Two vie for School Board District 1 race
By JOHN LENTZ
An experienced educator will attempt to keep her seat against a newcomer who hopes to bring "a fresh perspective" to the only contested Moore County Board of Education race this year.
Incumbent Lorna Clack will face Ben Cameron in the race for the District I position.
Three other board seats are on the ballot as well, but Kathy Farren in District 2, Laura Lang in District 4 and Bruce Cunningham in District 5 are all running unopposed.
Clack has six years of service as a board member. A former educator, she was elected vice-chair on Dec. 4, 2006, when she first joined the school board. She was elected school board chair on Dec. 3, 2007, and was again chosen to be vice-chair on Dec. 6, 2010. She serves on the Legislative/Policy and Curriculum committees.
"The educational, physical and emotional safety of each child is of paramount importance," Clack said. "I believe all children deserve excellent teachers and knowledgeable, insightful principals to lead their schools. We have 12,707 students in Moore County schools, with none to spare, and every child must have highly skilled teachers of reading, writing and mathematics, as well as in the arts, sciences and democracy at every school level. To stay on top, all educators need ongoing research-based training.
"I believe in treating students with dignity and practicing equity in the distribution of each teacher's time and attention," she said. "Nurturing learners, whether in the first grade or the 12th grade, using positive, encouraging strategies is important. I have found that students build on their successes in school and develop self-confidence in problem-solving and in their own social skills when people believe in them."
Some of her proudest moments as a board member, Clack said, have included "passing the school bond, opening two new schools, refurbishing existing schools, and the hiring of Superintendent Aaron Spence to lead our school system as we move onward, 'Growing To Greatness.'"
"Our 'Growing to Greatness' plan has exact strategies related to leadership, learning, culture and community. Talk with me personally about the wonderful, exciting changes under way in our 24 schools. I am so proud of our school employees and the children's success."
Clack said she is seeking re-election because "I believe I can make a productive, positive contribution to the board and its goals for the children of Moore County."
Regarding a specific issue related to her position as a board member, Clack said that she "will work with our senator and Rep. Boles and others in Raleigh seeking to regain these funds that the state took back in the last three years, over $8 million.
"I will always be an advocate for public education ... it is my life's work. I have been in the classroom and I know how it is. I sincerely believe that every K-3 classroom teacher should have a full-time teacher assistant."
Cameron, the challenger, said that his campaign platform "revolves around my ties to the area and my vested interest in Moore County schools."
"I am a lifelong resident of Cameron and a product of Moore County schools," he said. "I received an excellent education and was fortunate enough to continue my learning with a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill."
Cameron returned to Moore County after graduation and became involved in the insurance industry with GMAC Insurance for the past 19 years.
"I am the proud parent of a second-grader, so the future of our school system will be impacting me on a daily basis for the next 10 years," he said. "I want to use this connection with the system and the area to make Moore County schools better for everyone.
"Having daily interactions with what is going on in school, especially on a primary grade level, is something that is currently missing from the board. I have both access and interest in what the children, their parents and their teachers are saying, and can bring this communication to the administration."
Cameron said that helping children to reach their full potential is "the most important item" for a school board member to address.
Cameron said that, if elected, change would not be a priority.
"I think the board is doing an excellent job and that the only way to continue to be successful is to work as a team and not pursue individual goals," he said. "I do believe that as the only new board member I can provide new ideas and a fresh perspective to a group that has seen very little change in the last eight years.
"I am seeking a position on the board because I believe the best education possible is vital, not only to the success of our children but to our society as a whole. I have watched with great interest the changes in the school system since the birth of my daughter, and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to participate in the process. I want to help be a part of providing that success to the children and the future of Moore County, and believe I can provide insight that will aid the board and the system in its growth to greatness."
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@thepilot. com.
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