Candidate: Nolan Hancock
District: Cumberland County Board of Education
Why do you feel like you are qualified to run for the Board of Education?
I feel that I am uniquely qualified for the position for several reasons. First, I am the proud parent of an 11 month old little girl, which means I have a vested interest in our schools until at least 2032. I am also from a family of educators. My wife is a middle school teacher in Harnett County, my mother-in-law is an elementary school teacher on Fort Bragg, and my mother retired from teaching after more than 30 years in the classroom. Finally, I feel that my background as an attorney lends itself to serving on our school board. I spend my days working with people from all walks of life who have different viewpoints and I negotiate solutions that are beneficial to all parties. I believe it is important that our elected officials advocate for our children, parents, and teachers. I advocate for my clients every day and will do the same for the people of Cumberland County if I am elected to serve.
How do you envision Cumberland County schools in 10 years?
I envision our schools being a beacon of excellence for what public schools can be in North Carolina. I feel this starts with ensuring that we are doing everything we can to support our teachers and administrators so that they can do their job, teaching our children. It is imperative that we develop and implement new and innovative ways of engaging our students and their parents in education. If I am elected I will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the board as I am the youngest candidate running and if elected I will be the youngest on the board.
What is the number one challenge facing the Cumberland County school system?
Retaining our quality teachers.
How do you propose to fix the challenge?
We need to work closely with our County Commissioners to try and increase the local supplement that our teachers receive. Teachers in Wake County receive almost $3,000 more than our teachers. Teachers in Clinton receive close to $1,000 more. We need to correct this inequity so that we can retain our teachers.
One of my objectives would be to develop programs that give our teachers the recognition and thanks they deserve when they perform at an exceptional level.
What new ideas/concepts can you bring to the office you are seeking?
Our younger teachers and parents need to have a voice on the board. I am from a different generation than the people currently serving on our board and the other candidates running for this position. I feel that we need someone who understands and relates to our younger teachers and parents. I believe that having that younger voice will improve the diversity of the Cumberland County School Board and will be better reflective our community.
It is my opinion that there is value in having a balance of educators and non-educators on the board as well as people from different generations and backgrounds. Cumberland County is uniquely diverse and the board that looks after our schools should reflect that. We need to have people with different perspectives and abilities in order to the increase the strength of the board as a whole.