Ralph Chandler was a highly respected former member of the Greenville County School Board and represented District 28, which covered a wide area from southern Mauldin and Simpsonville, west to the Anderson County line and south to Piedmont, Ware Place and Fork Shoals.
He grew up a few miles from here at the Ware Place and attended Fork Shoals High School where Fork Shoals Elementary is currently located. He earned his college degree from Furman and his masters degree in theology from Southeastern Seminary in Louisville. He was a Baptist minister, a counselor with SC Vocational Rehabilitation, a Deacon, a community leader and a farmer.
During his 18 years (1976-1982 and 1986-1998) on the School board, fellow board members expressed overwhelming confidence in his leadership abilities and integrity by electing him twice as the Board Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary.
He is remembered as totally committed to serving the residents in the southern communities. He wanted to see significant improvement in school resources and to positively address concerns of substandard facilites and overcrowding.
He is remembered as a powerful voice for students, teachers and administrators.
He is remembered as one of Greenville's strongest advocates for public education.
He is remembered as one who was never content to straddle the fence.
He was an outspoken school board member who was known for his ability to ask piercing, yet pertinent questions facing the District and Greenville County's young people.
He is remembered for bringing equality in education to southern Greenville.
The mission of Ralph Chandler Middle School is to provide diverse educational opportunities that support Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.