Candidate Profile 2016: Jeannette Nichols (R), NHC Board of Education
Jeannette Nichols is competing against three other Republican candidates for three spots on the November ballot for New Hanover County’s Board of Education. If elected, Nichols would embark upon her fifth four-year term. The retired teacher says serving on the Board is her way of staying connected to children.
Six schools within the New Hanover County School District are identified as “low-performing” based on the last academic year. Of those, four are elementary schools – Rachel Freeman, Gregory, Snipes Academy, and Winter Park – and two are middle schools: Williston and D.C. Virgo. Jeannette Nichols says these schools now have strong leadership after the Board made changes to the faculty.
"It takes a special person to work with children that have the needs. The funding there is more than what you would have in the traditional elementary school. We spent $700,000 last year at Gregory to increase the services for these students as well as the staff. The ratio of classroom teacher and student is much less than a regular school setting, and we’re working closely with those parents."
But according to Nichols, academic measurements are not the only indicators of a child’s growth.
"They make growth in so many ways, and what we need to do is look at where they in the beginning of the school year and where they are at the end of the school year academically as well as socially and emotionally secure."
Jeannette Nichols has served as Vice Chair of the Board for fourteen of her sixteen years on the Board. The primary takes place March 15th.