Dare County Board of Education – District 3

Published 7:30 am Saturday, November 3, 2018

Dare County Board of Education – District 3. Incumbent Margaret Lawler, Democrat, is running unopposed in this election.


Margaret Lawler

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Mailing Address: 81 Gravey Pond Lane, Southern Shores, NC 27949

Contact Phone (252) 261-5482

Email Address: margaretlawler5@yahoo.com

Position/philosophy statement: My goal is for all students to have a positive experience in their education. As Vice Chair of the BOE I have worked to continue this mission.

What are your qualifications for this position?

Lawler: I have been honored to be on the Board of Education for several years and consider it a privilege to help the students and teachers of Dare County. I have three children who have gone through our school system, which gave them a strong background for college and their next step in life. While they were in school, I was very active with the PTAs of four schools, volunteering, and then substituting for seven years. I feel that I have a unique insight of our schools from the inside as a substitute teacher and as a parent. I am very proud that Dare County Schools are a leading school system in North Carolina and that is due to the excellent teachers, staff, and Central Office team.

What do you think are the top 2 challenges facing public education and our students in Dare County?

Lawler: Social media is a new challenge which presents a whole host of problems and issues. Our schools advise students of the impact of what they communicate, but some do not listen. DCS tries to protect its students from making bad decision that have unintended consequences. My next concern is teaching the “Whole” child. Some students come from challenging home settings and need extra support before they can engage in school. Our teachers do a good job recognizing these students and helping them.

What steps will you take to ensure that every child receives a high-quality education, including Home Schooled students and those that attend private schools?  

Lawler: The educational needs of students are varied and DCS does a good job meeting these needs with different programs for students of every level. DCS’s Career and Technical Education school program offers over 40 different classes. There are 20 AP classes, College and Career, COA, AVID and STEM classes. The Dare Learning Center, formally the Alternative School, is now located at COA. DCS strives to be on the cutting edge of education, so our students will have a varied and in-depth class offering.

What will you do to obtain sufficient funding to ensure that Dare County students are equipped with adequate technology and teachers to thrive in the 21st Century?

Lawler: School Boards in NC do not raise funds and are dependent on the State, Federal Government and the Dare County Commissioners. The majority of the budget goes to salaries and some funding has strict guidelines. With that said, DCS has done a good job keeping students from grades 6-12 up to date with Chrome Books, gaming, coding, and other technologies. Our teachers use technology to enhance their classes and the student have fully embraced the use of the Chrome Books and are running with it.

What policies would you support to mitigate a potential shooting or other threats to student safety at schools in our district?

Lawler DCS is fortunate to have a Resource Officer at all schools and their cars are parked prominently in front. A School Safety team has been formed with central office leaders, which includes principals, SROs, and law enforcement to assess school safety protocols and buildings. Social Sentinel is also used by DCS. This program monitors social media for buzz words that could indicate a potential threat. The police practice at all our schools on off hours, so they are familiar with every school.

What will you do to obtain sufficient funding to provide more classrooms and teachers in order to comply with reduced class size requirements?

Lawler: Again, School Boards are dependent on the three previously mentioned sources of funding. DCS will fully comply with the State guidelines for reducing class sizes. Our school system is fortunate to have very supportive Commissioners who understand the challenge of having three separate campuses and the funding needed to educate all the children. They generously provide funds to hire teachers and maintain out buildings.

How would you promote quality interactions or involvement between the schools and all Dare County citizens?  

Lawler Last year, John Farrelly, our new superintendent, started the Community Visioning Meeting program. Meetings were held in the morning and the evening at every school, so everyone could have an opportunity to attend. These meetings were open to all and were very successful and are slated for this year. The DCS website has been updated for easier use and looks great. Sports are a fun way to interact with all residents, too. I am always accessible by cell, email or at any BOE meeting.