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School board member Doneva Chavis-Battle visits her grandaughter at Swift Creek Elementary as part of Grandparents Day. Swift Creek Elementary has held the annual celebration for the past seven years.

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School board member Doneva Chavis-Battle visits her grandaughter at Swift Creek Elementary as part of Grandparents Day. Swift Creek Elementary has held the annual celebration for the past seven years.

Five school board members run unopposed in re-election bids

By Jim Holt

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Five members of the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education have been able to breath easy this election season. The incumbent board members up for re-election all are running unopposed in their respective races.

School board Chairwoman Evelyn Bulluck of District 10 is seeking a fifth term on the board.

“I am running again because there are really great things being initiated for this district, and I would like to take part in bringing them to fruition,” Bulluck said. “We are getting ready to roll out a 1-to-1 laptop initiative. This is so very important for our students in preparing them for the 21st century.”

Bulluck said she looks forward to working closely with Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson in the school system’s endeavors to close the achievement gap and reduce the dropout rate.

“I am interested in increasing the graduation rate. I also want to be an advocate for our children on both the state and local level,” Bulluck said.

One of the strengths of the Nash-Rocky Mount school system is the focus on working together to help all children in the district, Bulluck said.

“Our staff is committed to educating our youth, and they work really hard to make that happen,” Bulluck said. “Our staff, superintendent and our board are in agreement that we want Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools to be the premier system.”

School board Vice Chairman Franklin Lamm of District 3 is seeking a third term.

“I’ve been in Nash County my entire life, and I’ve worked with the school system for 30 years,” Lamm said. “I have two children at Southern Nash Middle School and have always had a vested interest in the school system – serving it and seeing how much we can do for our students.”

Lamm touted the school system’s efficiency and the school board members’ ability to work together and understand others’ viewpoints.

“With 11 members, we have one of the largest school boards in the state. We work together. If you always put the child first, you can’t mess up too bad. I think we have board members who do that,” Lamm said. “We might have petty differences, but there is no turmoil at the meetings.”

Lamm said he is excited about working with the superintendent on the 1-to-1 laptop initiative.

“I would like to see the state budget come around where we can hire more teachers and teacher assistants and have smaller class sizes,” Lamm said. “With some of the baggage kids have now – they need extra attention. If we have smaller classes, we will be able to address some of those weaknesses when they come in.”

Board member Ann Edge was tapped in July to complete the unexpired term of her late husband, Joe Edge, in the District 11 seat. Her husband died in June after having served three terms on the school board. Ann Edge is seeking election to that seat this November.

“I have chosen to continue his legacy, which was to be an advocate for all children,” she said. “I am excited about the superintendent’s plan to increase the use of technology in our classrooms. The 1-to-1 technology initiative will provide iPads and laptops for our students, and we must prepare our students to use 21st-century tools and systems.”

Board member Doneva Chavis-Battle is seeking a fourth term to the District 1 seat in November.

“I serve on the board because of my love for children. I’m not a politician,” Chavis-Battle said. “In my community, and I am the neighborhood mom and grandma.”

The best thing the school board and the district can do is provide children with a solid, sound education, Chavis-Battle said.

“That would be my ultimate goal for every student in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools,” she said. “Right now, our strengths are the embracement of technology, teaching children on their level and having everybody focused on one challenge – and that is quality education.”

District 7 board member Bob Jenkins, who also is running for re-election, could not be reached by presstime.