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Onslow BOE candidates share ideas for supporting young families
Daily News - 1/16/2020
Jan. 16--Republican candidates in the Onslow County Board of Education race had an opportunity during a Wednesday forum to respond to a number of questions on the issues important to families with students in Onslow County's public schools.
Four of the six Republican candidates vying for four nominations in the March 3 primary participated in the forum.
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Participating in the forum were Laura Deptola, Ken Reddic, Joseph Speranza, and Melissa Oakley. Christy Lopez and Eric Whitfield were not in attendance.
Takenya Kaprice LaBriado, the only Democrat candidate for Board of Education, does not have a primary and her name will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
This is the second Board of Education election since a state law changed the school board from nonpartisan to partisan effective in 2018.
Incumbent school board members Pam Thomas, Paul Wiggins and Earl Taylor are up for re-election but have chosen to remain registered unaffiliated. They are going through a petition process in an attempt to get their names on the November ballot.
The primary election will be held March 3 and the general election on Nov. 6.
At Wednesday's forum, The Daily News asked each of the candidates the following question: What is your vision for supporting young families in Onslow County?
"For the young families in Onslow County education is key. For the young parents I would love to create a parent-teacher advocacy program in Onslow County where parents can come and get resources that are available to them, where they can voice their concerns outside of a public forum like the Board of Education. It could be a separate entity but invite someone from the Board of Education where people can voice their concerns, ask questions, things they may be too embarrassed to do so publicly. I feel like it would be a way to be there to support young families in whatever way possible."
"I think probably two of the ways we can support young families is to be flexible and also try to be convenient as far as providing them with services, providing them with assistance, maybe even offer babysitting services for the young families for instance. It is difficult to meet with teachers when you have kids either having to pay a babysitter or having the kids running around during the conference. I do believe if we publicize, if we reach out to publicize about all things we can to make things convenient for parents I think will get a lot more touches with our young families."
"One of the ways we can support our young families is through open communication. At the level of the younger families that is normally through the PTOs, the Parent Teacher Organizations. I know when my children were in elementary school my wife was treasurer for the PTO at Parkwood and we had a lot of information that was available to us to allow us to understand what was going on within the school system. You don't have to be a board member; you just have to show up to the meetings. You can sit in the back and listen or talk with other parents if you have concerns or complaints. That's where the parents are and where you can get information about what is happening or why decisions or being made directly."
"As far as supporting young families in Onslow County that kind of goes with my life experience. I come from very humble beginnings and a lot of people don't know but I was a teen mother and being a teen mom you are required to work a little bit harder than the average teenager to succeed and from that I am one of two college graduates in my generation so, you know, I have a will to succeed and I understand those humble beginnings. I think we have a lot of social issues that need to be addressed and I think by strengthening policy and as a board member advocating for those children and young families, we can be a stronger Onslow County."
Watch the video of the forum here:
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