2022 primary election: Incumbent Robin Moffitt runs for Brunswick County board

BRUNSWICK COUNTY ⁠—Incumbent Robin Moffitt, a Republican, is seeking to retain her spot on the Brunswick County School Board in District 3 headquarters.

Port City Daily sent out a questionnaire to every candidate running for local office in the tri-county area. The paywall is also removed from profiles to help voters make informed decisions before voting.

As a reminder, the early voting period runs from April 28 to May 14. The voter registration deadline is April 22. Voters can register on the same day 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 the candidates from their registered party that they wish to advance in the official election. Those registered as unaffiliated can choose the party primary in which they wish to vote.

Moffitt’s positions on the issues are discussed below. All responses are included in their entirety and the candidate’s opinions and statements do not reflect Port City Daily. Responses are edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity only.

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

Robin Moffitt (RM): I believe the biggest issues facing schools would be the learning losses that have occurred due to the pandemic and school closures. Distance learning was not optimal. Now that the pandemic is behind us, we must use all the tools available to remedy, mentor and get children 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 staff a bonus for their efforts during the pandemic. Signing bonuses have been offered to new teachers who teach subjects in critical areas such as math, special education, and vocational and technical education. I also believe that we must continue to create a culture within our schools that is focused on a positive and supportive learning environment for all. I have had the privilege of working with excellent administrators and central office staff while on the board, and I believe that everyone will continue to make our schools an engaging environment where students thrive.

PCD: hidden mandates. Balls and sports cancelled. Virtual school: how would you describe the current and past management of the Covid-19 pandemic in schools? Moving forward into an endemic phase, what is your position on how the council should weigh public health in its decisions?

RM: I think a major element that many didn’t address was the emotional and mental impacts on the students. Children will never be able to recover all the milestones that have been missed due to isolation and school closures. Distance learning has been a failure and many students are falling behind and suffering the consequences of virtual learning. Young people have not been seriously affected by the virus. One of my biggest frustrations is the massive number of healthy students and staff who have been quarantined. Other states that have stayed open and allowed children to go to school are much better off and show little difference in negative impacts. The board should make decisions considering the effects on the risk of students and staff while at school.

PCD: What is your opinion of current district salaries and staff morale? What changes would you advocate, if any, and how?

RM: Teacher supplements in Brunswick County have been increased in order to be more competitive. Half days have been incorporated into the calendar so that teachers have more time to plan and catch up. The pandemic has taken a toll on teachers and forced them to do things they’ve never done before. Virtual teaching was extremely difficult and very taxing. As we approach the end of the pandemic, normality will bring a new perspective for many. Being able to actively teach and interact with students without the requirement of masks and social distancing is a big plus. I believe the board should continue to seek to streamline paperwork and allow flexibility in professional development so teachers can focus on areas in which they would benefit.

PCD: Are community members, parents and staff heard enough? How can the neighborhood improve?

RM: Since I’ve been on the board, I’ve struggled to respond to emails and phone calls. Many parents communicate by email and some use the PA format at council meetings. I believe Council members are doing a good job answering questions and listening to concerns. The central office staff are very approachable and willing to help as well.

PCD: What should be done to make schools safer?

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

PCD: Are you comfortable with how the district uses local funds?

RM: The funding arrangement between county commissioners and the school system is phenomenal. The support of the Commissioners speaks volumes. I believe that local funds are put to good use. There is always room for improvement in any budget. Working sessions held during committee meetings allow everyone to discuss and share ideas on how to better use local funds.

PCD: What do you think of the current facilities of schools in Brunswick County? Should new schools be built to manage population growth?

RM: When other people from outside our district visit our campuses, they are amazed by our facilities. The buildings are clean and welcoming. Athletics facilities cannot 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 it can be.

The council has completed the population study and a new school will be built in the north end of the county to relieve overcrowding and future growth.

PCD: Are there one or more additional issues that you think need to be addressed during your tenure, if you win?

RM: I will continue to watch CRT and SEL coming out of DPI in Raleigh carefully. I believe it has no place in our schools, because it divides. SEL empowers teachers to access children in areas where they are untrained. Social and emotional learning has no academic value. I believe that we should be guardians of our children’s well-being and focus on their education so that they are ready to take the next steps after graduation.

Brunswick County has a policy that prohibits the teaching of CRT in our system. We have not adopted the CRT in British Columbia.

Do you have any advice or comments? Email [email protected]

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