Three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Education this year mean voters will decide among two incumbents and four political newcomers. One of those incumbents, Republican Jeannette Nichols, is seeking her fifth four-year term.
As a retired teacher, Jeannette Nichols says she’s passionate about meeting the needs of all the students in her district. Nichols says the Board is working to improve the performance of the failing high-poverty schools – which also happen to serve mostly students of color. But doing away with the neighborhood school construct and busing students to other areas, she says, is not the answer.
"If we disperse these children, they may not have the same services that they have today because in many of the schools, we have smaller class sizes. We have additional teacher assistance. We have programs with reading coaches to help them and more social and emotional support through social services."
When the Board does tackle redistricting in several years, Jeannette Nichols says she’ll solicit stakeholder input through forums and public discussions.