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Longtime district worker challenges Brunswick Co. School Board chair

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There are two seats up for grab on the Brunswick County School Board in this election.

It’s all about schools in the race between Republican John Thompson and Democrat Leonard Jenkins for the District 5 seat on the board.

Jenkins says he always has the best interests of Brunswick County at heart.

“First of all I graduated from here,” he said. “I grew up here.”

Incumbent board chair Thompson says that his focus is on the development of the students.

“Success for our students means to future success of our community,” Thompson said.

Jenkins says that teacher morale is an important issue for the school board to address. According to the climate survey that the state requires teachers and staff members take every two years, morale has dropped drastically since 2010.

“In 2010 most ratings were at 90 percent,” Jenkins said. “In other words, they were favorable. In the last four years some of them have gone down to 75 percent.”

Jenkins, who worked for the school district for 20 years, says teacher pay is to blame for part of that decline, as teachers are being forced to find other sources of income.

“I did a survey that showed that at least 59 percent of the people that took the survey had a part time job,” Jenkins said.

Thompson says during his time on the board Brunswick County Schools have been improving.

“And I believe we are building a strong foundation in education in Brunswick,” he said.

And while he does agree that money is an issue, he says the students should be the most important part.

“We have many needs on the capital side, but I think our focus right now is on the academic side; on the student growth side,” Thompson said.

Tomorrow we’ll meet the candidates for the District 3 seat: Republican incumbent Charlie Miller and Democrat William Flythe.


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