White’s time as a teacher spurs her efforts for change

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:42 PM

Gloria White has dedicated more than 10 years to providing children with the proper education as a teacher and board member for Vance County Schools.

“I grew up in a household that placed importance on education,” White said. “I am so passionate about kids and seeing them reach their full potential.”

In this year’s Democratic primary, the District 1 incumbent who also serves as the current chairwoman is opposed by Carolyn Faines. The primary is scheduled for May 6.

White, a graduate of N.C. Central, has served multiple terms as chairwoman. Using her past experience as a teacher of language arts in 1999-2000 at Eaton-Johnson Middle School, and as a teacher's assistant before that, has driven her efforts for change.

“Being in the classroom for that period, being around other teachers really opened my eyes to things that I couldn’t change myself,” White said. “I wanted to become a part of the board to do it.”

Under her leadership, the board established and expanded the Early High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program and literacy presentations, both designed to advance students’ test scores and reading abilities.

The school system has also seen the addition of three elementary school multipurpose rooms.

White works with parents and students outside of her board position as well. As judicial services coordinator for the county, she is connected with many public officials in the community to help troubled youth that pass through the court system each day.

If allowed to serve another year, she also wants to get parents more involved in their children’s learning.

“One thing I wish that we could do is get more parental involvement and make education the forefront at school and at home,” White said.

If re-elected, White plans to address increasing the graduation rate, decreasing suspensions and getting funding for teacher retention, pay increases and supplements in the upcoming year.

“Being on the board presents a lot of problems that people don’t see,” White said. “The board is looking to run a school system on a budget that is not fully funded by the state and the county commissioners.”

White feels that she is the most capable to continue handling the job.

“I am not only experienced, but I am qualified,” White said. “I understand the needs of the school system, our children and our personnel and I have been effective in developing polices thus far to move the school system forward.”

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.