Three candidates are running for two seats on the Wilmington City School District Board of Education. Below is the information they supplied upon request from the News Journal.
I am seeking re-election for the Wilmington City School Board because I believe that Wilmington City Schools, faculty, and student body are a cornerstone of the community. I have a desire to promote a strong educational experience for children of all backgrounds and abilities. My goal in serving as a board member is to use my experience in business to ensure the schools are operated efficiently so that all students continue to have access to a high quality education and access to extracurricular activities to enrich their educational experience. I have a strong passion for helping all children achieve their goals no matter how big or small the goal may be.
I am an advocate for children with special needs and their inclusion in education and the community, as I myself am a parent of a special needs child. To that end, I believe that education looks different for some students and it should be the goal of the school as well as the parents to work together for to foster a path for success.
I have a strong business background and am currently employed at Peoples Bank in Wilmington as a Commercial Banker. I graduated from Wilmington High School in 1993 and my wife, Chastity, in 1995. Chastity currently serves as the executive director of the Wilmington Schools Foundation. We have three sons Alex (class of 2019), Austin (11th grade) and Andrew (6th grade). I have served on many boards in Wilmington, including Orion, Inc., American Red Cross Advisory Board and Little Hearts Big Smiles.
KEVIN NEIL SNARR
I want to continue to be a Wilmington City School Board member for several reasons. I have devoted my professional life to the education of children and believe my insight, perspective and experiences position me well to serve the students, families, and residents of the Wilmington district. I also believe it is very important that the Wilmington City School District have high quality schools not only to serve our students and families, but also to attract and retain high quality employers. I also want to give back to a school district that provided me with a fabulous kindergarten through high school public education.
If elected I want to ensure the focus of the Wilmington City Schools is kept on the academic and social development of all students. I also want to work towards lowering class size – especially in the early grades. I would like to use my experience to ensure that monies are allocated to areas that have a direct impact on students. It is also a goal of mine to make sure fiscal decisions are made in a manner to ensure long-term financial stability within the context of a state biennial budget.
I am a graduate of Wilmington High School, taught high school social studies at Wilmington High School, and have been a principal in the Wilmington District. I have also been a volunteer in the district as well as a School Board member for 11 years. My wife Tanya and I also have four children; our oldest daughter is a freshman at Wilmington College and graduated from Wilmington High School last year, our next to oldest daughter is a senior at Wilmington High School attending Laurel Oaks, our son is a freshman at Wilmington High School, and our youngest daughter is a fifth-grade student at East End Elementary.
I have found that WCS employees and the community take a tremendous amount of pride in our schools and are always striving to improve. I would be honored to be elected again to the school board and use my experience to help steer Wilmington City Schools.
ELAINE M. SILVERSTRIM
Educational Background: B.S. Early Childhood Ed, Albany State College, Albany, Ga.; M.A. History, University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa.; M.Div. General Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y.
Dear friends and neighbors,
I have placed my name in consideration for the School Board for Wilmington City Schools because I care. I am a passionate supporter of public schools and our teachers, having spent time in public school classrooms in Georgia and Pennsylvania along my journey before and while serving as an ordained Episcopal priest.
My husband and I moved to Wilmington in the fall of 2013 and the community continues to impress us with its support for children and families in the county. As a WAMA (Wilmington Area Ministry Association) representative on the Community Action Council, this sense of a community that cares is only strengthened.
One of the great foundation stones of our democratic experiment in self-governance, is the creation and expansion of taxpayer funded public education. Functioning democracies require educated and engaged participants. This is still true. Schools are also the primary space for learning how to kindly live with each other in the delightful diversity which is the framework of our daily lives.
I also know how much time and money teachers spend to provide the best space for stimulating learning by students. I’ve noticed a significant increase in funding requests by teachers in WCS as well as neighboring school systems. As much as possible we contribute to DonorsChoice requests, but I am curious to know more about the local budget.
I applaud the move to create grade-level campuses of the schools in the WCS system, even with the transportation challenges. I am keenly interested in curriculum decisions to help our students graduate with the skill sets needed in a rapidly changing world.
Although I have much to learn, I also have much to contribute and would appreciate your vote on November 3. I seek to do this for my great-grandson, Bradley, a first-grade student at Holmes Elementary, and all the children who arrive at the classroom doors every day.