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home : news : education June 27, 2022

4/14/2022 7:42:00 AM
ELBA Meet the Candidates: School Board

Wayne Howard

On Monday (April 11th) the East Lincoln Betterment Association held a Meet the Candidates event with candidates for Lincoln County Commissioner and Sheriff.  About 75 people attended.

On Wednesday night, ELBA's Meet the Candidates with those running ror the Lincoln County Board of Education drew only about a third as many people.  Eight of the ten candidates seeking one of the three seats up for election this year were there.  Joan Avery, who is seeking an at-large seat, was not.  Neither was Matt Brown, who is running for the district 5 seat.  Linda Wolfe, who is the only Democrat running for the district 2 seat, was not involved in the question & answer session since she has no opponent in the Primary, but she was allowed to introduce herself to the audience.  [Wolfe supplied the Lincoln Herald with a link to a YouTube video about her candidacy.  CLICK HERE if you'd like to see it.]

While the election this year is for three of the seats on the Board of Education, those representing districts 2 & 5 and one of the two at-large seats, registered voters can vote in all of those races (not just in the one where they live).  Candidates for the district seats have to live in the district they seek to represent.  Avery, who currently represents district 2, is seeking the at-large seat currently held by Tony Jenkins.  When the  board changed the district lines relative to the shift in population shown by the 2020 census, Avery's residence was no longer in district 2.

In addition to the  new district lines (which are for the school board races, not related to school attendance districts), another change this year is that for the first time, the School Board election is partisan.  

Most of the comments from the candidates and answers they provided to questions were very much the same from all.  One topic that was discussed was curriculum.  Most of the candidates were critical of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction, which chooses the curriculum options for schools in North Carolina.  

Tony Jenkins lamented that cursive writing isn't being taught.  Others complained about what is commonly called 'new math.'  Martin Oakes said, "I have four grandchildren being home-schooled and one in a public school.  I can't help the one who is in public school with her math."

Kaila Clippard, who said her child is in a private religious school "because we wanted a Christian education" said that social and emotional learning has become too much a part of other classes, "we need to get back to reading, writing and arithmetic."  

While some suggested that teacher pay needs to be increased, Oakes offered that competing with Mecklenburg County for pay would require a tax increase.  "We need to emphasize the other advantages of working in Lincoln County," he said, "except for more money, most wouldn't want to work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg."

The two sessions (Monday & Wednesday) were video recorded and will be available shortly on YouTube.  The Lincoln Herald will provide a link to them when available.

The Lincoln Herald will also have two nights of interviews with candidates.  We'll be doing interviews similar in format to the Presidential debates you have probably watched. On Monday April 25th, our reporter will ask questions of the candidates for Sheriff; then in a second session, of candidates for the Board of Education. We'll have the candidates sit at a table and answer questions; they'll also have the opportunity to respond to what the other candidates have said.

On Tuesday April 26th we'll do the same kind of interviews with the candidates for Lincoln County Commissioner.  These 'debates' will be at the Lincoln Cultural Center--but not in the auditorium. We won't have an audience for them--just our reporter, a camera operator who will record the sessions, and the candidates. The videos from these sessions will be uploaded to articles on our website and to YouTube.

We want to make sure that any question the public would like to have answered by the candidates is included. We are asking readers to send us questions they'd like to have asked. Email your questions to We have received some already, but we welcome others.  

While you can already vote in the May 17th Primary (absentee by mail), early voting will begin  Thursday April 28th.   In North Carolina, any eligible voter can request, receive, and vote an absentee ballot by mail.  Registered voters may request a ballot online at the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Portal. By-mail voters in 2022 must have their ballot witnessed and the return envelope signed by two individuals or a notary.

To vote on Primary Election Day, you must be registered by April 22nd, but you can register and vote at the same time during early voting.  


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