District 5 Nash-Rocky Mount school board member Tem Myers

District 5 Nash-Rocky Mount school board member Tem Myers

Nash-Rocky Mount school board member faces challenge

By Jim Holt

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Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Board of Education incumbent Tem Myers and challenger Bill Sharpe are facing off in the only contested race this November for the District 5 seat on the system’s school board.

As the Wells Fargo market president for Nash and Edgecombe counties, Myers has two children enrolled in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and a wife, Britt, who teaches third grade at Benvenue Elementary School.

In May, Myers was appointed to the school board’s District 5 seat to fill the unexpired term of Greg Camp.

“I believe we have a tremendous opportunity within our school system to transform it into a world-class public education system – one that lifts the quality of experience not only for students but for all citizens in our community,” Myers said. “Achieving this goal will take clear vision, strong leadership, a firm commitment to look forward and a willingness to engage in serious and open discussion about our future.”

Sharpe did not respond to repeated phone messages left on his home and cell phone numbers seeking comment for this story.

Myers said he believes his professional and personal backgrounds have prepared him well for the role as a representative for District 5, and he can bring tangible value to the school board, District 5 stakeholders and the broader community.

Myers said he would like to see a day where the Nash-Rocky Mount school system is a top 10 percent system in the state and top 25 percent system in the Southeastern United States.

“I will work hard to make sure that high student achievement is our top focus, and that we create learning environments and programs that are best in class and accessible to all,” Myers said. “I’d like to see us consider diverse and specialized programs at our middle school level.”

Different schools could perhaps have different speciality themes, Myers said.

“These themes could include areas like music, arts and creative writing, engineering and entrepreneurship,” Myers said. “We know that students and parents want more and higher quality educational choices today, and this is just one example of how we might provide that choice in middle schools much like we do through our academies in high school.”

If selected to sit on the school board, Myers said he will work to ensure the system has safe and orderly schools and board members focus on 21st-century professional standards.

It also is extremely important for the school system to stay engaged with the community, Myers said, and the district operates in a transparent manner and it “elevates and maintains our focus on high quality teaching and leadership standards.”

“I’ll work to formulate a comprehensive capital improvement plan that is strategic in nature and looks down the road and anticipates district needs so that we have a clear road map for all stakeholders,” Myers said. “We must be more proactive around our capital improvement needs, including

school building construction, building renovation and major capital items.”

Myers said he is interested in seeing the school system’s successful implementation of the 1:1 computing initiative, an endeavour of which Myers has been a vocal supporter.

“Our community ought to feel really good about this initiative. It represents a truly progressive approach and commitment from the school board and administration, and will position our district in the national conversation around technology leadership,” Myers said.

Since his appointment to the school board in May, Myers said he has been extremely pleased with the collaborative, team-above-self approach board members have practiced.

With 2,182 employees and a budget of approximately $177 million, Myers said Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools is one of the largest and most impactful businesses in the area.

“We are a major driver for our local economy, and we produce the vast majority of our local workforce,” Myers said. “Our partnerships with local business and industry are critical to our mutual success. Industry provides the school system a dynamic lens through which we can gain a better view of the ‘real world and real time.’”

Myers said the role of a school board member is challenging – but truly rewarding.

“I truly believe that our school system’s best days are just over the dashboard and not in our rearview mirror,” Myers said.