Friday morning, recently retired Johnston County school teacher Terry Tippett of Middlesex filed for the Johnston County Board of Education. Tippett is one of 16 candidates who have filed for four seats on the school board.
“There are many issues facing JCPS at this time and the lack of confidence and trust directed toward our leaders make matters even worse. I will not attack individuals personally, as I do not have the facts and information that has occurred behind closed doors. I do not know if allegations of misconduct are true, as I have no reason to doubt the credibility of any board member. The facts will answer those questions soon enough. However, that does not mean that issues have been handled appropriately,” Tippett said.
Mr. Tippett retired on Dec. 1, 2019 after 35 years of state service. Most recently he taught at Corinth Holders High School. Previously he taught at Neuse Charter School and North Johnston Middle School. Tippett is an Exceptional Children’s (EC) teacher and has also served as an Athletic Director and coach.
“I am a lifelong resident of Johnston County. My experiences have provided a base of preparation for me and I believe I can use that to serve our county. There have been many decisions made over the years that seem to have had little thought. Now, we face a huge budget deficit that did not occur overnight and it seems no one wants ownership of-even though it is owned by both the Superintendent and the Board that signed off on it. We have a county office making mistakes that would result in termination in the private sector. Our county office has positions that simply are not needed, although that is not the main cause for the budget deficit. We watched an investigation into an athletic program and school that could not possibly have been handled worse. We continue to tweak things of the past and put a new name on it and expect it to work. Yet, we continue to have some of the best and most dedicated employees anywhere who go to school each day and do what is needed to provide an education for students in Johnston County,” Tippett told JoCoReport.
“As a former JCPS employee this school year, I have seen English teachers get a new curriculum with material after the school year started and have to make adjustments as a result. I have seen EC teachers struggle with a new program implemented as the school year started. I have seen overcrowded classrooms and multiple vacant positions where staff has to go beyond their job expectations without the pay increases given to county office staff for the same reason a few years ago. I had the opportunity to work at a Restart school and was disappointed in the approach that was presented by the county and the result has been as expected – not good. This Restart program was to use Charter School components, however, after working in both, I would take the Charter School over the Restart program as currently offered.”
“I believe if we would take the cuffs off administrators and teachers, we would see an improvement. We have quality personnel in our schools with ideas on how to reach students in their respective school if we allow them to do so. We need to support our students and teachers by having needed support staff in schools – SROs, nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors available when needed for the student and for increased safety measures. We have to realize every staff position at a school will play a role in the lives of our students. Our Board of Education cannot be a rubber stamp for requests, but must examine all the pros and cons for each decision. It must be accountable to all the stakeholders it serves.”