Wanted: Applicants for seat on school board

Published 6:36 am Saturday, February 28, 2009

By Staff
It is understandable why, for now, only one person has applied for the vacant seat on the Beaufort County Board of Education.
The school board, like the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, often finds itself in the cross hairs of public scrutiny. Traditionally, the school board is one of those governing bodies that receives plenty of public criticism and little public praise.
Belhaven resident Barbara Williams is seeking the seat vacated by John White, who resigned from the District 3 seat late last year. Williams deserves respect for being willing to serve on the board. It’s up to the school board, which will choose White’s replacement, to determine if Williams is qualified for the post she seeks.
The lack of applicants should concern the school board and parents with children in the school system. No doubt there are people in Beaufort County who would make excellent school board members, but they are unwilling to face the scrutiny and criticism — some justified, some not — board members must endure.
Why should they?
Here are a few reasons: To ensure students receive the best education the school system can provide; to ensure school-system money is spent so the first objective can be met. To give something back to the community.
We’re confident most school board members serve because they have the best interests of students at heart, and thus adhere to the above principles.
School board members know criticism comes with the office, and they should welcome constructive criticism — that’s a huge part of the job.
Beaufort County needs school board candidates with thick skins who above all want to improve educational opportunities for our children.
It’s time for those who have been unwilling to serve on the board, but have criticized board members in the past, to take a chance and throw their hats in the ring.
The community will be better off for it.