COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s former education leader is throwing her support behind Democratic nominee Lisa Ellis in the race for State Superintendent of Education.

Inez Tenenbaum, who served as State Superintendent from 1999-2007, said Ellis’ “years of experience as a classroom teacher is pivotal in her endorsement.”

“As a lifelong educator in South Carolina public schools, Lisa Ellis understands more than any other candidate the challenges facing public education in our state,” said Tenenbaum. “She knows that building and maintaining a teacher workforce is critical for the future of our state. Her students-first approach will keep public funds in public schools and keep schools accountable.”

Tenenbaum’s endorsement comes just one day after outgoing State Superintendent Molly Spearman shared her support for Republican candidate Ellen Weaver.

In addition to being a teacher for more than 20 years, Ellis helped start the grassroots educator group SC For Ed in 2018, where she advocated for higher teacher pay and better classroom conditions and urged safety among teachers and students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both candidates – Ellis and Weaver – will meet in a televised debate on November 2nd. The election will take place on Tuesday, November 8.