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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Craven County Board of Education District 5

The Craven County Board of Education is the local governing body of the County Public School System. Its members must reside in each district, but are elected countywide in nonpartisan races and serve staggered 4-year terms.The 7-member school board has 5 primary responsibilities: 1. Employ the superintendent 2. Establish policy 3. Determine annual operating and capital budgets 4. Approve student assignment boundaries 5. Oversee the management of the school district’s major systems, including budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, personnel and auxiliary services

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  • Candidate picture

    Glenn A. Fink
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Kelli S. Muse
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What experience and qualities do you feel you bring to this office? (YouTube link or 500 characters max)

What do you think is the most important responsibility of a school board member? (250 characters max)

How would you assess teacher satisfaction in the county and how would you promote professional development? (500 characters max)

What are the issues in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers? (500 characters max)

What are the critical state funding needs for this county’s schools and how would you address those needs? (500 characters max)

Age (optional) 63
Contact Phone (252) 229-0076
email address finkg@suddenlink.net
Position/philosophy statement The public school system must prepare students to be productive citizens & provide a foundation to fulfill their dreams and reach their potential.
I’m a Christian, conservative & constitutionalist. I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering. I have held various leadership roles in maintenance, engineering & operations in manufacturing. My career has been understanding & solving problems to drive improved performance. I am a citizen passionate & engaged in efforts to improve public education. I am active with the Craven County School Board: Attend meetings, provide input, review of on-line curriculum & stakeholder on the Visioning effor
Work for the citizens to provide a safe environment, accountability with operating requirements and high student performance results in our schools. There are 6 D rated schools which is unacceptable. Transparency & open communications are critical.
Our teachers school day schedule is packed, which forces them to do much on their own time, they feel undervalued and don’t feel they have a voice to make their circumstances better. When a person loses “hope” it is challenging to perform your best and want to continue. We must gain their trust, listen to their ideas and make necessary changes. Most professional development is for equipping teachers on effective use of systems necessary to support school operations versus personal growth.
Salaries and supplements are much more important in recruiting. Once employed, job satisfaction & organization culture considerations become more important: Reference teacher satisfaction above. There is a significant issue overall with discipline in our schools. This is complicated by pressure on retaining funding & graduation rates. Ensuring students have the knowledge and capability to succeed in the next grade level, including kindergarten. This is especially important in grade school.
• Necessary classroom resources for Teachers with a focus on reading and math. • Critical professional development for teachers. • Continue increasing Teacher supplements. • School safety including school resource officers and other best practice scopes. • The expansion of vocational and trades education. I would drive for a zero based budgeting process, requiring justification for every line item. Perform life cycle cost evaluations on all applicable projects and purchases. Discipline.
Age (optional) 49
Contact Phone (252) 617-7491
email address kellimuse@hotmail.com
Position/philosophy statement I will work to build transparency with finances, curriculum and policy. Our students and teachers deserve strong leadership to ensure success.
Through my experience as a program assistant in Career and Technical Education, I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility while balancing the supply, material and equipment needs of teachers and students. I am the only candidate with a working knowledge of school system budgets. I know the critical role educational partnerships with the business community has helping grow our own responsible, productive citizens in Craven County.
Transparency is the most important responsibility. I believe every school board member should be transparent with all stakeholders and no decision made without valid stakeholder input.
The NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey plainly shows a decline in teacher satisfaction with their jobs and with their leadership in Craven. I believe happy and engaged teachers will produce happy and engaging classrooms where students strive to be successful. Teachers also need appropriate professional development to help them be more successful in the classroom. This means meeting their needs where they are and not shoving canned programs and professional development to just check a box.
Issues with recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is a problem that is multifaceted and involves more than the local school board. However, the local school board should be proactive with working with state and local leaders on the issues of teacher pay, true classroom size, and the amounts of extra paperwork and duties that do not relate to the actual job of teaching.
Every school system has critical needs such as building replacement and improvement, teacher pay, and student resources. Craven is no different. While state funding is needed for these, there has to be a systematic approach to prioritizing the school system budget that puts student learning first and provides realistic resources for students and teachers that students and teachers can actually use. We need to listen more to our teachers rather than spend on frivolous initiatives.