Wednesday, July 24, 2024

2022 Primary Election: Incumbent Robin Moffitt runs for Brunswick County board of ed

BRUNSWICK COUNTY ⁠— Incumbent Robin Moffitt, a Republican, is looking to retain her spot on the Brunswick County Board of Education in the District 3 seat.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate running in local elections in the tri-county region. The paywall is also dropped on profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of casting their ballots.

As a reminder, the early voting period runs from Apr. 28 to May 14. The voter registration deadline is Apr. 22. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Primary Election Day is May 17. Voters will choose which candidates from their registered party they want to move forward in the formal election. Those who are registered as unaffiliated can choose which party’s primary they want to vote in.

Moffitt’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.

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Port City Daily (PCD): What are the greatest issues schools are facing? How would you work to fix them?

Robin Moffitt (RM): I believe the greatest issues schools are facing would be the learning losses that have occurred due to the pandemic and the closing of schools. Remote learning was not optimal. Now that the pandemic is behind us, we need to use every tool available to remediate, tutor, and catch the kids up to where they need to be.

Another concern is the recruitment and retention of teachers. Brunswick County has worked hard to increase teacher supplements, and give a bonus to the staff for the efforts put forth during the pandemic. Signing bonuses have been offered to new teachers who teach subjects in critical areas such as math, exceptional children, and career and technical education. I also believe we need to continue to create a culture within our schools that focuses on a positive and encouraging learning environment for everyone. I have had the privilege of working with great administrators and central office staff while on the Board, and I believe everyone will continue to make our schools an engaging environment where students thrive.

PCD: Mask mandates. Canceled proms and sports. Virtual schooling: How would you describe the current and past leadership’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic in schools? Moving forward into an endemic phase, what is your stance on how the board should weigh public health into its decisions?

RM: I believe a major component many failed to address was the emotional and mental impacts students suffered. Kids can never reclaim all of the milestones that were missed due to the isolation and closing of schools. Remote learning was a failure and many students are behind and suffering the consequences of virtual learning. Young people were not severely affected by the virus. One of my biggest frustrations is the massive number of healthy students and staff who were quarantined. Other states who remained open and allowed children to attend school are much better off, and show little difference in negative impacts. The Board should make decisions taking into account the affects on the risk of students and staff while at school.

PCD: What is your opinion on the district’s current salaries and staff morale? What changes would you advocate for, if any, and how so?

RM: Teacher supplements in Brunswick County have been increased in order to be more competitive. Half days were worked into the calendar so that teachers would have more time to plan and catch up. The pandemic took a great toll on teachers and required them to do things they have never done before. Teaching virtually was extremely difficult and very taxing. As we are nearing the end of the pandemic, normalcy will bring a fresh outlook for many. Being able to actively teach and interact with students without the requirement of masks and social distancing is a major plus. I believe the board should continue to look at streamlining paperwork, and allowing flexibility in professional development so that teachers can focus on areas in which they would benefit from.

PCD: Are community members, parents and staff members adequately heard? How can the district improve?

RM: Since being on the Board, I have made every effort to respond to emails and phone calls. Many parents reach out via email, and some use the public address format at board meetings. I believe Board members do a good job in answering questions and listening to concerns. Central office staff is very accessible and willing to help as well.

PCD: What needs to be done to make schools safer?

RM: Brunswick County schools should be very proud of the support and attention given to school safety. SRO’s are on every campus. They build relationships with students and take great pride in keeping our students safe. An additional SRO was hired this year in order to cover a school in case another SRO needed to be out of work. This allows for flexibility and schools needs to be assessed across the county. Years ago, the Board made school safety a priority, and I am thankful it continues to be a priority. The relationship the school system has with the BC Sheriff’s Department is top tier.

PCD: How comfortable are you with the way the district uses local funds?

RM: The funding agreement between the County Commissioners and the school system is phenomenal. The support from the Commissioners speaks volumes. I believe local funds are used appropriately. There is always room for improvement in any budget. Work sessions held during committee meetings allows everyone to discuss and share ideas on how to better use local funds.

PCD: What do you think of Brunswick County Schools’ current facilities? Do we need to build new schools to manage population growth?

RM: When others outside of our district visit our campuses, they are amazed at our facilities. Buildings are clean and inviting. Athletics facilities can’t be matched by our neighboring counties. BCS has done a great job using not only the bond, but other funds to make our facilities the best they can be.

The Board has completed the demographic study and a new school will be built in the North end of the county to relieve over crowding and future growth.

PCD: Is there an additional issue or issues you think need(s) to be addressed during your term, should you win?

RM: I will continue to keep a watchful eye on CRT and SEL coming out of DPI in Raleigh. I believe it has no place in our schools, as it is divisive. SEL places teachers in a position to access kids in areas where they are not trained. Social Emotional Learning has no academic value. I believe we should be gatekeepers to our children’s welfare, and place our focus on educating them so they are prepared to take their next steps upon graduating.

Brunswick County has a policy that prohibits CRT being taught in our system. We have not adopted CRT in BC. 


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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at alexandria@localdailymedia.com or on Twitter @alexsands_

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