Winstead reviews lesson plan|Meet the candidate

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

Managing Editor

Cindy Winstead sees the writing on the wall, so to speak, and she wants to use her experience as a Beaufort County Board of Education member to do something about it.
“I think the biggest challenge over the next four years is that the needs are going to grow and available funds are going to be decreasing,” Winstead said. “It’s important to have experienced board members on the board to make the difficult decisions to continue to improve education, but in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Winstead, an incumbent, is looking to retain her District 8 seat on the Beaufort County Board of Education against challenger Ray Harris in the Nov. 2 nonpartisan election.
As a nursing professor at East Carolina University and mother of two, Winstead believes her many “hats” provide a unique perspective of educational issues.
“I’m a parent, and I have a child in the school system,” Winstead said. “Parents need to have a voice in the decisions made regarding the schools.
“As a college educator, I can understand curriculum development and testing issues that face the schools, and I can understand the challenges that face an administrator.”
When elected in 2006, Winstead joined a school board that was at odds with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, something she said she worked to correct.
“One of the things that concerned me when I ran before was the relationship between the Board of Education and the county commission,” she said. “They were involved in a lawsuit over funding, and, in the last four years, the new Board of Education and the new county commissioners have worked to develop a relationship that is not adversarial. Things have improved between those two boards, and I would like to help with that. As a taxpayer, that’s a real concern for me.”
Winstead would like to continue her efforts to bolster teachers in the classroom and advance recent gains in test scores.
“Number one, it is important to protect the classroom instruction by supporting the effective teachers we have and providing the resources that they need,” Winstead said. “During the last four years on the board, I can see things are improving and we are finally moving in the right direction. The teachers and administrators in the Northside area have been working very hard, and I’ve seen improvements in the testing grades, with the exception of U.S. history.”
Her tenure on the Board of Education has proven to be a lesson for Winstead.
“I have met a lot of wonderful people, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know teachers and administrators,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful learning experience.”
NAME: Cindy Winstead
AGE: 49
ADDRESS: 633 Mixon Creek Drive, Bath.
OCCUPATION: Nursing professor at East Carolina University.
EDUCATION: Graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing education.
FAMILY: Husband, Danny; two daughters.
BEAUFORT COUNTY RESIDENT: Has lived in Beaufort County for 22 years, including the past 20 years in Bath.
LAST BOOK READ: ”Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation” by Patricia Benner.
EXPERIENCE AS ELECTED OFFICIAL: Member of the Beaufort County Board of Education since 2006.
OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Beaufort County Community College teacher for 10 years before going to ECU this year.