Four Alumni Running for Winthrop Board of Trustees Seat

November 06, 2017


  • Four Winthrop University alumni are candidates to fill one of the two alumni-elected seats on Winthrop’s Board of Trustees. The candidate who receives the most votes will serve a six-year term from 2018-24.
  • Voting begins on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, and ends on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Four Winthrop University alumni are candidates to fill one of the two alumni-elected seats on Winthrop’s Board of Trustees. The candidate who receives the most votes will serve a six-year term from 2018-24.

All Winthrop alumni are able to vote for their candidate of choice by using their seven-digit alumni ID number. Voting begins on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, and ends on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. All alumni may vote online or by paper ballot. To request a paper ballot or your seven-digit alumni ID number, please call the Office of Alumni Relations at 803/323-2145. Visit to read the candidates’ statements and to cast a vote.

The four alumni candidates are:
Debbie Garrick ’87, ’89: 
Garrick earned her B.A. in communication (minor in technical writing) and her M.Ed. in counseling and development at Winthrop. In 2009 she earned an Ed.D. in higher education administration from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to joining the City of Rock Hill in 2014, she worked as associate vice president of alumni relations and executive director of the Winthrop Alumni Association. As a Winthrop employee for nearly two decades, Garrick not only served as associate vice president but also taught ACAD, LEAD 175 and various co-op and career classes in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She also worked as a career counselor in Winthrop’s Division of Student Life.

Garrick stays active with Winthrop, where she serves as co-chair of the Class of 1987 Reunion; works as a Winthrop Alumni Admissions Volunteer (WAAV); is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and member and past chair of the Baptist Campus Ministry Advisory Committee. 

As a donor, she is a member of the D.B. Johnson Society, co-creator and contributor to the Maria Cristina Grabiel Fund and a contributor to numerous other funds. In 2016, Garrick received Winthrop’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

The Rock Hill resident is active in her community. She serves as board chair for the Chrysalis Autism Center; as a deacon at Forest Hill Church; member of Rock Hill Area Council of the York County Chamber of Commerce; member of 1-77 Alliance board; Supervisory Committee member for Family Trust Federal Credit Union; member of the American Public Power Association, where she holds the credential of certified Key Public Power Account Executive; and a graduate of both the S.C. Economic Development Institute’s Community & Economic Development Program and Leadership York Coun¬ty. In 2013, she chaired the City of Rock Hill’s award-winning ChristmasVille Festival and served on the ChristmasVille Board of Governors for five years.

David McDonald ’01:
McDonald earned his B.A. in history (minor in secondary education) at Winthrop. Since then, he has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and now assistant superintendent for school leadership for Greenville County Schools. He earned his M.Ed. at Concordia University as well as an instructional specialist degree and Ph.D. in education leadership and policy studies from the University of South Carolina. 

McDonald has remained active with his alma mater. He has served as a member of the Winthrop Young Alumni Council, the Winthrop Annual Fund Board, Winthrop Foundation Board of Directors and vice president of the Winthrop Alumni Association. He has begun his second term as president of the Alumni Association, and he also serves as a Winthrop Alumni Admissions Volunteer (WAAV). He delivered the 2011 Convocation keynote address, and he continues to speak for various Winthrop programs and presentations. 

The Greenville resident also stays active within his community. He is a board member for the Thieson Family YMCA; past president of the South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education; board member of the South Carolina Administrators Association; member of Rotary International; grand province advisor for Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc.; and member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform Executive Board, among others. McDonald is a Winthrop Alumni Association Young Alumni Award recipient. Additional accolades include the S.C. Middle Level Principal of the Year (2013), the S.C. Tau Kappa Epsilon Volunteer of the Year and Association for Middle Level Education National Educator of the Year (2017).

Scott Middleton ’81:
Middleton earned his B.S. in business administration at Winthrop. He is founder and CEO of Agapé Senior and LTC Health Solutions, which combined are one of South Carolina’s most recognized healthcare providers. 

He is a published author of “Parent Talk: The Nine Conversations to Have with Your Loved Ones.” 

Middleton continues to serve his community and South Carolina by serving on the Board of Directors for South Carolina State Chamber, City Partnership of Columbia and the Nickelodeon Theater. He also is a major catalyst/developer for downtown Columbia’s Main Street. 

Middleton also is an ordained United Methodist minister and resides in Chapin, South Carolina, with his wife, Evelyn. 

Isaiah “Reggie” Venning ’95, ’00:
Venning earned his B.S. in business administration and his M.B.A. at Winthrop. He is a self-employed stock trader living in Rock Hill. 

Since 2004, Venning has served as a notary public for the State of South Carolina. Venning has made significant contributions to the local community and state. He serves on the City of Rock Hill Community Relations Council, where he is a member of the MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, Black History Program and National Race Equality Week committees. In addition, Venning has served as president of the Student Improvement Council representing Old Pointe Elementary School. 

At present, he is the PTO president for Old Pointe Elementary School. He also serves on the Carolina Community Actions (CCA) Board, where he was appointed to represent the public sector. Venning volunteers regularly at the elementary, middle and high schools in the local area. As a result, he received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from Rock Hill School District Three. Venning also serves as a member of the Kappa Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., where he holds the Office of the Keeper of Finance. He also serves as public service chair for the chapter, where they participate in local community efforts such as the Adopt-A-Highway program and the Rolling in Rock Hill program, created by the City of Rock Hill for low-income family whose homes are painted for free. Venning also serves as the District Coordinator for the Big Brother/Big Sister program for the Sixth District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., which includes the states of South Carolina and North Carolina. He volunteers regularly at colleges, schools, churches and fraternity/sorority organization events, where he educates individuals on ways to save for their financial future and how to get out of debt. 

A native of Cainhoy, South Carolina, Venning lives in Rock Hill with his wife, Krystal ’96, ’99, and their two children, Isaiah Jr. and Langston.

For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 803/323-2145.

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