Board of Education candidate Q & A District 4

Sandhills Sentinel spoke with those pursuing Moore County Board of Education seats in November.

All candidates were provided a list of questions that they responded to in written form. Questions for each candidate are identical, and the candidates’ submitted answers have not been altered in any way. The order of candidates reflects the order they will appear on the ballot.

Betty Wells Brown

How long have you lived in Moore County?

I have lived in Moore County for approximately 7 years, and I have been affiliated with Moore County Schools for almost 20 years with my work at UNC Pembroke.

What is your educational background?

I have a PhD in reading education, an EdS (Educational Specialist) in administration and supervision, a master’s degree in reading education, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Have you ever served in an elected office?

I was elected in 2016 to the Moore County Board of Education; in 2004 elected as the president of the NC Reading Association, and in 2016 – 2020 as the president of Moore County’s Gamma Sigma, an affiliation of NC DKG (Women’s Educational Society).

For incumbents- What would you have done differently if you had the chance?

I don’t think I would have done anything differently. A number of our schools were unsafe and overcrowded. When we began our redistricting process there was not a firm plan to review schools’ capacities within MCS. From community input I would like to set up a plan to review the schools’ capacity, looking at the number of students and teachers in each school to prevent the overcrowding that we have experienced in the past. I would also like to have the Board of Education review yearly our construction and facility plans in order to keep up-to-date and prioritize or re-prioritize as needed.  We currently review this bi-annually.

What unique qualities will you bring to the office?

I have 45+ years working in education and administration; 15 years as a classroom teacher, 10 years working with military personnel (families/DOD), and 20 years at the university level. I have lived and worked in a variety of jobs, settings and states, so I know what has worked and what hasn’t worked in education. I’ve taught grades kindergarten – graduate classes. I’ve worked with complex budgets; rural to urban communities, and held different leadership positions (voluntary and paid) in the NC Department of Public Instruction and at UNC Pembroke. I am a fall 2015 Fellow from the Institute of Political Leadership, and 2016 graduate of the Moore County Leadership Institute.

Why are you the best candidate for the office?

I am the best candidate for the office on the MC Board of Education because of my varied experiences on my knowledge of the students, teachers, and staff of Moore County Schools. I have been working with MCS to manage growth in our schools; maintain a safe, productive learning environment; and to maintain short- and long-term plans for the District’s budget while being a good steward of public funds.

David Hensley

How long have you lived in Moore County? 

My family and I have lived in Moore County since relocating our companies to the Sandhills area in 2008.

What is your educational background?

I spent 20 years in the US Marine Corps, seven years enlisted and thirteen years as an officer. 

Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Masters of Science in Computer Science, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

Post Marine Corps Accomplishments include:

– Founder and CEO of several very successful companies

– One company is #525 on Inc Magazine’s 2019 list of the fastest growing companies in the United States

– 2019 Finalist for the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

– Largest NC based Federal Contractor

– Responsible for creating 1,000s of NC jobs

Have you ever served in an elected office?

No.  I am a businessman, not a politician.  I produce results, not excuses and that is what I will do once elected.

For challenger of an incumbent- What is one thing your opponent did while in office that you would have done differently?

My opponent, in fact, the entire school board, constantly fails in their primary  responsibility to produce academically sound schools.  Under the current Board of Education, Moore County has 5 “D” rated schools, 10 “C” rated schools and zero (none!) “A” rated schools. 

The current Board of Education holds no one in the Central Office responsible or the continued academic failures in the majority of our schools, so the schools continue to fail. 

Rather than vote in lock step with the rest of the Board of Education in accepting failure, I would have, in fact I will, demand accountability in the Moore County School system.  

What unique qualities will you bring to the office?

I bring demonstrated business experience, leadership and the ability to produce results, not excuses.

Why are you the best candidate for the office?

I am the best candidate for the office because I bring a demonstrated record of success along with diversity of background, education and experience to the board of education.  I am a leader and role model.

Early voting is from Oct. 15- 31. The election is November 3.

You can find more information on the Moore County Board of Elections website.

Contributed photos: L,R; Betty Wells Brown and David Hensley.

Article by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email