We asked candidates for state and local office to tell us about their views on public education. Here are their answers.

Our Schools First sent a survey to every candidate for state legislature, Iredell County Commission, and Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education. OS1 does not endorse or recommend candidates in the 2018 Election–we simply wanted to provide the following information to help guide voters in their decision.


Sam Kennington
Republican, incumbent Board Member


Qualifications and Experience

I am a former teacher, assistant principal, high school principal and central office administrator. I am a former county commissioner in Person County, NC. Presently, I am a member of the ISS Board of Education.


My wife, Cathy, and I have two daughters, one son and five grandsons.

I am a gaduate of East Carolina University with a BSBA, also North Carolina A & T State University with a MS in Educational Leadership and an EdS degree in Educational Leadership from Appalachian State University.

I have been involved with community organizations in Iredell County and Person County to include United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America and North Carolina Main Street Program. My wife and I are members of Broad Street United Methodists Church in Statesville.

OS1 Questions

1. Do you believe that all children in Iredell County, regardless of where they live, are entitled to the same quality of education?


2. Do you think that all children in Iredell County are currently receiving the same quality of education?


3. Do you think that the level of funding for public schools in North Carolina is adequate? If not, do you think it’s the County’s or the State’s responsibility to increase public education funding?

Public schools can always use more funding. However, it is important that a school board spends its money in the most prudent way to enhance the education of all children.

It is also very important to have a strong working relationship with local and state officials so they know what is needed to educate students in our school system and what is needed to attract and retain outstanding teachers and administrators.

4. Do you support the proposed Iredell County ¼ cent sales tax increase on the November 6, 2018 ballot?


5. If you do support the proposed sales tax increase, do you believe that the local School Boards are best equipped to decide how to use additional sales tax revenue for our schools? If not, who is best equipped to make these decisions?


6. Are you aware of the recent North Carolina School Report Card which graded all schools in the Iredell County?


7. Do you think that North Carolina School Report Card grades impact economic development in our County and the ability to attract employers that offer high-quality jobs?


8. Why do you think that some schools in the Iredell-Statesville School District have met academic growth expectations, while others show zero, or in some cases, even negative growth?

This is a difficult question to answer because of different socio-economic conditions that exist in different communities within Iredell County. A school represents a community. It is important for a school system to work within these communities to show that home and school do go together and a joint effort is needed to improve growth in all schools.

All schools in Iredell County work extremely hard to educate their population and our teachers should be commended on their results. However, for some children, it just takes longer to get the basics.

I believe all parents want the best for their children. I believe all educators want the best for their students. I also believe that by working together we can give all our students the education that will prepare them for successful lives.