Patrick “Pat” Usher enjoys volunteering at Hobbton’s schools, but he would like to do more by becoming a member of the Sampson County Board of Education.
The longtime area resident filed with the Sampson County Board of Elections Wednesday afternoon. Glenn Tart, a current board member and Hobbton resident, is not seeking another term on the board. If elected during the upcoming March election, Usher would like to fill his void by becoming a representative for the Hobbton district.
“I have kids in the Hobbton School district and I feel that we need to keep representation on the board from our area,” he said. “My wife and I are pretty involved with the schools and we try to stay in the know of what’s going on.”
He’s married to Jill Usher and they have been married for 13 years. They have two children, Jane, 11, is a sixth-grader at Hobbton Middle School and Will, 8, a third-grader at Hobbton Elementary School. As a parent, he would like to see improved facilities.
“That would not be a total school decision, because there’s county commissioners and other sources of funds that have to get on board with that,” Usher said in regards to making improvements.
Currently, Hobbton officials would like to see a track at the existing high school, which would allow students to practice at their own school. During a previous board meeting, it was stated that it would cost about $300,000. A new high school was also a topic of discussion during a school-related meeting in November.
Also, he would like to see more emphasis placed on children who work hard in school, when it comes to testing for gifted educational programs.
“Talent is important, but I suspect hard work is a probably a bigger importance to overall success than just raw talent,” Usher said. “Sometimes in these gifted programs, I think just raw talents gets rewarded where some hard working kids who gets that make good grades or better grades than some of the talented kids get short changed.
“I think their work in the classroom should be rewarded as well as just having an aptitude for academics.”
Usher is a 1986 graduate of Hobbton High School and earned an animal science degree from North Carolina State University in 1990. He served in the United States Army National Guard for nine year. Currently, Usher is a sales professional at Hog Slat, where he worked for the past 25 years.
He’s one of several candidates with hopes of becoming a member on the board of education. The filing process began in early December and is scheduled to end noon Dec.21.
In addition to Tart, board members Faye Gay and Sonya Powell are also up for election. Powell, vice chairperson is seeking another term on the board. Sampson County residents Tracy Dunn of the Plain View community and Eugene Pearsall, another Hobbton candidate, are also running.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.