In Pender County, the race for District 2 of the Board of Education has Republican Beth Burns running against Kenneth Lanier, a Democrat – and also the incumbent. Lanier is the current Board of Education chair.
Kenneth Lanier owns a country store in Maple Hill.
He has served on the board for 20 years and is a past President of the North Carolina School Boards Association. While school safety is one of his top priorities, he says he’s very concerned about a trend showing fewer qualified teachers in the future.
“Our top priorities is funding, growth and teacher shortage. Because in the future we know for teacher shortage wise, we know that there's about 40 percent of the enrollments in our educational college across the state that is down. So we know that in the future years that they're in HB 13, which is lowering class size, which is a good thing, but you have to have more teachers to reduce class size. We know that in the near future that we're going to start running in to a teacher shortage.”
He says retaining the good teachers already in the Pender County system, is also a growing challenge.