Williams: Take ‘common-sense’ approach

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Staff Writer

Terry Williams pledges he’ll bring “common sense” to the Beaufort County Board of Education.
“I think a good board member is somebody with a diverse background,” he said. “There are a lot of different things you’re going to run into with the schools.”
Williams, a Chocowinity resident, is running against Revondia Harvey Barrow in school-board District 4.
Williams said he has considered running for this position for the past two election cycles, but he added his job kept him on the road and out of the political field.
“There was just no way I could do it,” Williams commented.
Williams, now retired, said he’s in position to bring his full attention to the task of campaigning for, and serving in, elective office.
“I do stay busy, but I can set my own schedule, so now was the time,” he said.
He added that, as southeast regional marketing manager with Procter &Gamble, he managed budgets of more than $30 million, and dealt with large personnel groups.
Williams said he also worked with contractors and subcontractors, experiences he contends would serve him well on the school board.
“I’m very familiar with what you call the bid-and-contract process,” he said.
Asked to describe the No. 1 issue facing the school system and how he would address it, Williams pointed to what he sees as a need to improve “the overall learning experience for our students.”
“I think we need to improve the quality of education,” he said. “Whether they’re college-bound or whether they’re entering the work force, they must be adequately prepared. We need to face it: Every student that we graduate is not going to college, but they do not need to be left behind. We need to make sure that they have the preparedness to enter the work force.”
Williams also mentioned boosting the graduation rate at the high-school level, though he offered no specific information as to how he would achieve that goal.
“I feel we need to graduate students at a higher level than our 71 percent, which was recently reported as improving (over previous years),” he said. “But that still says we’re not graduating one out of every four students.”
The school system should work to raise students’ competency in basic math, reading and language-arts, Williams asserted.
Williams, whose two daughters are teachers, referred to issues surrounding teacher recruitment and, indirectly, retention.
“Hopefully, we’re already hiring the best teachers that come to us,” he said. “I wouldn’t think that we would be hiring (them) if they weren’t the best ones. We do need to do that, and we need to support those teachers in the classroom once we hire them. They need to know that we’re standing beside of them.”