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New Hanover County School Board candidates debate

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.

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More: continued here

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