Educators come in all shapes, sizes and with varying responsibilities. Many are teachers or administrators, however there are many more we don’t account for in our school system. Every adult who works in our school building is an educator. From bus drivers, custodians and maintenance personnel to teacher assistants in the classrooms, they all work in conjunction with our classroom teachers to insure our students get the best education in safe, secure and well maintained environments. However, we do not have enough bus drivers or other maintenance personnel to get our students to school or keep our schools maintained. Our classified personnel need to be able to make ends meet and paid a living wage. I support a staggered increase to a$15.00 per hour starting wage for all of our classified employees.
Our most precious resource is our children. As a parent, I want to see my children be successful in life. Success begins with a high quality education. The teachers and building level administrators in New Hanover County are the backbone of our school system. Studies have shown that teachers have the largest impact on a child’s education. We want the very best teachers educating our children. However, if we are going to get the best they should be paid salaries that would attract them to our system. Our children need them to stay. Teachers in New Hanover County should not be choosing between using their salaries to supply their classrooms or feed their families. I will fight to create a budget that provides our children with a great teacher and a fully funded classroom. I will also work with the budget committee to request an increase to county supplements in order to attract and retain those educators who will best serve our children in the classroom.
Professional associations provide members the opportunity for growth and networking. Many offer continuing education credits and workshops to improve classroom management and instruction. As a board member, I would encourage all of our employees to join and become actively engaged in their professional associations.