Thursday, July 25, 2024

Election 2022: Bill Flythe campaigns for District 3 Brunswick County Board of Education seat

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. ⁠— Democrat William “Bill” Flythe is running for the District 3 seat for the Brunswick County Board of Education. He will face off against incumbent Robin Moffitt.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate appearing on ballots in the tri-county region, even those unopposed, ahead of the Nov. 8, 2022 election.

PCD asked candidates to address issues regarding learning loss due to Covid-19, SROs, teacher pay and more.

Flythe’s stances on issues are discussed below. All answers are included in full and the candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. Responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity.

The paywall is dropped on candidate questionnaires to help voters make informed decisions ahead of Election Day.

To prepare, here are a few dates for readers to keep in mind:

  • Absentee ballots will be available Sept. 9 and have a Nov. 1 deadline.
  • Registration to vote will open until Oct. 14; afterward, according to the state board of elections, same-day registration only will be available during one-stop early voting. 
  • Early voting begins Oct. 20 and remains open through Nov. 5 (3:30 p.m.).
  • Election Day polls open Nov. 8, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Locations to vote early in Brunswick County include the government center (25 Referendum Dr., Bolivia), Leland Cultural Arts Center (1212 Magnolia Village Way), Brunswick Center at Southport (1513 N. Howe St., #1), Brunswick Center at Shallotte (3620 Express Dr.), and Southwest Brunswick Branch Library (9400 Ocean Hwy W.).

Once early voting closes, voters will need to go to the location listed on their voter registration card.

To see a sample ballot for the upcoming election, fill in voter registration info here.

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Port City Daily (PCD): What are your top three concerns within the district and how do you plan to address them?
Bill Flythe (BF): My top three concerns are: teacher shortage, achievement gap(s) among students, and growing division between teachers and parents.

Board members should work with commissioners to raise the local salary supplement to a level that would make Brunswick County salaries competitive with those in New Hanover County. Local representatives in the NC General Assembly would be encouraged to raise teacher base salary (34th nationally) and to expand the Teaching Fellows program.

Strategies, involving STEM activities and remediation would target at-risk students to close the achievement gap.

Established groups, such as the PTA and Advisory Council, should be used to promote unity and understanding between parents and teachers.

PCD: How should the district address two years of learning loss due to COVID-19? 
BF: A search, if not already done, should be conducted to find “lost” or dropout students. Then, more teachers and teaching assistants should be hired. A remedial program should be established and/or expanded during the school year and summer session. 

PCD: There are over 24 SROs across each Brunswick County school. Is this effective for school safety? Why or why not? Should there be more measures implemented? 
BF: There should be at least one SROs at every school — two at the high school level. Of course, the Uvalde massacre showed that “it is not the number of dogs in the fight, but the amount of fight in the dogs!” Local training should be updated to reflect a corrected response during the massacre.

The NC General Assembly should be petitioned to consider some gun restrictions, particularly assault weapons.

PCD: Do you think schools are adequately staffed? Why or why not? Do you think teachers and staff are adequately paid? Why or why not?
BF: No. There are not enough math teachers for scheduled classes at one high school. A physics class, required for entrance into military academies, is not offered at a high school. There are not enough counselors and social workers to deal with the academic, mental health, and safety issues of students.

PCD: In what ways do you think the district is handling Brunswick County’s growth well — and what could it be doing better?
BF: The board handled growth well by passing a $150 million school bond a few years ago. It has not done a good job in recruiting an adequate number of teachers and keeping current ones from transferring to another district. 

PCD: The school board has faced many calls to offer more parental oversight of curriculum and/or consider banning certain books in schools. How do you promote a relationship of trust between educators and parents and ensure both parties’ roles are respected?
BF: Established groups, such as the PTA and advisory council, should be used to promote unity and understanding between parents and teachers. Subcommittees in those groups could be used to review controversial books.

The so-called parents’ rights groups should be discouraged 

PCD: What would you bring to the board that is missing right now?
BF: As a PhD chemist, I spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries as a quality control chemist or a senior laboratory supervisor. Approximately 15 years were spent in the classroom teaching chemistry, physical science, or physics at the high school and college levels. Thirty-five years have been spent as a volunteer providing competitive STEM events for students in middle and high schools. Five years were spent on the Brunswick County Planning Board. During the school-aged years of my two adult sons, time was spent as PTA president at the local elementary school and a member of the advisory committee at the local high school. 

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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