Editor’s note: This is a first in a series of candidate profiles for the May 6 primary election to be published between now and April 30 in The Daily Journal.
Joe Richardson is hoping to continue to help teachers and students if he is re-elected to the Richmond County Board of Education.
Richardson, 74, of Rockingham, is seeking re-election to the Richmond County Board of Education. The seat is a four-year term and the salary pays $225 per month. Four seats will be coming open this year.
Richarson will be going up against incumbents Irene Aiken and Pamela Easterling as well as challengers T.K. Thrower, Bobbie Sue Ormsby, Dewey Brower and Don Greene.
Early voting for the primary election starts Thursday and will last until 1 p.m. on May 3. Election day for the primary will be May 6. The primary election is the only election for the school board.
Richardson brings 35 years experience in education, including four years on the board, to the race. He has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent for Richmond County Schools.
Richardson believes in focusing on what’s best for students in the county, but it doesn’t just stop at the students for Richardson. He said that he is and will continue to be an advocate for teachers.
“Most teachers are getting no pay raises and the teacher’s career status has been eliminated, which was a protection for teachers,” Richardson said.
Richardson hopes to strengthen the voice of teachers in the county.
“I think it is important that the teachers have some say in what happens,” Richardson said. “There is so much more to teaching than the curriculum, directives and policies. The teacher has got to win the hearts and the minds of the kids before any learning goes on.”
Regarding the $50,000 that Raider football coach Paul Hoggard and Richmond Senior High School Principal Keith McKenzie asked of county commissioner for a proposed youth football program, Richardson believed that the idea is a great one, but he doesn’t foresee the county being able to produce that kind of money for the program.
“The county commissioners are under the gun to come up with funds for all programs including schools and infrastructure for all the county,” Richardson said. “Richmond County Schools need more money too, but we know the budget is tight and they do the best they can. I don’t think there is a person on the board that would say it isn’t a good program.”