parmer said. “This early preparation to become productive citizens must be vigorous enough for students to enter college or trade schools upon completion of high school.  The job market of today requires excellent preparation in the basis courses of English (reading and writing), mathematics and science but also technology (computer skills).  Without a comprehensive understanding of these courses and the ability to utilize the knowledge in a practical manner students are not prepared for the future.  A high school diploma without additional education and training leads to careers in minimum wage jobs.  Commercial companies and major industries are demanding employees with much higher skills than previous generations.  The youth of Butler County must understand this fact and become serious students.”

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Parmer said his parents instilled in him a high value for education.

“Neither of my parents completed high school,” he said. “My father dropped out during the middle of the ninth grade to help his parents support the younger children.  My mother quit school during the sixth grade due to the financial needs of her family during the great depression.  Each of them enjoyed successful careers due to the abundance of manual labor jobs beginning with World War II.  I was lucky to be the child of Frank and Katie Parmer.  Their lack of a complete formal education led them to encourage me to become properly educated.”

After graduating from GHS, Parmer, who was awarded the Walter O. Parmer Scholarship, went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served five years as an active duty member of the Army and obtained the rank of captain.

In 1977, Parmer returned to Greenville to become the administrator of L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

“This experience launched a professional career in hospital management,” Parmer said. “ I served as chief executive officer of five hospitals in the southeast due to my ability to correct the financial difficulties of these institutions.  The last three years of my healthcare career were spent overseeing the operation of twelve hospitals in Alabama and Georgia.  These hospitals had combined revenue of more than $800 million and more than 2,500 employees.  The key to operating these successful financial turn arounds was to develop and execute a strategic business plan for each hospital.  I will bring this skill to the Butler County Board of Education.”

Parmer said his family has a long tradition of supporting Butler County’s schools.

“My late great-great uncle Walter O. Parmer not only provided financial support for the Parmer Elementary School in Greenville, but more importantly, provided the initial funds for the Walter O. Parmer Scholarships,” Parmer said. “Since 1936 this trust has provided almost 500 scholarships for deserving students from Butler County and five surrounding counties.  Almost 50% of the scholarships have been awarded to Butler County students.  When I returned to Greenville in 2009, my first project was to create the Parmer Scholar Foundation.  This foundation, composed of more than 100 Parmer Scholars, has raised more than $80,000 to date to supplement the Parmer Scholarships.  The foundation makes an annual contribution to the original trust.”

Parmer is running against Brandon Sellers.

The election will be held Nov. 4.