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CoastLine Candidate Interviews: New Hanover County Board Of Education, Part II


The voter registration deadline for 28 counties in North Carolina is now extended because of impacts from Hurricane Florence.  New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, and Onslow Counties, as well as 24 other affected areas, now have until 5 PM October 15th to register.  The deadline had been Friday, October 12th

New Hanover County’s Board of Education has four open seats this year.  Eight people – four Democrats and four Republicans – are competing for those seats – which carry four-year terms.  During this year’s May primary, current Chairman Ed Higgins, who has served since 1994, lost his bid for a seventh term to political newcomer Bill Rivenbark – whom we met Wednesday.  All seven members of the Board are Republican. 

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we’ll meet three of the candidates – two Democrats and one Republican Incumbent seeking his second term.  One incumbent, Republican Janice Cavenaugh, had agreed to appear on this show but told us yesterday of a personal conflict.  We wish her and her family well.

Segment 1:

Listen to Aaron King here.

In the first segment, we look at this year’s election through the eyes of a political scientist.  Aaron King is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  

Segment 2:  

Listen to Nelson Beaulieu here.

Nelson Beaulieu, a Democrat, served in the Army for six and a half years as a police officer and later spent a year in Afghanistan.   He holds two advanced degrees:  a Master of Arts in History as well as Political Science from American Military University.

He now teaches history and political science at Cape Fear Community College.  Two years ago, Beaulieu  ran for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Segment 3:  

Listen to Bruce Shell here.

Bruce Shell, Republican Incumbent, serves as the Board of Education representative on the County's Parks and Gardens committee and he is the Head Start Liaison.  Shell worked in New Hanover County government for 25 years as internal auditor, director of finance, and most visibly, as county manager.   He thought he retired in 2012.  But a year later, he accepted the post of interim manager for the Town of Carolina Beach.   He is seeking his second term on the Board of Education. 

Segment 4:  

Listen to Stefanie Adams here.

Stefanie Adams served as a consultant with the School of Education at John Hopkins University.  That assignment brought her to North Carolina in 2007 where she worked with eight different high schools across the state to decrease dropout rates.  She now works as a corporate training manager and has lived in Wilmington since 2008. 

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.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR