SC native making a difference in hometown

Justin Baird, Staff Writer

One Pee Dee resident attended Francis Marion University (FMU) when sidewalks had yet to be laid, only a few buildings existed and the name was still Francis Marion College (FMC).

Darlington native Audrey Streit, now principal of Faith Christian Academy, graduated from FMC in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Streit said it was Renny Johnson, a former psychology teacher at Darlington High School, who inspired her to pursue a psychology degree and Dr. Gary Hanson, former professor of psychology, who encouraged her to succeed in her studies.

“I never thought about being involved in education but from a young age, I’ve had a niche for dealing with people,” Streit said. “It’s a God-given talent.”

Streit said she chose to come to FMC because it was convenient and she felt welcomed by the staff, who offered assistance when she needed.

After graduating from FMC, Streit married in 1980 and moved away from Florence. For 12 years, she worked in social services in South Carolina and Virginia.  In 1995, Streit returned to the Pee Dee, a place Streit said she loves, to raise her son, who is also an FMU alumni.

In 1998, Streit helped start a private school, Faith Christian Assembly, where she taught for 12 years.

Faith Christian Assembly closed in May of 2010, but Streit and the Faith Christian Assembly team opened Faith Christian Academy, which Streit now leads as principal.

Streit went on to comment about the growth of FMU since graduating in 1997.

“I am thrilled to see FMU growing the way it is,” Streit said. “Most people think FMU is just a small town college and nothing comes from small town colleges, but my story goes to prove that a small town college has taken me all over the nation.”