School board recognized at January meeting

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

It’s School Board Appreciation Month in North Carolina, and Polk County Schools took time at its January board meeting to celebrate its seven representatives.

White Oak representative Cindy Allen hopes it’s not the last time she’ll be part of such a celebration, though a recent vote by the North Carolina Legislature has added a new obstacle to Allen’s hopes for continuing her two decades of service on the board.

Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene took time during the board’s monthly meeting, held at Sunny View Elementary School, to salute the seven current representatives, his remarks including a note that donations had been made to the Polk Schools Fund in the name of each board member. Administrators throughout the district as well as district office staff also provided statements of appreciation for the board.

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“Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these men and women who represent our communities,” Greene said. “The staff and students of our school district wish to express sincere appreciation for the leadership and support provided by each member of the Polk County Board of Education.

“We hope others will join us as we salute the Polk County Board of Education, whose dedication and leadership help make our schools some of the highest performing in the state. We applaud them for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow for our students and for Polk County.”

The board currently includes Allen, Mike Ashworth, Rick Covil, Danielle Gibbs, Judy Jackson, Sherry Page and Rob Parsons.

The N.C. General Assembly passed a bill in June 2023 that switched Polk County school board races to partisan elections. Candidates for Polk County’s board will need to file either as a Democrat or Republican or obtain some 650 signatures in order to run as an unaffiliated candidate.

Allen is registered as an unaffiliated voter and thus must collect those signatures to have her name added to the ballot for the November election. Her petition with signatures is due by March 5. She does plan to attempt to collect the required number of signatures and run for re-election

Covil and Parsons are also running for re-election in November, though each had an existing party affiliation and thus do not have to petition to be added to the ballot.