Letters to the editor: Sept. 4

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2022

Withers highly competent, an innovative leader

Congratulations to the members of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education on the unanimous selection of Dr. Kelly Withers as the new superintendent.

Dr. Withers brings a wealth of experience to this important job — teacher, principal, associate superintendent, and deputy superintendent.  She is highly competent and a strong, innovative leader. She is student-centered and has a reputation for strongly supporting teachers.

In any superintendent search, the board faces the question of promoting within the system or going outside.  Usually there are compelling reasons for one or the other.

Rowan-Salisbury has attracted some strong and innovative leaders from outside Rowan County, such as Dr. Lynn Moody and Dr. Don Martin.  It has enjoyed equally strong superintendents with local ties such as Dr. Judy Grissom, Dr. Harold Isenberg, Dr. Marcus Smith, Dr. Derwood Honeycutt, J. H. Knox, and others.

Now is the time for the hiring of “home grown” talent — a person with deep roots in Rowan County schools, a person who knows the people, and understands the culture, history and traditions of the area.

I hope that the community will unite behind Dr. Withers and her team as they work hard to improve our schools.  To the few critics of the schools, I urge you to give them a fair chance.  Rowan-Salisbury schools need strong leadership and stability, and the new superintendent is the perfect choice for this important position of responsibility at this crucial time in the history of public education.

— Phil Kirk

Kirk is chairman emeritus of the state Board of Education.

What was the rush?

Our local school board held a special meeting to vote on the next Rowan-Salisbury Schools superintendent. Something of this magnitude should have required all board members be present or set the meeting when all board members were present. Again I ask, what was the rush?

Per your own information, the public was assured that a forum would be held. The public was not involved in the process. How disappointed I was (as well as others) that the school board proceeded with the vote without once giving the public a chance for input. I mean really, what was the rush?

Much success to the newly selected superintendent, Dr. Kelly Withers.

A thank you to interim superintendent, April Kuhn. You represented the Rowan-Salisbury School system with dignity and professionalism.

As one of my former supervisors use to say, “You know what you’ve got, you don’t know who you’re getting.”

One final question, what was the rush?

— Tangy H. Roseborough

Salisbury

Time to invest in children is now

The kids are back in school, and another year begins without a sound basic education for our children. Our State Constitution guarantees a sound, basic education for all children. Since 1994 the courts have consistently found that our state is failing to meet even those minimum standards, stemming from the Leandro v. State of North Carolina case.

This is morally unacceptable and a violation of our children’s Constitutional rights. The children are the future of our state and our nation. Why are our political leaders lagging behind, searching for new ways to get around the court’s rulings over 28 years? Right now the state has a surplus of $6 billion. Leandro can be fully funded without raising taxes.

Here in Rowan County it could mean a budget increase of $62.7 million for our children’s education, according to Every Child NC. This investment could put our children on a path to better compete in this rapidly changing world. If we leave them behind, we do so at our own peril.

I call on Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to stop making excuses and to lead the General Assembly to fully fund the Leandro Plan. Our children all deserve a sound, basic education.

— Eileen Hanson-Kelly

Salisbury

Benson — loss of an activist for all

As I read the Salisbury Post on Sunday, I burst into tears as I learned the loss of George W. Benson. And yes it was George W. never George.

Not only was George W. a friend but he was a true activist. George W. had a true passion to ensure voter access and served in that capacity. He was a vocal community voice that pointed out things that could’ve been missed. I can’t count the number of times that George W reached out to me as we were working on policies to bring a perspective that could’ve been missed. He was always the voice of the underserved.

We spoke about three weeks ago and one of his last texts to me he told me he was fighting hard. George W. that fight was not lost on us and we will all keep fighting.

I will miss George W.’s text messages giving advice, giving opinion or just giving me hell. Rest well friend you are missed by many.

— Tamara Sheffield

Salisbury

Editor’s note: Sheffield is the City of Salisbury’s mayor pro tem.

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