Two file for school board Wednesday

By Mary Katherine Murphy - [email protected]

LAURINBURG — With three days left in candidate filing, the Scotland County Board of Education now has a candidate running for each open seat representing the Stewartsville township.

Incumbent Wayne Cromartie filed on Monday to run for what would be his first full term as a school board member. He was appointed by the board earlier this year to serve out the unexpired term to which Darwin Williams was elected in 2012.

Cromartie, a Laurinburg native, holds a business degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and currently works as administration manager at FCC of North Carolina.

“I have been honored to serve on the school board for the past nine months,” Cromartie said. “My indoctrination has been fast and furious and I have gained a wealth of understanding. My focus continues to be that every child is presented the same opportunities to reach the greatness that they all have. I understand the challenges that the district has and look forward to working with the other board members and Dr. Hargrave to meet the district’s goals.”

Cromartie is a member and steward of Franklin Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, a member of the Scotland Memorial Foundation Board of Trustees, and has served on the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Also filing for a Stewartsville seat on the school board Wednesday was Robert Macy, pastor of Community United Methodist Church in the Five Points area of Hoke County. A California native and U.S. Army retiree, Macy moved to Laurinburg in 2007 when his wife was hired as a teacher in the Scotland County Schools.

If elected, Macy hopes to work with superintendent Ron Hargrave and with school staff to address the school system’s teacher turnover and student dropout rates.

“We’ve had some wonderful folks on the school board, however we’ve had a lot of wonderful students who haven’t graduated high school and a lot of wonderful teachers who have left our school system,” he said.

Macy is a graduate of UNC-Pembroke and a volunteer with various community agencies, including the Boy Scouts of America, Church Community Services, and Scotland Regional Hospice. As a board member, he said that he would strive to involve the public in the schools and in the decisions made by the board, such as its ongoing exploration of consolidating the school system.

“We are operating in silos across this community,” he said. “Being very frank, we’re making decisions that are not, I believe, in the best interests of economic growth, and we’re adding to the warehouse of empty buildings in Scotland County. The strategic planning, I don’t see it.”

Karen James will also run to represent the Stewartsville township.

For the school board’s open at-large seat, retiring Spring Hill Middle School technology teacher Carolyn Banks is challenging incumbent Charles Brown.

If fewer than seven candidates file for Stewartsville seats and fewer than three candidates file for the at-large seat, all candidates will move to next year’s November general election.

The four seats open on the Scotland County Board of Commissioners have yet to see any challengers file. Williamson commissioner Bob Davis, Laurel Hill commissioner John Alford, Stewartsville commissioner Clarence McPhatter, and at-large commissioner Whit Gibson have all filed to run as Democrats.

Scotland County’s incumbent register of deeds, L. Page Pratt, III, has also filed for re-election with no challengers as of yet.

Filing will close at noon on Monday.

Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.

By Mary Katherine Murphy

[email protected]

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