Three incumbents return to School Board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

JACKSON – Pending the results from the absentee ballots and a mandated canvass, it appears that three of the four incumbent members of the Northampton County Board of Education will return for another four-year term.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary revealed Catherine Moody, Roland Whitted and W.J. &uot;Bill&uot; Little Jr., all incumbents, survived a tight race among an eight-member field of candidates.

Moody, of Garysburg was the highest vote getter as she was named on 2,245 ballots. As expected, Moody faired very well in the western end of the county where she combined for 715 votes in the Garysburg and Gaston precincts. She also had support in Rich Square (238 votes) and Seaboard (200 votes).

&uot;This was such a close race,&uot; said Moody following the tentative results. &uot;I feel good about the outcome. The citizens came out and voted their conscience and I’m excited they saw fit to give me another four years.&uot;

Moody stated that she would focus on the schools that did not make AYP to get them up to standard and stood in support of getting more qualified/certified teachers.

She also made mention of addressing effective methods of discipline. &uot;I would like to work more with discipline, specifically the issue of ISS (In School Suspension). Children can not learn when they are out of school.&uot;

Moody suggested alternatives to promote learning and expressed pleasure at the votes in favor of the school bond stating that she was glad to see the support for the bond.

Political newcomer, Barbara Stephenson of Conway was second in the Board of Education balloting with 2,106 votes.

She also had the support of the county’s western end with a combined 589 votes in Garysburg and Gaston, plus another 140 from Lake Gaston. Rich Square (231 votes), Seaboard (167) and Conway (137) were also kind to Stephenson.

&uot;I am ready to get started working with the teachers, parents and students,&uot; said the 25-year teaching veteran. &uot;I’m proud that people came out to vote. I was hoping I’d make it, but anytime you get into politics, you can never be sure how things will turn out, but I am pleased with the outcome,&uot; she said with a smile.

When asked about her vision regarding the recent AYP results, Stephenson stated, &uot;Even though most of the schools made the AYP, it doesn’t mean it stops there. We have to get the staff involved, perhaps implement some workshops. We can’t get comfortable. We have to start from the ground up and keep on going.&uot;

Stephenson also said she would like to see a recreation/activity center for the youth. &uot;Children need somewhere to go and they don’t have a lot of avenues they can go into,&uot; she said, emphasizing the importance of teamwork. &uot;Not only do we want to involve students, but the parents as well.&uot;

Two incumbents rounded out the top four vote getters. Roland Whitted of Henrico garnered 2,092 votes, while W.J. &uot;Bill&uot; Little Jr. was named on 1,983 ballots.

Whitted’s support was based in the Garysbug/Gaston area where he earned a combined 684 votes. He was named on another 233 ballots in Rich Square.

Little, of Jackson was tops among the candidates in Conway (177 votes), Jackson (172), Creeksville (148), Lasker (71), Newtown (105), Pendleton (51), Rehobeth (52), Seaboard (151) and Woodland (122).

Rounding out the field, in order, was incumbent Clinton Williams (1,863 votes), followed by Board of Education newcomers Henry Moncure (1,687), Cindy Belch (1,466), and Dorothy Robins (831).

According to Northampton County Board of Elections Director Tonya Pitts, her office will conduct a canvass of all precincts in the county next week. Absentee ballots must also be counted. Upon completion of those events, the totals will become official.