Kidwell aims for the best for children

Published 10:02 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Proctor Kidwell has a goal he hopes to accomplish if elected to the Beaufort County Board of Education from District 5.
“When my grandson was born, I wanted to make sure I could get schools up to par before he started school,” Kidwell said. “I want not just the best for him, I want the best for all kids.”
He is not satisfied with the current state of the school system. He said the school system is not preparing students to be good citizens.
“When I looked at a local history book, I saw that it had only one sentence about the American Revolution. One sentence,” Kidwell said.
He is concerned about the math skills students possess by graduation.
“When you go to a grocery store or convenience store … if the cash register doesn’t tell them what the correct change is going to be, they can’t figure out what it is,” Kidwell said.
He demonstrated his care for the success of students when he used to manage a Golden Corral restaurant in Roanoke, Va. When he learned that several of the high-school students who worked for him were failing, Kidwell had them start bringing their homework to work and doing it there.
“If they couldn’t bring their grades up, they couldn’t work for me,” he said.
He still remembers one employee he watched go from failing grades to straight A’s. She wanted to go to summer school, but in Roanoke, summer school was not free. Kidwell gave the employee the money to attend and said she could pay him back later.
“I don’t know if she ever paid me back, but she graduated at the top of her class,” he said.
Kidwell said he saw improvement anytime students saw that someone was interested in their success. He said raising three sons taught him how to motivate kids and he wanted to put that knowledge to work.
“You have to find their hot button, and once you find that hot button, you can push it all the time,” Kidwell said. “We’ve got to get these kids to thrive at school. I want to make it interesting, as fun as it can be.”
Kidwell said he would support any extracurricular activities in the school system that would keep students motivated to do well in school.
He also would like to offer teachers incentives to do well in school. He suggested a bonus for teachers who had students do well in spelling bees or debates.
Kidwell also wanted to give teachers budgets that would cover school supplies instead of having them reach into their pockets for the things they wanted.
“If you are not motivating teachers, they can’t motivate students,” he said.
Kidwell is not a fan of funneling students into a career path while still in high school. He said students rarely know what they want at that age.
If elected, Kidwell would be willing to serve on any of the school board’s committees.
“I think I could help in every single one of them,” he said. “I’m a team player.”