BRUNSWICK COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Board Member Gerald Benton, Board Member Catherine Cooke, Chair Ellen Milligan, Vice-Chair Ed Lemon, Board Member Charlie Miller
The School Board
The School Board is responsible for the operation of Brunswick County's public schools in accordance with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction regulations and to uphold and assist the Brunswick County School system's (BCS) educational mission. Serving as a representative of the public, BCS Board Members are elected every four years in the November general election. The school board members represent five districts and nineteen schools in the Brunswick County area.
School Board Meetings
The public is invited to attend and participate in School Board meetings held monthly in open session in the county commissioners’ chambers of the Brunswick County Administration building located at 30 Courthouse Drive, Bolivia, NC. School Board meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. Meeting agendas and minutes are available on the school system website under Board Agendas and Minutes.
The chief administrator of Brunswick County Schools is the Superintendent. Serving directly under the Superintendent are the Assistant Superintendents.
What is the role of the Board of Education?
The role of the school board can be summarized in the following areas:
- To provide vision and direction for the school system.
- To create policies in accordance with state law to establish standards, accountability and evaluation of essential operations of the school district.
- To prepare the budget for presentation to the county commissioners.
- To hire, support, and evaluate the Superintendent.
- To perform judicial functions by conducting hearings as appropriate.
- To advocate for the school district, staff, and especially the students in all interactions with other governmental entities and the public.
What training is required to be a Board member?
Board members are encouraged to participate in professional development activities designed for them. New Board members attend orientation programs sponsored by the school district and the North Carolina School Boards Association.
There is a Board Member code of Ethics. Each Board member must fulfill the legal requirement to receive a minimum of 12 hours of training every two years. The training shall include, but is not limited to, public school law, public school finance and duties and responsibilities of local boards of education. Training may be provided by the school district, the North Carolina School Boards Association: the School/Institute of Government: or the Department of Public Instruction. High quality training is necessary to help Board members effectively fulfill their responsibilities as leaders of public education in North Carolina.
How are Board members elected?
Board members are elected by the registered voters of the Brunswick County Schools District. Members serve a four year term on a staggered basis so that no more than three positions will expire every two years. Elections are partisan and are held in even numbered years in November.
When does the Board hold their meetings?
The Board of Education meets on the first Tuesday of each month in the county commissioners’ chambers of the Brunswick County Administration building located at 30 Courthouse Drive, Bolivia, NC. Periodically, the board will meet in a special called meeting, work session or planning meeting in the Board room of the Brunswick County Schools Administrative Offices. All public meeting notices are posted 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
How do meetings of the Board of Education work?
Board meetings are conducted for the purpose of carrying out the official business of the school district. The public is cordially invited to attend board meetings to observe the Board as it conducts its business. The Superintendent along with the Board chair establish the agenda for each meeting. All Board meetings are held in accordance with the Open Meetings Law, including notice of meetings.
When is it appropriate for me to address the Board?
The Board of Education, as an elected representative body of the school district, wishes to provide a forum for citizens to express interests and concerns related to the school district. Any individual who desires to speak on a school-related problem must notify the executive assistant to the Superintendent, Chairman and/or Superintendent by 12:00 noon on the working day prior to the Board of Education meeting. Individuals desiring to speak should include their name, address, telephone number, and topic for speaking so that information will be available after the Board meeting for follow-up, if appropriate. Presentations will be limited to five minutes per person or five minutes per organization. If the matter is presently under review by the administration, then the Chairman may defer the individual's appearance to the next Board meeting. Once scheduled to appear before the board persons should arrive to the board meeting at least 15 minutes early and officially sign in to address the board members.
How do I address an individual issue or concern?
The most productive method to resolve a concern or receive more information about a school related issue is to first speak to your child’s teacher or principal. Teachers and/or principals can resolve most issues and address your concerns in a timely manner. However, if you are unable to resolve matters at the building level, you should submit your concerns as outlined on our website's Submit a Concern web page. The appropriate assistant superintendent or program director will respond to your complaint in a timely manner. If your issue remains unresolved to your satisfaction you will be referred to the Board of Education and informed of the options for further review.
What the Board does not do:
The Board does not interfere with the personnel operations of the school system. The Principals hire the teachers and assign the teaching assignments, the Superintendent hires the Principals and makes the school assignments. The Board does not oversee the day to day operations of the school system.