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Uncovered: Allegations of cronyism, ethical breaches sprout at SC's newest governor's school

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Editor's note — This story was done in collaboration with the Index-Journal, an Uncovered partner.

McCORMICK — The John de la Howe school campus sits on a bluff by Lake Thurmond, hidden by 1,300 acres of forests and fields. It’s South Carolina’s oldest public high school — and one of the state’s newest and most ambitious educational experiments: a statewide governor’s school for students interested in agriculture.

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Little River in the western part of the Long Cane Ranger District off the Savannah River makes up the peninsula of the John de la Howe School and its 1,300 acres.

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Teacher Hunter Mortin with his class on Environmental Research set out to plant trees on the campus of John de la Howe School for Agriculture on April 14.

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Students work on a tractor for an equipment maintenance class at John de la Howe School for Agriculture on April 14.

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The old John de la Howe school auditorium’s deteriorating condition is seen in this April 14 photograph.

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Construction workers Marcus McWhorter and Keith Hartwell cut flooring for a building at John de la Howe School for Agriculture.

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This screenshot taken by cellphone by Richard Lewis in 2020 shows a paving crew at John de la Howe School.

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Valeria Vazquez sets up her show rabbit for a class project in her Animal Science class at John de la Howe School for Agriculture on April 14.

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Timothy Keown and Sharon Wall sit in the President’s House on campus of the John de la Howe school for agriculture during an interview April 14, 2021.

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Notes for students are seen posted at the John de la Howe School for Agriculture on April 14.