Columbia – Dr. Bob Couch, a state and national leader in career and technology education, has been appointed as the newest member of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC). Couch, who is currently the Director of Career and Technical Education in District Five of Lexington Richland Counties, was appointed to serve as the Speaker of the House of Representative’s educator representative to the EOC. The appointment was made by Representative Jay Lucas, Speaker of the House. Couch fills the un-expired term of Alex Martin, set to expire in 2017.
Couch currently serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in District Five, a school that opened in 2012 which houses 19 technical programs, ranging from Aerospace Engineering to Veterinary Science. The student body at the Center, 40 percent of whom are Advanced Placement and Honors level students, have chosen career paths that can either lead directly to the workforce or further education in post-secondary institutions.
A chief architect of the landmark Education and Economic Development Act of 2005, Couch oversaw the implementation of the legislation that created a seamless career pathway for students. For 14 years, he worked as the State Director for Career Technical Education.
"I consider it an honor to be appointed by Speaker Lucas to serve as a member of the Education Oversight Committee,” stated Couch. “The work of this group is extremely important to assist and support efforts to improve student achievement, and increase graduation rates for all students in South Carolina. All students must graduate high school and be college and career ready to meet the required global knowledge and technical skill sets to be employable and enter postsecondary education and be successful. Every student deserves the opportunity to realize his or her dream and hope for the future."
In addition to his career in education which spans the two-year and four-year postsecondary levels, Couch’s professional career includes business experience in marketing, sales, human resources in manufacturing and health care, workforce development, and training. He served as Chief Human Resources Officer in the manufacturing sector at Beaunit Corporation and in the healthcare sector at the Spartanburg Regional Hospital System.
Couch has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including receiving the Educator of the Year award from both the S.C. Hospitality Association and the S.C. Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.
Active in his community, Couch is a volunteer with several non-profit and faith-based organizations, supporting projects to help the homeless as well as children in need.
The SC Education Oversight Committee is an independent, non-partisan group made up of 18 educators, business persons, and elected leaders. Created in 1998, the committee is dedicated to reporting facts, measuring change, and promoting progress within South Carolina’s education system.