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Tate, supporters voice concerns with Pender Co. Schools leadership

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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- A Pender County commissioner is at odds with the superintendent of schools, and it appears he’s not alone in his fight.

"I can't speak for the entire board when I say everything that I say but I think the commissioners would agree with me on this, anyone who knows Jimmy Tate would agree with me on this, education is his passion,” said Pender County Commissioner George Brown.

It was the passion for education that lead Pender County Commissioner Jimmy Tate to request a special meeting with Pender County Superintendent Dr. Terri Cobb three weeks ago to discuss teacher pay, retention, and how to make students career and college ready. He says he has still received no response.

"I was fully prepared to consider resigning from the county commission and priority one because of the level of disrespect that I believe that I have been shown in this process,” said Pender County Commissioner Jimmy Tate.

That’s before a standing room only crowd packed into the Pender County Commission chambers and dozens of supporters spoke out on Tate’s behalf.

"He is really concerned about it, and it's not just one thing and only his idea,” said Pattye Ebert. “It's what he thinks, and he sees, and hears that's good for the people of Pender County."

Tate says this is a battle he never thought he would have to fight, but he will continue because he made a promise to his constituents.

"There's a lot of tension and I have lost many hours of sleep over this issue and physically and mentally it has really affected me, but I'm still willing to communicate,” said Tate. “I think that as public officials we have to put our differences aside, and if it's really about the children she will call me tomorrow, and we will have a meeting. I'm willing to do that."

WWAY tried to reach out to Dr. Cobb to get her side of the story, but we have yet to receive a response.

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