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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Emma Saunders, Karen Beatty and Elizabeth Redenbaugh won Democratic primary spots for the New Hanover County School Board. The three advance to the general election against three Republicans, Lisa Estep, Tammy Covil and Jeanette Nichols.
Unofficial results showed that Redenbaugh received 11,043 votes (31.24%), Beatty received 10,048 votes (28.43%), and Saunders received 9,472 votes (26.80%). Erica Fester, who did not win a spot, received 4,781 votes (13.53%).
Saunders believes she is just the person for the job because of her time served in the classroom as an elementary school teacher and assistant principal. She says one of her main goals on the board is going to be closing the gap in graduation rates.
She also has concerns over school funding as well. Saunders is focused on keeping the teachers in the classrooms for the sake of the student's education.
A long-term goal of hers is to make sure Pre-K programs are offered to every child in our area. She says a solid foundation leads to more success in a child's life.
Redenbaugh has served the students and parents of New Hanover County Schools, as well as the entire community, since her election in 2008. She is committed to ensuring all students are provided with an excellent education that will equip them to achieve their full potential in life, according to her website.
Redenbaugh is known for her role in the school board's redistricting plan. She supported the idea that the plan appeared likely to result in increased socioeconomic and racial segregation in Wilmington middle schools.
In October 2010, the state of North Carolina asked New Hanover County to sign an affidavit certifying that it was not intentionally segregating county schools based on race or socioeconomic status. Redenbaugh opposed the school board's decision to certify the affidavit. The board approved the certification anyway, saying that if indeed segregation happened, it was unintentional.
More recently, Redenbaugh accepted The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. It is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.
Beatty has worked with New Hanover County for more than 30 years.
Much of those years have been spent as a Licensed School Social Worker, where she served a couple of years as a lead social worker for secondary schools.
While serving in New Hanover County Schools, Beatty has been a lead social worker, a member of the School Improvement Team, serves on the Safe Schools Committee and the New Hanover County Drop Out Prevention Task Force. She is also a member of the Student Support Team, and Family Involvement Team.
Beatty promised that when elected, she will be committed to encouraging quality education for all students in New Hanover County Schools.
Beatty believes her past work and experience with the school system allows her to better understand the true needs of students.
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