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During the 2016 election season, WHQR will bring you profiles of the candidates running in New Hanover County for: New Hanover County Board of CommissionersNew Hanover County Board of Education The primary elections will be held on Tuesday, March 15th. As a reminder, voters will need to bring photo identification to the polls. You can read more about voting in North Carolina here, and you can check your voter status and voter precinct here.This fall, look for WHQR's coverage of the general election. We will bring you the 2016 Candidate Forums.

Candidate Profile 2016: Kevin Spears (D) for NHC Board of Education

Kevin Spears

On March 15th, voters will select three out of five Democratic candidates to run for New Hanover County Board of Education.  If elected, Kevin Spears' main goal is to level the playing field for inner city schools. 

Listen to the full interview here.

Kevin Spears is the president of Peace for the Port, an initiative to curb youth gang violence.  He’s also the chairman of the MLK Recreation Association, which fosters recreational and educational programs for local inner city youth.  Spears says that a consistent learning environment is vital for student success:  

"We have five failing inner city schools.  That is, that’s major.  We need to avidly try to recruit people who want to work in these schools.  There are high teacher turnovers, high administrative turnovers, and I don’t think those are conditions that children can learn.  One thing that I know from growing up in Wilmington and going to school in Wilmington is, you build a rapport with teachers and administrators, and they know what you do and what you’re capable of or, you know, they know if you’re having an off day or things like that." 

Kevin Spears says he possesses one quality that sets him apart from the other candidates:  

"Experience. That’s what I bring to the School Board. Not from a teacher’s perspective. But from an underdog’s perspective. I’ve been in the situation that these children are in. Clearly, I’m a black male. I’ve been counted out before. I’m not a rags to riches story, but I am a success story in a sense. I graduated from Cape Fear with honors. I’m at UNCW. The message is, is that you can do it."

Spears says that overcrowding in the district’s high schools needs to be addressed with better planning, especially considering the county’s projected population boom in coming years.