After serving eight years with the Sampson County Board of Education, Dewain Sinclair is saying goodbye.
The Sampson County native feels that it’s time for someone new to take his place, which is the reason he did not seek reelection.
“I felt that a couple of terms is enough for me,” he said. “We had folks who served for many years and I respect that. It’s not to say that I’m going to get out of supporting the school system and students.”
Another plan is to spend more time with his family and grandchildren while he’s away from board duties. He joined the board in 2010 for his first term. The second term will come to a close at the end of June, before the district welcome new members.
“It’s time to step aside and let someone else take the ball and run with it on the school board,” he said. “We’ve got some talented folks that were elected and reelected. With the current leadership and the ones coming on board, I think our board is is good hands and it’s shaping up to be a very proactive school board.”
Sinclair enjoyed working with the current board and previous colleagues and Attorney Ben Wright for giving sound advice, especially when he served as chairman for a couple of year.
“We may not agree all the time, but at the end of the day, we respect each other’s opinion,” Sinclair said about the board. “We try to put the students and staff of Sampson County Schools first.”
Sinclair said joining the board was natural progression for him, which led to a seat on the board. He added that it’s been a good learning experience.
“I felt like the school board would be a challenge and a chance to give back if I could,” he said.
The Hobbton High School alumnus earned his diploma in 1980. His wife Karen graduated in the same class. She recently retired as a counselor from Hobbton Middle School and serves part-time at the Learning Center at Charles E. Perry. Together, they raised four children in the Hobbton district. He coached sports and was active in parent-teacher organizations and served on the advisory board at Hobbton.
“Sampson County Schools has been really good to me,” he said.
During his years, Sinclair said he worked with Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and Dr. Ethan Lenker. He applauded their work for to improve education in local schools.
“They’ve been top-notch superintendents and top-notch individuals,” Sinclair said.
As a board member, he was proud of seeing test scores rise and being ranked in the top 20 percent of districts in North Carolina. Sinclair expressed how the accomplishments were made with stagnant funding. from local sources.
“We’re doing a lot with a little and I credit that to our leadership and central office, administrators, and to our students,” he said. “They’ve all worked hard and done a great job. Our test scores are a reflection of their hard work and commitment.
“I’ve seen some very talented and dedicated administrators being promoted into positions of leadership at the central office,” he said. “I can rest assure that the system is in good hands.”
School safety was another important matter for Sinclair during his time on the board. The matter requires constant evaluation and attention.
“We’ve made strides at all of our schools in terms of school safety and have been proactive in that area,” he said.
Along with attracting good teachers, Sinclair hopes to see the district improve, especially with construction of a new Hobbton High School. He expressed how other schools and the county jail received attention from county officials.
“It’s not been an area that county officials have focused on,” he said. “I would like to see that take a front seat in the future.”
Along with having more moments with his family and church, Sinclair will continue to manage the family-owned swine operation.
Bracy said Sinclair was a great school board member with a love for Sampson County.
“He cares about all of the students in our school system,” Bracy said. “Whenever he called me about an issue, he always wanted to make sure that all of our districts were being treated fairly. The most important duty of the school system is to provide all children with a quality education. Dewain Sinclair was a big part of our school system achieving that goal. His knowledge and wisdom will be greatly missed. I have great respect for him.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.