Buies Creek, N.C.-On Nov. 4, 2008, Campbell University professor, Dr. Peggy Smith was elected to the Johnston County Board of Education. Smith, who is also the coordinator of the Master of School Administration program at Campbell, says that rather than feeling the stress of having two jobs, the positions really complement each other.
"It has been a good marriage because so much of what I do for the board, I teach my principals here," Smith said. "For example, the board conducted a two-day training session recently on law, communication, hiring and firing and other areas related to school administration. Those are the things I give my principals, only now I have a broader and deeper perspective and more resources for my degree candidates to access."
Sworn in on Dec.1, Smith attended her first board meeting on Dec. 9 and helped announce the appointment of Dr. Ed Croom as the new superintendent of schools on Dec. 23.
"I really had to hit the ground running," Smith said. "But it has been a great experience, and I would support anyone who is passionate about education and would like to serve in public office 100 percent."
The Johnston County Board of Education presides over 41 schools and approximately 30,000 students. Some of the policies Smith would like to see implemented include the reduction of paperwork for teachers and principals and an increase in participation of school staff, parents and community in policy making decisions.
"I would really like to remove as many administrative barriers as possible," Smith said. "I would like to have teachers and principals free to just be teachers and principals."
Smith received a bachelor's degree in Home Economics Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Education from North Carolina State University. She also earned a Ph.D. in Middle Grades Education and Educational Administration from North Carolina State University.
Prior to coming to Campbell, Smith served as a principal, assistant principal and Middle Grades Coordinator in the Johnston County School System and from 1984-1986, she was Dean of Students for the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Her professional responsibilities include serving on the Department of Public Instruction Task Force for developing assessment rubric and other documents for pre-service candidates for licensure as school executives and serving on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction principal's and teacher's advisory committees among others.