Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of candidate profiles for the May 6 primary election to be published between now and April 30 in The Daily Journal.
Don Greene has always been a teacher in his career working with students at the classroom level.
Greene, 56, of Rockingham, is seeking 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.
Greene will be going up against incumbents Joe Richardson, Pam Easterling and Irene Aiken as well as challengers T.K. Thrower, Bobbie Sue Ormsby and Dewey Brower.
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.
Greene retired from teaching in June 2013 with over 30 years being strictly in the classroom as a teacher.
“I know firsthand what the struggles the teachers in the classroom face,” Greene said. “I know what it is like on the ground and what teachers have to face day-to-day.”
One of Greene’s biggest concerns with the school system is the amount of testing that faces teachers and students.
“With all the testing that is going on, a lot of the fun has been taken out of school,” Greene said. “Teachers are under such stress because of all the testing requirements. When you see children getting physically sick on those testing days, that’s not what school is about. Testing them to death is not making them want to come to school and learn. Tests don’t always reflect where the child is at.”
Greene hopes to be a voice for teachers and students at the state and federal level to help lessen the amount of stress placed on them.
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, Greene is in support for any new program, but would love to see programs that included the arts.
“You have to look at what the needs of our county are,” Greene said. “If there is that kind of money to spend on it that’s one thing, but it really is a balancing act. I would love to see a bigger program involving the arts, but programs, no matter what they are, help keep children busy and feeling positive about themselves. Still, the commissioners will have to take into account what the needs are all around the county including academic needs.”