NEW HANOVER COUNTY—Christopher Morgan is a new candidate for the Board of Education race for New Hanover County Schools. Morgan is a registered Republican.
Morgan lives off River Road on Durands Landing and is a parent of two.
Below are Morgan’s answers to Port City Daily’s questions.
What do you see as the highest priority issue New Hanover County Schools face?
Safety, teacher retention, and growing population. Currently, safety is a high priority due to latest Florida event.
Do you find the operating budget to be appropriate? Would you like to see it increased, decreased or stay the same?
A $62 million operating budget is low, but not the lowest in the state. I would like to see the budget increased. More students will mean more state and federal funding.
Author’s note: Port City Daily initially identified the “operating budget” in our candidate survey questions as the total budget. The question has been simplified in its published form.
Michael Earl Kelly has been charged with at least 14 counts of indecent liberties with a minor. He taught at Isaac Bear Early College since the school’s inception. If information becomes available that NHCS staff members were aware of any of Kelly’s abuses, how would you plan to hold those individuals accountable?
It should be handled harshly if investigation shows administration was aware.
Author’s note: Since Port City Daily’s questionnaire was shared with candidates, Michael Earl Kelly has been charged with an additional 27 charges related to sex crimes against children.
Do you feel that New Hanover County elementary schools have a fair and just socioeconomic study body composition? Its middle schools? Its high schools?
It is so hard to have a fair, socially economic student composition per school. We must manage as effectively as possible with community involvement, teacher/staff awareness, and fair and equitable learning in the classroom.
Do you support the NHCS board’s decision to delay school redistricting? Why or why not?
Yes. Priority now should be on safe schools. Redistricting is a common practice, with pros and cons, and can be very expensive. With an already reduced budget, redistricting would demand some of those funds.
What is your opinion of having a board comprised of multiple individuals having served 15 or more years? What are the strengths or weaknesses of having a majority veteran board?
There’s a lot of wisdom with the current veteran board, but I have 20 years military experience (retired Maj. from U.S. Army Reserves) and 20-plus years teaching experience. I am empathetic to what teachers deal with on a daily basis. I have two children in the NHCS elementary and middle school schools. I am well equipped to utilize military training and deployments to increase school safety.
What strategy do you support in managing school overcrowding?
Since it doesn’t appear New Hanover’s population growth is slowing down, additional schools, considering redistricting, modular units, staff increase, and class size have to be discussed.
What are your thoughts on Charter schools?
I support charter schools, but my children will not attend. I’ve taught in the public school system in Vance, Wake, and New Hanover counties, and public schools have great teachers. Our move to Wilmington was primarily based on the excellent school system here.
RiverLights is apparently receiving a new elementary school. Do you believe this is a fair prioritization of resources?
I knew there was some discussion regarding a new RiverLights school, but I was unaware that was final. I would want to see analysis if Williams and Codington can handle fast pace growth of their school-age population. How many elementary aged students are in RiverLights currently? The Del Webb section (50 and over) probably wouldn’t have elementary aged children.
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