Under the Dome

Harnett teacher in GOP primary for state superintendent

Harnett County teacher J. Wesley Sills says he’s entering the GOP primary for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Sills is in his fourth year teaching high school social science. He earned his license last summer.

Sills graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a degree in political science, and according to his online bio, spent much of his professional life working on yachts and sailing the world.

“I believe in the mission of public education and will work tirelessly to eliminate the endless bureaucratic policies that do not promote student learning, reign (sic) in all this testing, and make public schools a parent’s first choice in their student’s education,” he said in a prepared statement.

Sills will face Rosemary Stein, a pediatrician from Snow Camp, and Mark Johnson, a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth Board of Education, in the GOP primary.

Democrat June Atkinson is running for reelection. Henry Pankey, a former principal from Durham, is challenging her in a primary.

The person who wins the job in November will run the state Department of Public Instruction.

A press release announcing his candidacy said Sills “looks forward to a spirituous campaign focused on the issues of educating our children.”

Usually, the best voters can hope for in Council of State primaries are spirited campaigns, so a spirituous campaign (one infused with alcohol) would offer a new twist.

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