Sprenkle looks to restore fiscal discipline

Published 10:01 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

As a 20-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Bill Sprenkle knows a lot about discipline. Combine that with a career in accounting, and Sprenkle knows even more about fiscal discipline.
“I’m just hoping to go and be the person who can guide them through the various things that need to be taken care of in a business manner,” Sprenkle said. “I don’t have all the answers to everything — I don’t even know everything yet — but I think I have a structured way of looking at things. I’ve always been a problem solver. Most of my 20 years in the Marine Corps was leadership and I just think I can go and bring that experience to the table that I don’t think they’ve had before.”
Sprenkle, who unsuccessfully ran for the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners in 2004 and the Beaufort County Board of Education in 2008, is facing Carolyn Walker for the District 7 seat on the school board in Tuesday’s general election.
Concerned with the maintenance of school facilities, Sprenkle has been attending school board committee meetings since August, 2011. He wants to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
“My biggest concern is being a proper steward of taxpayer money,” Sprenkle said. “We need to spend it properly to get the best we can for that money.”
Proper disciplined leadership on the school board is in the best interest of the students, Sprenkle said.
“If you have a good-run organization, then that is for the kids,” Sprenkle said. “The kids are the only ones that will reap the benefit of anything you do if you get it done right. We can’t throw more money after bad things, bad ideas. We got to go and get the biggest bang for the buck, and that’s what I’m all about.”
While Sprenkle praised Beaufort County teachers, he also sees a direct relationship between parent involvement and student success.
“For the most part, we have terrific teachers in the system,” Sprenkle said. “But they can only teach what the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction tells them to teach. They’re the ones who decide what our kids are going to learn, not our immediate school area. The other big concern I’ve got is to get parents involved. As I said at the forum, me or any teacher cannot make your child learn, we can’t make them do their homework, we can’t make them stay awake, we can’t make them always be on good behavior. These are things that parents have to do. Parents need to get involved in the progress that their child is making, be it the parent or guardian. You can’t just have a child and think that somebody else has to take care of it. It don’t work that way.”
Sprenkle also had high admiration for Beaufort County Schools superintendent Don Phipps.
“I think the superintendent we’ve got now is probably one of the best that I have ever heard of since I’ve been here,” Sprenkle said. “I really look forward to being able to work with him.”
Sprenkle has two signs on his desk that are indicative of what he would bring as a potential member of the Board of Education. One reads, “Honesty and Integrity,” while the other reads, “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.”