ADDRESS: 224 Black Jack Drive, Rockingham
EDUCATION: 1975 graduate of Richmond Senior High School; Associate Degree in Human Resources Technology; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology; and a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
FAMILY: husband, Walter, and two daughters, Alissa and Katie; son-in-law, Todd Scott; and two grandchildren, Hailey and Ella.
I am Pam Easterling and I am seeking re-election to the Board of Education. I am a life-long resident of Richmond County and continue to live in Rockingham. If re-elected, I will continue to support a curriculum designed for 21st Century learning. This includes a differentiated curriculum that is adaptive for children from a variety of circumstances, learning capabilities and learning styles.
I will ensure we continue to make use of the most refined and workable approaches such as teams that enable the teachers to fully employ their skills. I will continue to support proven means of parental and family involvement and continue to invite community resources into the schools to work with teachers in assisting each student.
Most of these approaches are non-traditional but have been implemented for some time requiring full community support and commitment. I might add these approaches are all less expensive and more productive for the community.
By continuing to support 21st century learning styles, we ensure each student is prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead in becoming and remaining successful in a globally competitive workforce.
ADDRESS: 620 Anson Ave., Rockingham
EDUCATION: I am a graduate of Campbell University with a degree in Biology and Science education. I was granted my North Carolina Teaching Certificate in science in 1967. Later, I received my Masters Degree in Educational Administration from UNC at Greensboro followed by the Advanced Post Graduate Study, Sixth Year Degree, from UNC at Charlotte. I held my license at the masters and advance level in seven areas including Gifted and Talented Teacher, Science Education Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, Vocational Education Director, Exceptional Children’s Director, Principal and Superintendent.
FAMILY: I am married to Bobbie Sue Ormsby. We have four children, all of which graduated from Richmond Senior High School and college. They are Britt Lovin, Brad Lovin, Don Ormsby and Laura Lovin Swangim. Laura is an elementary teacher in Arden, N.C.
EXPERIENCE: I have work experience at each of the areas for which I was licensed. In Richmond County, I have served as a teacher at Hamlet High School and Richmond Senior High. I have been an assistant principal at Fairview Heights Elementary School, and as a principal at Roberdell Children’s Center, Ellerbe Junior High and Monroe Avenue Elementary School. I retired from Monroe Avenue with 34 years of service.
MILITARY SERVICE: I am a graduate of the N.C. Non-Commissioned Officer Military Academy at Fort Bragg, N.C. and completed six years service with the Army National Guard as a wheeled vehicle mechanic and as a ground surveillance radar operator with the rank of sergeant.
CIVIC EXPERIENCE: I have been active in community service as a member and past deacon at First Baptist Church of Rockingham and member and past chair of the Cameron Morrison Prison Community Resource Council. I hold membership on the Richmond County Schools Educational Foundation Board and the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council. I am, also, a member of the Rockingham Civitan Club, The Rockingham Masonic Lodge, and the Community Based Alternatives Board.
The Richmond County Board of Education can best make academic achievement accessible to all students by having a great teacher in front of every Richmond County classroom and by providing them with the necessary resources and support. In order for teaching to be both effective and efficient, we must manage performance by setting clear expectations and holding ourselves accountable for meeting them.
ADDRESS: 800 Haywood Parker Road, Ellerbe
EDUCATION: graduate of Ellerbe High School
FAMILY: Includes a married daughter who lives in Richmond County and nephew Dale McInnis who is the president of Richmond Community College.
As I look into the future of public education in our county, I see our school board continuing to add new and innovative programs that challenge our students to embrace the educational process. In order to make academic achievement more accessible, we must continue to create schools and classes that will address the unique needs of all students. We can no longer teach using a “one size fits all” approach that does not connect with the diversity of 21st Century students. Our Early College High School on the campus of Richmond Community College is a prime example of meeting the educational needs of a unique student population. Students at the early college are being given the chance of a college degree while working on their high school diploma. This group of students might not have had a chance at a college education had this program not been available.
Our Transitional School is another educational offering that is providing at risk students with intensive remediation through smaller classes and is giving them the opportunity to graduate on task and on time. Leak Street High School offers yet another opportunity for student success. To date, this school has changed the lives of many of our students whose pathway might not have been so bright. The implementation and success of these non-traditional schools has proven that every student has a place where their full potential can be attained. In order for us to continue on this path of higher achievement, we must continue to assess the needs of all students and implement the types experiences that students see as relevant for their future.
Unfortunately, we will be delayed in many of the cutting edge educational opportunities that we would like to offer because of the current budget crisis. Nevertheless, we are thankful that while many large districts are cutting jobs we have been able to stay the course due to wise financial management.
In closing, if there is one sentence that will answer the question asked, it would be as follows: “By assessing student needs and meeting those needs using innovative educational programs, the most modern technology available, the best teachers in North Carolina, in modern and safe facilities, every student in Richmond County Schools will have accessibly to academic achievement.”
Irene Pittman Aiken
ADDRESS: 821 Williamsburg Drive, Rockingham
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction, Sociology minor,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A. Elementary Education
Pembroke State University (Now University of North Carolina at Pembroke);
B.A. Intermediate Education, Mathematics Concentration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
EDUCATION EXPERIENCE: Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Professor, School of Education, University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Elected Vice President of Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Society; Counselor, Kappa Delta Pi, Education Honor Society; L.J. Bell PTA
The board can make academic achievement more accessible by removing unnecessary requirements and redundancies. The board can examine the report requirements, for example, and eliminate those that take classroom time (or teacher effort) away from concentration on fundamental reading, etc. We need to continue to assess what is working and purge what is not, focusing on student achievement. The school board functions not to run the schools but to help the schools run effectively and efficiently. My platform is Focus Education and I believe my Focus Education will help the school board do its job and result in increased student achievement.
Inside the classroom, I want to continue our focus on the academic achievement of our students. We must improve the fundamental reading, writing and math skills of our community, beginning with our children. The less prosperous counties in the state have the highest concentrations of illiteracy, but Richmond County can be the exception to the rule.
We need to focus our energies to enable every Richmond County student to work up to the level of his or her ability, not just the minimum mandated standards. Performing at the basic level is underperforming for many of our children and the minimum standards will not result in the successful students we desire.
I advocate Focus Education for our entire county. Education should be the topic of conversation just like the Super Bowl or the price of gas. A focus on education means increased volunteerism in and for the schools. Many businesses permit employees to spend time (such as two hours per week) volunteering in the schools. Such volunteerism can become a mainstream practice, a part of the everyday life of Richmond County businesses. Volunteers could assist parents as well as students, such as in translating and clarifying information for non-English speaking parents, or working with parents who themselves need basic skills. A countywide focus on education will require enhanced communication between the schools and the community, and a sharing of successes as well as needs.
We are fortunate to have competent and caring teachers in Richmond County. We need to examine our priorities and make sure our teachers have the support and appreciation they need to perform optimally in the classroom. Richmond County can become known statewide for its quality schools and for the support the community provides them. In these ways, I believe we will increase the academic achievement of our students.
ADDRESS: 406 McDonald Church Road, Rockingham
EXPERIENCE: I have 35 years in education in Richmond County, working as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. I served on the board of directors and as president of the NC Association of School Administrators.
FAMILY: wife, Cathey, and have four children, all graduates of RSHS. Dann, Jennifer and husband Rick, Caroline and husband Fred, Lora Lea and husband Jeremy, and five grandchildren.
MILITARY SERVICE: I am a veteran, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. A member of Post 47, American Legion.
In order to enhance academic achievement for all students the school board must work with the superintendent and his staff to bring about three things. 1. Improve student interest in learning. It is a hard thing to do, but if we can’t get them interested, we can’t go far. The board, with input from teachers and others needs to conduct an in depth study and ongoing dialogue to see where we are and what we can do to improve in this area.
2. Improve parental involvement. This is another hard thing to do, but it is imperative if we are to improve academic achievement for all students. Parent-Teacher conferences on specified days are good but the same parents generally make the effort and the ones who need the conference the most seldom show up. The school board needs to see that all schools have an active P.T.O. and board members should meet with parents at the schools to discuss the implementation of a program that will get parents involved. Some parents say they don’t feel welcome at school, some say they go to the school to listen and not be heard. There are 168 hours in a week. Teachers have 35 of those hours to make a major impact on student’s lives. Parents have them the other 133. That’s how important parental involvement happens to be.
3. Support and Appreciate teachers. I think the school board needs to be more pro-active in showing their support and appreciation for teachers and other staff members. The board should recognize an educator each month. Recognizing those responsible for improving student achievement will make them want to achieve even more. Good things are happening in classrooms everyday but we don’t hear about the person making it happen. Morale is important to student achievement.