02/11/08 — Radford seeking at-large seat on school board

View Archive

Radford seeking at-large seat on school board

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 11, 2008 1:45 PM

Educator Eddie Radford is throwing his hat into the ring for the at-large seat on the Wayne County Board of Education.

He joins Ven Faulk, who announced earlier this week his intention to campaign for the same seat. It is now held by Pete Gurley, who cited health problems as his reason for not seeking re-election when his term ends in December.

The filing period opens today at noon.

Last month, Radford took over the reins as principal at Southern Wayne High School, where he spent 30 years of his career, when Tim Harrell departed to accept a position at Princeton High School. The job will not present a conflict of interest, though.

"I was just filling in for the remainder of the school year," he said Friday.

Radford said he has been approached to run for office by several people, prompting his decision to enter the board race.

"My life has been schools," he said. "If there's anything I can add or do to make them better, I would love to do that. My love is school and kids."

As a lifelong resident of Goldsboro, his educational experience has also taken him all over the county. He has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal. While the bulk of his career was at Southern Wayne, he was headmaster at Wayne Country Day School for two years, then came out of retirement from the public schools to be administrator at both Goldsboro and Charles B. Aycock high schools.

He has also been in the business sector, working at Wilber's for years.

"People are always coming in and know I'm a principal, asking what I think about this and that," he said.

Running for the at-large seat just made sense.

"With all my contacts with all the people I have had, I felt like I had a knowledge of all the different areas," he said. "I know some of the needs ... it gives me a chance to help everyone and listen to everyone's concerns, not just the one area you're representing."

While he said he has "no agenda," Radford said he does have some areas of concern, which are "probably universal with everyone -- getting good qualified teachers, keeping teachers, retaining those teachers.

"I'm also concerned with the facilities. The day is coming we're going to need new ones, in the best interest of the county and not just for isolated areas."

Security in the schools is another issue that's becoming a problem everywhere, Radford said, along with dropout rates and accountability. The latter, though, go beyond the school system.

"Everybody's got to get behind these kids," he said. "Accountability is everyone -- parents, the community."

The educational system in Wayne County is a good one, the candidate says.

"Sometimes we catch a lot of flak for it," he said. "There's always room for improvement, but we do provide a good education for our students.

"We have got good people working for us. We try to keep it that way."

The bottom line is doing everything possible to provide a good solid education for each and every student, Radford said.

"I think that the future of Wayne County is dependent on the quality of education that we provide for our children," he said. "I believe that their future and business opportunities will be a direct reflection on the educational system in Wayne County."

He and wife, Phyllis, a guidance counselor at Wayne Community College, have a daughter and a seven-year-old granddaughter who is a student at Tommy's Road Elementary School.