Letter To The Editor: Are We Ready To Put JCPS Back At The Top Of The State Again?

From: Terry Tippett

I am excited to file for a seat on the Johnston County Board of Education (BOE). As a lifelong resident of Johnston County and a product of Johnston County Public Schools (JCPS), I understand the things that have made this county and JCPS special. The support across the county in the previous election and during a board vacancy has been a humbling experience.

I respectfully ask for your continued support and the honor of serving this county in one of your seats on the BOE. It has become evident that the voice of the people has been disregarded at times, as many questionable issues have been swept aside and “investigated internally” with no resolution or acceptance of responsibility.

The focus has shifted from providing a quality education for all our students, a quality work environment for all our staff, a cooperative engagement with our parents and guardians, increasing partnerships with community and business leaders, and the responsibility of using tax dollars in a respectable manner to an agenda of putting out fires which have been self-started.

The stakeholders of this county deserve better and the students of this county should not suffer from the focus being displaced from their needs. The fact is that JCPS has gone from the top third of NC in achievement and performance scores to the bottom third in recent years (yes, JCPS was in the bottom third prior to COVID).

There was a time, a few years ago, that other counties came to visit JCPS to see how we did things – I know because I was there. Yes, there was a time when JCPS was the system people wanted to work in – and we didn’t have the shortages we have today. I understand why teachers and staff leave because I have been in that situation and while I support school choice, I am one hundred percent committed to helping get JCPS back to the top.

Simply put, JCPS has declined in about every area. I am sure some will have a negative reaction to these comments – even though they can’t deny the truth in them. However, I will not stand and watch any longer. I will not be a part of the status quo or a puppet for someone to use at will.

The hard questions need to be addressed and allow the chips to fall where they fall. This system can be the best in NC if the correct steps are taken. The students of this county deserve nothing less than the best.

Simply ask yourself, Is JCPS better now than four years ago, or even one year ago? It is time for new leadership-leadership with the time, energy, and backbone to push this system to the top. I am prepared to be one of those leaders and have the time and energy to be in the schools and community as needed and yes, I have the backbone to make the difficult decisions.

It is important to recognize that anyone can “talk the talk”, but not everyone can “walk the walk” when it comes to making JCPS the best in the state. I have the experience to understand the system and how to fix it because I have also “walked the walk”. The time for talking is over, it is time to get things done and clean things up for the sake of our students. Join with me and make a difference!

Briefly, some of the areas to focus on and that I look forward to discussing in detail as we move forward are:

* Increase trade/vocational opportunities in conjunction with community/business partnership
* Evaluate current organizational model of JCPS to ensure positions are essential and needed
* Eliminate mobile classrooms throughout the county
* Secure additional nurses, SROs, and psychologists for safety/medical/mental health needs
* Increase stakeholder input through town hall style meetings and visits to every school at least bi-monthly (more frequent to assigned schools as BOE member)
* Retain quality school staff and make JCPS an employment destination again
* Provide community based tutoring opportunities in coordination with community/business support

Terry Tippett graduated from Smithfield Selma High in 1981, UNC Wilmington in 1985, UNC Chapel Hill in 1994 and came to JCPS in 2000 after 14 years in the Rehabilitation Therapy Department at Dorothea Dix Hospital. He worked as a Special Education Teacher, Athletic Director, and Coach before retiring in 2019. His wife, Peggy, retired from JCPS after over 30 years as a Special Education teacher and continues to serve a homebound student and is a substitute teacher. They have two children and one grandchild. Terry serves as a Deacon, Treasurer, and Sunday School Teacher at Friendship FWB Church.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Excited to have Mr. Tippett on the ballot again and pray for success this time. He should have won last time but board members weren’t fully honest with their current living location that should have resulted in their seat being available as well.

      • I have a Zebulon address and always have and yes I live in Johnston county and Mr. Tippet lives on a Middlesex address along with a lot of others who also are Johnston County residents. Mr. Tippet is a fine man. There is plenty of people on the North end of the county with Wendel, Zebulon and Middlesex addresses. Mr. Tippet is definitely a JOHNSTON COUNTY RESIDENT.

        • If she was still here she would win again. I want a supporter of hers but her supporters will not support tippet. Just another political candidate that we don’t need on the board good luck though It would have been better for him to not release a statement he could have grabbed more voters He gave up on Johnston county schools before what makes him think we want him back in dealing with our schools. Give me someone who does not give up

          • How exactly did he give up on joco voters? He ran last year, placed his name in the pool for the open seat that should have been his to begin with and now he is back running and fighting again.

      • Many people in the Cleveland area have a garner address……many people in the Corinth area have a Wendell address…. So what’s your point? If you are implying that because he has a middlesex address he might not be eligible do research and show it. Otherwise, it would probably be best not to make statements that are intended to question his eligibility.

  2. May I make a suggestion Mr. Tippett? When you are on the board, make it a board policy that no curriculum or program can be taught unless it is a state mandated curriculum…. Not state approved but state mandated. Instructional time is being wasted due to programs and subject matter which is not required. In any given day , 2-3 hours is wasted on irrelevant material. I ask this to be considered by any and all new board members as well as current members.

  3. Why doesn’t someone ask the staff, not the administration of the schools, what do we need to do?
    Find the issues. And correct them. There’s alot going on, nobody knows about!

    • Because the JCPS at the admin level and school based admin level care little about teachers opinions. In their eyes they are expendable and easily replaced. With regards to a lot going on nobody knows about… you are correct, which is why they don’t want teachers giving their input.

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