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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: Emma Saunders (D) for NHC Board of Education

Emma Saunders
Emma Saunders

During the upcoming primary election, voters in New Hanover County will select three out of five Democratic candidates to run for the Board of Education.  Emma Saunders believes the key to solving many educational issues is to start at the beginning.  If elected, she would work to implement countywide pre-k.  

Listen to the full interview here.

Saunders worked for over thirty years as a teacher and administrator in the New Hanover County School system.  Now, she trains senior citizens to assist teachers in the classroom and serves on the board of the Child Development Center. Saunders says children who attend pre-k are more likely to graduate from high school:

"Not only do they stay through graduation, they go on to have advanced education. Not only do they get advanced education, they get productive employment, and they become productive citizens, and that’s what we need. People talk about the pipeline, school to prison pipeline. We can stop that, if we would take that money, spend it upfront, and have countywide pre-k."

Emma Saunders says the Board of Education needs to take a close look at its neighborhood schools because some families cannot afford to move to a different school district:

"They don’t have a choice. They have to live where they live because they cannot live in other places. It’s not affordable. So we as a Board need to rethink what we’re calling neighborhood schools. Is it really a neighborhood school? Or are we feeding into segregation again?"

The primary takes place March 15th.