Booth sets her sights on third term

Published 8:54 pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eltha Booth of Washington is running for a third term on the Beaufort County Board of Education.

Booth, District 1 representative on the school board, leaves no doubt as to why she’d like voters to return her to her post during the Nov. 6 general election.

“I just want to make sure that we remember that we are representing the children,” she said. “That is our purpose for being a board member.”

It’s unclear whether Booth will have opposition in her district. As of Tuesday, no other candidate but her had signed paperwork officially declaring candidacy in District 1.

“I think that we, as a board, have accomplished a lot in the system,” she said. “We have reached out in the community for the concern of the children that we have.”

In October 2011, Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Don Phipps congratulated Booth for being selected to serve on the state delegation of the National School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network, reads an online post.
In an interview, Booth said she had used the network position to advocate for a steady source of federal funding for schools.

“Really, the whole meaning of that is that I have the opportunity to go to (Washington) D.C. and speak with the congressmen, the Senate and the House members, to take ideas and suggestions from the local board level,” she said.

Booth added she would like to see improvements in the federal No Child Left Behind law, though she didn’t outline what improvements she’d like to see.

She added she’d prefer that the N.C. General Assembly reassess its move to lift a state cap on charter schools, and to study “if it was profitable or beneficial to lift the caps.”

Asked whether she had any regrets about things she’d been unable to accomplish during her time on the board, Booth replied by saying a number of the board’s recent accomplishments are ongoing and that she’d like to continue her work on the National School Boards Association.

Booth was elected to her school board office as a write-in candidate in 2004, replacing Betty Randolph, who moved out of the district.

Both said that, at the time, she saw an unquestionable need to fill the vacancy, but also a need to stand for the interests of students.

“And I’ve always had a compassion for children,” she said, “so I decided to try it.”

She retired as a deputy register of deeds in Beaufort County in 2007.

Booth resides with her husband, Beaufort County Commissioner Ed Booth, who’s also had a long career in elective office.