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CLAYTON — Carolyn Cash has a long record of service to her country.
Now, she says, it’s time to serve her county.
“I am running for school board because I served my country for 24 years in the United States Navy, and I feel it’s time for me to serve the students, staff and citizens of Johnston County,” she said in an email response to questions from the Johnstonian News.
Cash agrees with those who say Johnston County residents have lost confidence in their school board amid the budget shortfall and other missteps. “If elected,” she said, “I would work with board members to restore public trust in the board and help solve the financial issues that have been in the news.”
Parents deserve good schools, not budget deficits, Cash said. “I do not want parents to worry about their child’s education but feel confident that their child is getting one of the best educations in the country,” she said.
“I hope to work with board members to accomplish a balanced budget with no shortfalls,” Cash said, adding that she aims to “work for students, parents and teachers by listening to their concerns.”
In 2019, the school board came under fire for not only the budget shortfall but also for the pension payout to former superintendent Ross Renfrow and the transfer of a popular principal to the central office.
“The budget shortfall, the pension money and personnel issues are disturbing because they all happened within months of each other,” Cash said. “My concern with these issues is that we as board be as transparent as possible for each issue.”
Cash said she was uncomfortable commenting further on the pension payout because she was unfamiliar with the details of the school board’s employment contract with Renfrow. “I have no comment regarding the temporary removal of the Clayton High principal,” she said.
The budget deficit was a different matter.
“I would hope we could examine the shortfall and work collaboratively to fix the issue without impacting the classroom and employees,” Cash said.
“Before laying off employees, we as board members should look for other ways to trim costs related to the budget,” she added. “By examining our budget and looking at the services provided for our youth, we would designate areas to trim back to free up funds without severely affecting the education process of the schools. We want to be student-focused.”
Johnston’s next superintendent of schools should be a people person, Cash said. “We as a board should look for someone that engages students, teachers and the community,” she said.
About Carolyn Cash
Born in 1967, Cash, 52, is a divorced mother of three adult children, a son, Clarence, 34, and two daughters, Katisha, 29, and Lanise, 22.
A 1985 graduate of Anson Senior High School in Wadesboro, Cash holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational education from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Christian education from the Campbell University Divinity School.