Dr. Arnold Hillman had been associated with Bright Futures Unlimited, a consulting and advocacy firm devoted to bringing schools and communities together to solve local problems. As with all his efforts on behalf of schools and the communities they serve, Dr. Hillman brings a particular “can-do” approach to his work. He has been successful over the past forty years in marshalling the forces of rural communities in an intense effort at bootstrapping. Bright Futures helped to create the McKelvey and Lenfest Foundations. Each of these foundations is/was engaged in providing scholarships to poor rural students. The McKelvey Foundation operated in three states; New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Dr. Hillman is presently plying his trade in South Carolina. He has co-founded, along with his wife Carol and Dr. Vashti Washington, SCORS- South Carolina Organization of Rural Schools. Hel is also mentoring young men at a local rural high school.
“I have grown to know and respect Arnold Hillman since arriving in South Carolina in 2016. His purpose and passion for transforming the lives of children, families, schools and the communities in which they live and learn is without match. His constant vigilance and efforts to ensure that children in South Carolina have an exceptional education regardless of zip code are moving the needle towards excellence for all. His understanding of the rural, urban and suburban school experience comes from decades of work across the country and has yielded innovation, collaboration and transformative action.”
Dr. Jon Pedersen, Dean
College of Education
University of South Carolina
“ When you mention Arnie Hillman’s name in any part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, people know that he stands for fairness to rural people.”
Senator James J. Rhoades, former Chairman.
Senate Education Committee PA
“What began as a conversation about hosting a meeting in Columbia has led to a much valued and appreciated partnership. Arnold's passion and commitment to supporting the educational opportunities and enriching experiences for young people who need us the most is demonstrated in his great work. He brings people and resources together to impact the lives of children and their families, as well as the teachers and schools that serve them. He converts his words to action and helps get things done.”
Vice President of Mission and Partnerships
EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
“Arnold Hillman has done more for our Pennsylvania rural schools than any person I know. His dedication to our children is exceptional and he provides a voice to those school districts who need it the most. He is dedicated, hard working, and compassionate about his mission for education.”
Representative Donna Oberlander
Majority whip, House of Represenatives, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
“I have known and worked with Arnold and Carol Hillman for well over 30 years, primarily while I was the chief lobbyist and later executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Their commitment to public education – and, in particular their advocacy for rural schools and the children who attend them – has been extraordinary.”
Tom Gentzel Executive Director and CEO(ret)
National School Boards Association
“You have kept me informed about all kinds of issues in education on an almost daily basis.You are the most current well read man on the island.You understand government, school issues, helping the unnoticed, honoring students who would probably not get recognized,unafraid of the status quo, and until recently informed, used to eat chicken nuggets.You are aware of the dutie s and role of a superintendent and can mentor others in the areas of everything on the planet.”
Dr. Thelma Sojourner, Superintendent
Bamberg School District 2 SC
“Dr. Arnold Hillman is, as you might say, the “real deal”. Having retired from a career in education in Pennsylvania, he and his wife, Carol, moved to South Carolina several years ago. Instead of golfing or fishing, Dr. Hillman took one look at the state of rural education here and rolled up his sleeves. With Carol and Dr. Vashti Washington as his partners, Dr. Hillman founded SCORS---the South Carolina Organization of Rural Schools- in 2016.
Since its formation, SCORS has grown in size and in influence. Today, in addition to its Founders, SCORS has a Steering Committee that consists of sixteen educators, community leaders, and attorneys, including myself. SCORS is an all-volunteer organization and it is the leadership, dedication and passion of Dr. Hillman that drives SCORS forward.
While I am certainly proud of SCORS, I am particularly proud to call Dr. Hillman my friend. Every day, he gets up and tries to improve the quality of education in rural South Carolina. And in his “spare time,” he mentors high school students and tirelessly leads them to brighter futures. Simply stated, Dr. Arnold Hillman is a man who is making a real difference in South Carolina”
Attorney Marguerite Willis
Former Gubernatorial Candidate
“I have known Dr. Hillman for the past several years and have been a part of SCORS sinceits inception. Dr. Hillman has been a tireless advocate for public education during his professional life and even more so now in retirement in South Carolina. I find him a passionate and a well-reasoned voice of experience and a compassionate servant leader.
I fully endorse and support his efforts to improve educational opportunities throughout South Carolina, but especially in the most rural areas.”
Dr. David C. O’Shields,Supereintendent
Laurens County School District 56
Dr. Hillman earned his B.A. at Queens College, his M.A.s at the New School for Social Research and Temple University and his Doctorate at Lehigh University. He has been a teacher, social worker, employment counselor, manufacturer of storage containers, athletic director, human relations coordinator, assistant high school principal, junior high school principal, superintendent of schools, the executive director of an intermediate unit, a consultant, arbitrator and advocate. He has done over 20 superintendent searches for rural school districts in Pennsylvania.
His professional accomplishments include; creating an economic development program for rural areas, operating the largest preschool (handicapped) program in the state, creating a distance education program, spearheading the PA equity suit seeking equal funding for poor and rural school districts, organizing and presenting financial seminars for school districts across the state, acting as an advisor to the Pennsylvania Association of Rural And Small Schools, creating scholarship programs for rural students, creating a statewide network to reform school funding. Dr. Hillman is widely recognized as an expert in school finance and as an advocate for rural people. He has been a frequent presenter at national conferences, and has paid his debt to society by being a guest on many radio talk shows, and t.v. programs. He insists that all children are entitled to a quality education and he believes that local people, when given the chance, can make the right decisions for their schools and communities.