NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — We continue our profiles of the candidates leading up to next week’s primary election. Meet the five Republican candidates running for a chance to earn a seat on the New Hanover Board of Education.
One hot-button issue is how they would compare neighborhood schools with diversity. We asked each candidate for comments as part of a longer interview.
In alphabetical order, first up is Steve Bilzi a parent, a former teacher and former member of the Board of Education
“They aren’t mutually exclusive, everybody wants neighborhood schools. The people who are interested in busing don’t have to take their kids to school every day. Again what we have to do is look at the bigger picture and see how we can achieve diversity on a more permanent basis with other methods instead of hand tying the schools.”
Next we meet Tammy Covil a parent and small business person.
“Neighborhood schools in my opinion are schools of choice because when you are looking at purchasing a home in a particular area one of the key criteria that you look for is the school district. It’s about providing equal opportunity.”
Now meet Lisa Estep, she is a parent and an accountant.
“The important thing to remember about neighborhood schools is that it does allow parents to volunteer, it does allow them to know what’s going on with their student, with their child. The issue of diversity could in a lot of ways be answered by making more schools of choice.”
Tom Heitman is a parent and real estate broker.
“I believe in neighborhood schools I think it’s better for parents who can travel to their kids school. If the school is too far away it hinders the parent from being involved. I think if parents want a different choice there should be open choice. I think parents should have the right to choose a different school.”
Jeanette Nichols is a parent, a grandparent and is an incumbent on the Board of Education.
“I did vote for the neighborhood school concept, because most of the parents who came to the forums and talked with us said, I want my child close to home. When we would have hearings of parents and grandparents would say, I can’t get across town, I need my child or grandchild close to home.”
These interviews are taken from longer interviews with each candidate for this story. We urge you to watch the complete interview with each person here on our web site.