School Board candidates jockey for votes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2006

MURFREESBORO – In Thursday’s News Herald we published closing comments from each of the six candidates who attended last week’s forum for the Hertford County Public School Board election.

Three seats are open for re-election this year and there are seven individuals vying for election to those seats.

Of the seven candidates who are running for election, only Carolyn Mitchell Vaughan did not attend the forum.

What follows are excerpts from the answers candidates gave to specific questions:

Do you feel the students of Hertford County are receiving the best possible education?

John D. Horton (Incumbent) – &uot;While it is difficult to say this, the answer is no. However, I feel it is our responsibility to work together as a team to take us where we need to go. We must take the areas where we are weak and build on them.&uot;

Dennis Deloatch – &uot;The answer is no. We cannot be satisfied with the results we have been getting. We can do a better job. Most importantly it takes us putting away our personal agendas to get the job done.&uot;

Rev. Patrick Young (Incumbent) – &uot;We are not happy with mediocrity. We need to move to excellence. A cloud has been lifted from over our system and I think that we are on our way. The commitment must come from our staff as well as the community.&uot;

Susan Barnes Williams – &uot;No, not at all. Many of our students leave Hertford County and they struggle. Change is not going to happen overnight. Everyone must pull their own weight and put aside personal differences.&uot;

Ron Baker (Incumbent) – &uot;Certainly not. The answer will always be no because perfection is not possible. We haven’t fallen short because myself or any other board member has not tried. Finance is an issue. This is not even the best education we can pay for.&uot;

Marcus Williams – The answer is no. We must start by electing a board that will put their personal differences aside. We need a board that will consistently do what is in the best interest of our children.&uot;

What is the greatest challenge facing our school system?

Deloatch – &uot;We have to turn our community around and get parents more involved in our school system. This room should have been packed. How do we get parents more involved? Our teachers and staff are doing the best they can, but we need more commitment from parents.&uot;

Young – &uot;One of the greatest challenges is recruiting quality teachers. We need experienced teachers in areas that we are being tested on. We need to increase the money being spent to attract quality teachers.&uot;

Susan Barnes Williams – &uot;We do need quality teachers, but we also need more parental involvement. Teachers do not want to stay in the area like in previous generations. Something in the system has failed them and eventually it has failed us as well.&uot;


– &uot;First we have difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified administrators. Secondly we have difficulty attracting and retaining qualified teachers. Third, we have many teachers that have a sense of complacency about their job and job security. Lastly, we have issues of funding on the federal state and local levels.&uot;

Marcus Williams – &uot;We need to hire and retain people who grew up in Hertford County. I see an inadequate number of qualified people in key positions. We were not even prepared for the start of the new school year because we didn’t even have a superintendent in place.&uot;


– &uot;After serving for 20 years I think our greatest challenge is the &uot;No Child Left Behind&uot; mandate of the president. We are supposed to meet certain standards. It’s not just Hertford County, but the entire state that is not meeting that mandate.&uot;