Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of candidate profiles for the May 6 primary election to be published between now and April 30 in The Daily Journal.
Pam Easterling wants to continue using her experience to benefit students in the county.
Easterling, 56, 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.
Easterling will be going up against incumbents Joe Richardson and Irene Aiken as well as challengers T.K. Thrower, Bobbie Sue Ormsby, Dewey Brower and Don Greene.
Early voting for the primary election starts today 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.
Easterling has served 12 years as a member, and she believes her history and experience with the board will continue to serve the students in the county.
“I feel the only thing constant about education is change,” Easterling said. “I was around when No Child Left Behind and I have even gone through the process of have to hire a superintendent. I feel that history will be very beneficial to the board.”
Easterling holds up her cause of changing the attendance policy as one thing she would like to accomplish if re-elected to the board.
“The state policy is that if you’re in school until 11:30 (a.m.), then that is counted as a full day,” Easterling said. “If a child checks out early or is tardy three times that is counted as a day absent here, and that doesn’t make sense to me. I know you have to draw a line, but some of those kids are at the mercy of their parents and not every kid can have the 3 or 4 o’clock appointments.”
Regarding the $50,000 that Raider football coach Paul Hoggard and Richmond Senior High School Principal Keith McKenzie asked of county commissioners for a proposed youth football program, Easterling thought it would be a great idea for the county.
“I’m all about education, I believe in education, but I also believe a youth football program would be essential to the county,” Easterling said. “Sometimes it’s all those kids have, and it really brings the county together.”
Easterling said that such a program would help teach kids leadership skills. Easterling was unsure if the county commissioners would fund the program with local money, but she did note that businesses and individuals have been approached to fund the program.