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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Susanne Long for Onslow County Board of Education

Q: What is the primary issue facing the school system that led you to run for office? 

A: Education is an ever-changing landscape. It is important for school board members to work together and communicate effectively to ensure that the needs of students, staff and the community are being met. Discourse can be productive, strife is not. Through productive discourse, larger concerns can be addressed which include strengthening safety and security measures including student and staff wellbeing, strengthening core instruction and student opportunities, and strengthening parent and community involvement. 

Q: What are your skills and experiences that make you the right choice for Onslow County voters? 

A: It is often said to understand, one must “walk a mile in his/her shoes” to understand one’s situation.  While serving in the Onslow County System, I was afforded the opportunity to serve as an elementary and middle school teacher, elementary and middle school assistant principal and principal as well as director of curriculum and instruction and executive director of exceptional children’s services. During my time as a central office director, I had the opportunity to engage with administrators and school staff at all but our two newest school locations. Being a military child, a military spouse, and parent of a son who graduated from Jacksonville High School has also provided perspective. 

Q: School safety has been a hot topic at Onslow County School board meetings. If elected, what will you  do to help ensure the safety of students and staff on school grounds? 

A: Next steps with the Evolv visitor scanning system will be important. It will be vital to continually review the safety related series of policies, including student behavior policies, and implementation practice. A board member’s responsibility would include ensuring financial allocation for resources, training staff and students in emergency preparedness, conflict resolution, and mental health awareness. A robust working relationship with law enforcement is vital as well as keeping abreast of vetted safety trends and hearing concerns from the community.  

Q: Do you have children or grandchildren that attend the Onslow County Schools, and if so, what do you feel are the major issues that affect them? 

A: Our son attended his entire K-12 school career in Onslow County Schools, graduating from Jacksonville High School in 2017. Students want and deserve challenging courses, including workforce skills/credentialling, career choice internships and other student enriching opportunities. We are seeing more students struggling with mental well-being, feeling disconnected and lack of engagement. 

Q: If elected, how do you plan on filling the need for more teachers and school bus drivers? Would you support incentives, like benefits and bonuses? 

A: Students deserve excellent educators and support personnel, and the staff shortage is a complex issue. To recruit/retain certified employees keeping the supplement competitive is important. I would certainly support discussion to develop a well-thought-out sustainable plan for bonuses/benefits. 


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