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NHC Board of Education Candidate David Wortman (R) on Being a Voice for Parents

David Wortman (R) is running for one of the three open seats on the New Hanover County Board of Education

Six people are competing for three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Education.  The one Republican candidate who is a newcomer to politics is also a lawyer, the father of two small children, and a graduate of New Hanover High School.

Shifting the Spanish Immersion program from Forest Hills Elementary over to Gregory was evidence to David Wortman of the lack of consideration given to parents in the school district.  If elected to the School Board, Wortman says he’ll make sure those voices are heard. 

"A lot of those parents, for the Spanish immersion program especially, were instrumental in bringing that program to Wilmington. They had a vested interest. They had children in the Spanish immersion program. They put their hours outside of work into that program, and for people to make decisions about that program without getting their input, I think that’s what really frustrated some of the parents."

Moving such a popular program to a school with more minority students is one way the district is trying to diversify schools.  But doing away with neighborhood schools is not the answer, says Wortman.  Officials should learn from Douglass Academy, a charter school in New Hanover County, he says, which has better outcomes than traditional public schools – despite having a student population that is mostly African-American. 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.