Dr. Edward Pruden arrived at a time when Brunswick County Schools was looking for a leader. It seems his tenure was short but productive for a growing county.
He brought some needed stability to the school administration. And he is leaving with the support of the Board of Education behind him.
But this is a unique county that is facing some tough challenges in the years ahead. The proposed levy for Brunswick schools did not get the public support. With so many retirees in the area, they have a statistical disadvantage getting taxpayers to offer help for the future.
The next superintendent is going to have to be a good salesman. They'll have to convince this community that they need to cough up more taxpayer money to help further education. That won't be easy.
The school board may need to approach this hiring with a little different mindset. No doubt, they need a great educator. But they'll also need someone who can convince the taxpayers that investing in education is ultimately good for retirees as well.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Emailed comments from viewers:
Please let me know what your basis is for coming to the conclusion that a perceived lack of public support in Brunswick County is attributable to "retirees in the area". I think it is an insulting and unsustainable generalization.
In our community there are not only interested and supportive retirees, but also families with children who attend Brunswick County Schools. I don't have detailed knowledge about other local schools, but I can tell you that I am only one of very many retirees who volunteer at Union Elementary. I've been spending a full day at Union every week that school is in session. Perhaps you should contact the school principal, Ms. Vickie Smith, and ask her if she feels the retirees in the area are supportive.
Those of us who have migrated here from other states are appalled at the lack of financial support for the schools and the shockingly low pay for the many very talented and dedicated teachers. I would happily pay higher taxes to increase the funding available to provide the children of Brunswick County with more educational resources.
As you are probably aware, school systems from Texas have been holding job fairs in North Carolina offering starting pay that is more than 50% higher than the starting pay here. Recruiting has been going on in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte (not noted for their high retiree population) this past week, and Houston has announced the hiring of 20 of our teachers for the 2014/15 school years.
I recently read your commentary regarding Brunswick County schools. I think your comments are just like many of the things that you as well as your "reporters" make that you call news. Far from it.
You failed to mention that the tax increase was 50% for schools and 50% for beach sand maintenance. Do you think seniors are against more sand on the beach also?
Have you done a study that proves that Brunswick County schools had lots of money and were statistically better before the seniors started to arrive about 10 years ago?
Have you ever spoken to anyone in the school system about how much residents, particularly seniors, spend time, effort and money helping in the schools? I would bet you haven't. There are hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who are in the schools every day making the education process better for children that they never knew before. There are also many charitable organizations that donate money and supplies to the schools. These people, many of those seniors, never ask for anything in return. They only wish for those children to become better students and go on to live a good life.
Don't blame seniors for something that you know nothing about. Next time put your brain to work before you put your mouth in gear.