New Hanover County School Board candidates debate


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Submitted: Tue, 10/28/2014 - 3:38am
Updated: Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:51pm By:

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The candidates for New Hanover County School Board asked for your vote once again during a candidate forum in Wilmington Monday night.

From teacher retention to achievement gaps to administrator issues, there were many topics on the table at the forum for New Hanover County Board of Education candidates hosted by WWAY and WHQR.

WWAY’s Makenzi Henderson co-moderated the debate. One candidate, Janice Cavenaugh, couldn’t make it due to illness. But, the other six people vying for the four open seats did. Tom Gale, Don Hayes, Ed Higgins, Chris Meek, Emma Saunders and Bruce Shell answered several questions.

Here is how they responded to this question: “If elected, or re-elected, what problem would you try to tackle first.”

“The results of the bond would be in by that point. The very first thing would be if it passed, then there’s a series of things that would have to take place. And, it if didn’t pass, there would be a very long series of things that would have to take place,” Don Hayes, (R) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

“Student achievement. We have attempted to work with these schools, Snipes, Freeman, to help them to be able to be successful,” said Ed Higgins, (R) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

“There has to be another way we can measure student achievement without this constant standardized testing that is taking place. I know that’s stressing our kids and more so it’s stressing our teachers,” said Chris Meek, (D) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

“We must pursue the motto and that’s to reach, to equip, and then they can achieve. That’s where we need to start from and we’ve got to put teachers into the equation,” said Emma Saunders, (D) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

“When I look at issues and challenges, you know, when you’ve got 3,700 employees, if they’re all working in the same direction, there’s really no end to what can be accomplished,” said Bruce Shell, (R) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

“I’ve talked to people at education colleges across the state and their enrollment is way down and I know plenty of people who are actively encouraging people not to get into the profession. If we’re going to have this kind of problem, we’re going to have a huge crisis in the next few years,” said Tom Gale, (D) New Hanover County Board of Education candidate.

3 Comments

  • Interesting.... says:

    I think it’s interesting that Mr. Gale runs for an office every year but has yet to be elected. It’s also interesting that every year he aims for an office lower in stature after each consecutive loss. Maybe he’s finally picked a winner for the start of his political ambitions……..

  • trish mellott says:

    I think it is interesting that people can sit back and criticize others who are interested in being an integral part of our community. All candidates work tirelessly to try to make a difference. If you are not part of the solution like Tom and others who are interested enough to try to improve our community, then you are part of the problem with the apathy that pervades our nation.

  • Mac says:

    Is it interesting that Tom wants to serve his community?
    Is it interesting that Tom has a sense of responsibility?
    It it interesting that Tom wants to be a problem solver rather than a finger pointer?

    If your answer to those questions is yes to each, then it is very interesting indeed and why he deserves your vote. However, if you answered no, you are most likely one of those who believe all is well in our community or would rather point fingers rather than solve problems.

    Either way, your comments show your true colors.

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