Brunswick County School Board


Four candidates have come forward to run for two vacant seats on the Brunswick County School Board this fall.

The seats opened in November represent District 5, which covers the Leland area, and District 3, in the Oak Island and Southport area.

Incumbent Republican Robin Moffitt from District 3 will face Democrat Bill Flythe in the general election. Republican Steve Gainey and Democrat Cameron Hankins will be running for president in District 5.

Election day is set for November 8. Early voting begins October 20 and ends November 5.

Robin Moffit

Moffitt did not respond to multiple email and phone requests for comment for the StarNews candidate questionnaire. Moffitt’s answer to the primary election quiz can be found here.

Bill Flythe

William Flythe is running as a Democrat for the District 3 seat on the Brunswick County School Board.
  • Age: 77
  • Occupation: Retired scientist and teacher
  • Family: Married for over 50 years with two sons and two grandsons
  • Education: BSc in Chemistry (Johnson C. Smith University – Charlotte) and PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry (Howard University, Washington, DC)
  • District: 3
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat

Steve Gainey

Steve Gainey is a Republican running for the District 5 open seat on the Brunswick County School Board.
  • Age: did not provide
  • Occupation: did not provide
  • Family: did not provide
  • Education: did not provide
  • District: 5
  • Political Affiliation: Republican

Cameron Hankins

Cameron Hankins is a Democratic candidate for the District 5 open seat on the Brunswick County School Board.
  • Age: did not provide
  • Occupation: Dropout Prevention Specialist for Brunswick County Schools; pastor of New Christian Chapel Baptist Church
  • Family: Married to Tia Hankins with two sons, ages 9 and 7, attending Brunswick County Schools
  • Education: did not provide
  • District: 5
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat

What are the main issues you want to focus on if elected?

Flythe: Eliminate the teacher shortage and close achievement gaps between four student demographic groups. Funding for public schools should be increased so that teachers can receive a decent salary. Strategies, involving STEM activities, should target at-risk students to close the achievement gap(s) – range of 26-74% proficiency for K-12 students on state tests.

Gainy: Promote careers in technology and business to all middle and high school students. Ensure that the board continually facilitates communication between school resource officers, their superiors in the sheriff’s office, school administrators and the superintendent’s office. Appoint a board member to oversee and report on the activities and initiatives of the National Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction. Combat the influences of critical race theory, social-emotional learning, and school gender transition affirmation and Biden’s Department of Education efforts to expand Title IX protections based on gender identity. Bring in outside consultants to formulate a comprehensive teacher retention plan and an overcrowding plan.

Hankin: I firmly believe that each of us has a role to play, a perspective that will shed light and experiences that will provide direction. As a listening leader, I believe the key issues that are important are the support of our teachers, students and school staff; keep our schools safe; and ensuring opportunities for students on the college path as well as professional and technical careers.

What should the district do to address learning losses caused by COVID-19?

Flythe: A search, if not already done, should be done to find “lost” or dropout students. Then more teachers and teaching assistants should be hired. A remedial program should be established and/or expanded during the school year and the summer session.

Gainy: Provide after-school and summer classes in reading and math so that students have every opportunity to catch up on the classwork and instruction they have been denied.

Hankin: In order to effectively rebuild a post-pandemic public school that will provide a foundation for our students, the district should consider implementing remedial programs to ensure academic success for all students who were not engaged and/or focused during the uncertainties of the pandemic. By providing this additional support, these students can regain skills lost when schools were closed during the pandemic.

Why should parents believe that you are the best candidate to represent their family?

Flythe: I am uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Directors due to my background (PhD in Chemistry) and work experience. Twenty years spent in industry as a chemist or senior laboratory manager. Approximately 15 years were spent in the classroom teaching science at the high school and college levels. Thirty-five years have been spent as a volunteer organizing competitive STEM events for middle and high school students. I have also served as president of the PTA at the local elementary school and a member of the local high school advisory committee.

Gainy: If I represent their views, they should consider my track record of success. I had a very successful sales career because I was effective at delivering value to my clients who were still business owners. My success came from the time I took to understand their daily challenges. I have combined this insight with a deep understanding of my products and services, enabling me to offer informed and effective solutions. I will approach my advisory role by understanding the concerns of our parents, teachers, students, etc. And then propose solutions based on a thorough understanding of all available resources.

Hankin: As a father of two Brunswick County School students and an experienced educator, I understand the need for transparency and communication between the school board and the parents of the students the district serves. As a senior pastor and community leader, I understand the importance of meeting the needs of those entrusted to your care. I will draw on my professional experience and personal values ​​while prioritizing the highest level of academic vigor with the belief that every student can achieve and excel as the foundation for all decisions made regarding your family as well as mine.

How do you think the district can better recruit and retain qualified teachers?

Flythe: The council is expected to ask Brunswick County commissioners to raise the local wage supplement to the same level as New Hanover County, an opportunity recently missed by not using (federal) ARPA funds. The board should also maintain a delicate balance between supporting teachers and parents. Groups such as APEs and advisory councils should be encouraged.

Gainy:This is a critical challenge faced by all school boards across the state. As a council, we must first ensure that classrooms are a place where teachers are honored and where they feel safe and respected by requiring students to adhere to standards of decorum and conduct and by imposing harmful consequences on those who choose to ignore these standards. This is not happening now based on teacher feedback I am getting and this needs to change. Beyond that, we should hire a consulting firm to help us develop a strategic compensation plan using multi-year contracts designed to incentivize teachers to stay in the BCS system.

Hankin: Building strong relationships is key to the growth and sustainability of any organization. I will build relationships with our county commissioners, state officials, and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to ensure Brunswick County school employees receive competitive wages and local incentives. I believe that those who serve our students should not only be able to survive, but thrive through their commitment to supporting student success in Brunswick County.

What needs to be done at the local level to advocate for better funding for schools?

Flythe: Local members of CN’s General Assembly are expected to be asked in a resolution to raise the base salary – the 34th nationally – and restore some benefits for teachers. The Teaching Fellowship Program should be expanded. There should also be a resolution supporting the Leandro court case that would provide billions of dollars in additional funding for public education. The case is based on the NC Constitution which states that “every child shall receive a sound basic education”

Gainy: North Carolina residents are expected to rally for the passage of NC House Bill 1173. This will allow citizens to pass an amendment to the state constitution at the polls and take control of the North Carolina school board. state away from the governor and making its members accountable to the voters. So maybe the state board will start focusing less on implementing the latest “trends in education” and start focusing on reading, writing, and math. We are now appropriating a lot of money from the citizens to pay for this type of program and save enough on “fad programs” to improve our teacher pay scales.

Hankin: As a council member, I will establish a committee at the local level consisting of two council members, two county commissioners and two school officials who meet monthly to foster a better understanding of school concerns and proposals. budgets. This will ensure the best use of resources without overburdening taxpayers. I will work hard to find alternatives to ad valorem taxes to achieve these goals. I will use my skills and experience to fight diligently to ensure Brunswick County schools receive funding that for many years has not reached our county and our teachers.

Contact journalist Sydney Hoover at [email protected] or on Twitter @sydneymhoover. Join Facebook group on education issues in Southeastern North Carolina to stay up to date with education news.


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