WANTED: Northampton School Board member

Published 7:21 pm Sunday, February 15, 2015

JACKSON – Do you feel the need to serve the students and staff of Northampton County Public Schools?

If so, you are asked to step up and make known your intentions.

The Northampton County Board of Education is accepting letters from now until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 from persons interested in serving on the Board for the duration of the remaining term of a vacant seat.

The seat became vacant when School Board member Erica Smith-Ingram resigned due to her victorious campaign to earn a spot in the North Carolina State Senate. Smith-Ingram defeated two other candidates, including Senate incumbent Clark Jenkins, in last May’s Democratic Primary and then won the District 3 seat by running unopposed in November’s General Election.

The Gaston native resigned her Northampton Board of Education seat effective Dec. 31, 2014 and was sworn in as a State Senator on Jan. 8, representing the eight counties of District 3 (Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell and Washington).

According to information provided by Northampton Public Schools, candidates seeking the vacant School Board seat are asked to include in their letter the reason why they are interested in serving; an explanation of their qualifications that support his/her reasons that he/she is the best candidate; potential contributions and assets that the candidate would bring to the Board; their vision for Northampton County Schools; and their contact information (phone, email, address).

There is no age requirement listed as part of the application process. A candidate is required to be a current resident of Northampton County. Since all seats on the Board of Education are elected in a non-partisan manner, a candidate’s political party affiliation is not part of the selection process.

Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter said the selection process will be open and transparent.

“All of the meetings held by our School Board on this matter, to include the actual interviews with the candidates and the vote taken by the Board to select the candidate to fill the seat, will be conducted in open session and are open to the public,” she said.

Once all letters of interest are received, the current six members of the School Board will review each one from Feb. 27 through March 2. In the event the Board receives an abundance of letters from interested candidates, there is the possibility that a Special Called Meeting will be used at 5 p.m. on March 2 to narrow the list down to those that will be interviewed. Those chosen for interviews will be contacted by March 3. Those interviews are scheduled to take place from 4-6:30 p.m. on March 9 at the Central Services Office in Jackson. The Board can choose to select one of those candidates following that round of interviews.

The candidate chosen will be appointed to serve out the remaining 16 months on Smith-Ingram’s unexpired term.

Smith-Ingram was first elected to the Northampton School Board in May of 2008 and re-elected to a second, four-year term in 2012.

Those seeking more information about this process can visit www.northampton.k12.nc.us or the Northampton County Schools’ Central Services Office on Church Street in Jackson during normal business hours.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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