Brunswick Co. School Board incumbent reacts to losing primary

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After nearly 8 years of serving on the Brunswick County School Board, John Thompson will finish out his last days in office this December.

Jerry Benton, the new candidate on the block swiped the Republican ticket for the general election. Three major items he wants to work on include increasing teacher pay, school safety, and implementing trade schools.

“The folks from up north have them in their high schools already so they’re accustom to this. And the folks down here realize that, ‘Wait a minute we would really benefit from having our kids having a trade when they graduate and not pick up college debt,’ because not everybody’s gonna go to college,”  Benton said. “Actually have children who could come out get jobs and work in our community and stay here. And it would service the community and benefit us in such a great way.”

Benton beat Thompson by more than 600 votes. While Thompson is sad to go, he said he wishes the winner the best of luck and he is proud of what he has accomplished in the past 8 years.

“Primarily the focus on teachers, helping them reach their full potential,” Thompson said. “Teacher Academy was a program that we started last year that I’m particularly proud of. We had over 500 teachers participate in that. It was a very successful event.”

Benton’s family is all about education, his wife is the head master at a local charter school and Benton is a long-term substitute teacher and tutor.

“The importance that we do work on teacher pay,” Benton said. “Some sort of incentive plan for them. Because we do have to remain competitive with South Carolina who is taking our people away.”

Benton will face Democratic challenger Joanne Levitan in November’s election.

As for Thompson, he said he will always be interested in public education but for now he plans on focusing on his job as an architect.

Categories: Brunswick, Local

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