The filing period for those interested in running for three available Elkin City Board of Education seats closes Monday at noon, and two incumbents have announced they will not be seeing re-election.
Three seats are up for grabs this year — two city district seats, held by Stewart Roten and James Freeman, and the west district seat, held by J. Foley Norman. Roten and Norman both said this week that they will not be filing for candidacy.
“I am not going to file,” said Roten Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve served for 12 years, and I’m very pleased with that service. I believe in term limits, and I think it’s time for someone else’s turn. Someone has filed that I have a lot of confidence in, and I think it’s in good hands.”
Norman said Thursday morning that he has “decided not to file as well.”
“I’ve served two terms, eight years. … Two terms I think that’s a good number. It is not a bad thing to have new people and new ideas coming in to keep you from getting stuck in a rut,” said Norman, who is the present chairman of the board. “To keep things moving forward.
“I know Frank Beals has filed and I’ve talked to him a lot,” he said. “He was considering running the first time I ran, so he’s had this on him for a while. He has children in the system and is concerned about the system, and I think Frank will be a very good addition to the board.”
Roten said he is “very pleased with the renovations we were able to do at the high school.” Other accomplishments he noted during his tenure on the board included putting in place “a good solid staff, even during budget cuts we were able to keep everyone in their positions. I’m pleased with the academic successes of our students. We rank very high in the state, it is just a good solid system.”
The board member said he’s had four children go through Elkin City Schools, with the final one lacking two years until graduation. “I was interested in being part of what they were going through and their process, but there was no real agenda. It was an opportunity to serve the community and I’m grateful for the privilege.”
Norman said during his time on the board, “The single most important decision we did I think was hiring Dr. Randy Bledsoe. He has taken Elkin City Schools in a new direction with our STEAM initiative and STEAM program, and he’s brought a lot of enthusiasm and life back to our system. He’s separated us from the other systems in our county.”
Three file for candidacy
Incumbent James Freeman, 48, of Hawthorne Road, Elkin, was the first to file for candidacy shortly after the filing period opened in February.
More recently, two newcomers have filed to run for office. Jane Hill Riley, 65, of Edgewood Drive, Elkin, has filed for a city district seat candidacy, while Frank Beals, 50, of U.S. 21, Elkin, has filed for the west district seat.
The cost to file for the elections, to be held Nov. 4 during the general election, is $5.
The top two vote-getters in the city district will take the two seats available there, and the one top vote winner in the west district will take that seat.
Those interested in filing can do so until noon Monday at the Surry County Board of Elections in the basement of the Surry County Courthouse in Dobson.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.