Mary B. Brown filed for re-election to the Sampson County Board of Education late Tuesday afternoon, seeking her seventh term.
“I started this when a superintendent asked for volunteers interested in helping children in Sampson County Schools,” said Brown in an interview just after she signed on the dotted line making her run official.
“I began with a steering committee,” she added. Brown said she was appointed to the county school board when the panel was changed from a five-member group to a seven-member board. “It was back in 1989 or 1990,” she said.
The veteran school board member said her time on the board has given her an education all her own.
“It has been a learning process for me,” asserted Brown, who has been involved with the Sampson County Board of education going on 23 years.
“I have received far more than I have given,” she said humbly, emphasizing how glad she’s been to reach out and encourage folks through her position, something she enjoys because she loves people.
“I had that link with education and nursing,” Brown detailed. It paralleled her desire to work with people and give support.
Brown admitted she was on the fence about running for re-election, but she said the encouragement that she has had from others brought her around. She also mentioned that she reflected on the children that she has hopefully helped over the years.
“Children need someone to speak on their behalf,” Brown said. “I see the positive direction that the school board is going, and it felt good to make the decision to stay.”
“We seem to be accomplishing what we set out to do, and now our main focus is on safety,” commented Brown. “I didn’t see myself as a politician. My goal was not to make a career out of it, but it seems to be a calling. I appreciate the opportunity to serve people.” The people she is serving also includes her family, which she said has helped her see both sides of the picture.
“I can help my family understand the school system,” she said. She said that students need to realize they have a duty to the schools they attend as well.
“This has given me more sensitivity to a parent’s responsibility to the education of their children,” detailed Brown. She has come to grips with the reality of parents working, and the shifts they work, and how that impacts education.
“Everyone has something to say about the importance of parental involvement,” she said. “Most often parents want what’s best for their children.”
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.