Hodges stresses experience on boardsPublished 10:03pm Saturday, November 3, 2012
With school leaders facing increasingly tighter budgets and greater challenges providing students with the quality of education they deserve, it’s important for voters to choose a candidate who has experience facing those challenges, according to F. Mac Hodges.
“I have seen countless changes in education during my service,” Hodges said. “I am confident what I have learned through those changes has made me a stronger representative of my constituents.”
Hodges, who represents District 5 on the Beaufort County Board of Education, is seeking re-election to the board.
He was first elected to the Washington City Schools Board of Education in 1984 at the age of 24. Following the merger of the city and county schools, Hodges has continued to serve on the county school board.
Last year, he was elected chairman of that board after serving several terms as its vice chairman.
During his tenure on boards of education, the local public schools have not only been through a merger of two local school systems, but also school closings and consolidations, bond referenda, superintendent changes and countless other issues, Hodges said.
Providing students with the quality of education they need to find good jobs and compete in today’s global economy is the top priority of school leaders today, Hodges said.
The top challenge to those leaders is lack of funding to provide that education, he said.
“Our young people are the future of your communities. It is more crucial than ever before for us to see that every possible benefit in education comes their way,” he said. “Whether they are headed to a four-year university or are going directly into the workforce, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are 21st-century ready.
“In these dire budget times, this is not a responsibility for someone unfamiliar with the process.”
His civic activities include membership in his local Ruritan club, where he has served as president and vice president, and the Future Farmers of America Alumni Association, including a tenure as president. He was elected to the state FFA Alumni Council, serving as Eastern Region Representative and, later, Vice-President and President.
In 2000, Hodges was the first North Carolina FFA Alumni Association member to be elected president of the National FFA Alumni Association, and in June 2011, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the organization.