facebook Share on Facebook {mosimage}Before you head to the polls next week, get to know the candidates for the Johnston County Board of Education. Also, a brief rundown of all Johnston County races.

The ballot for Johnston County Board of Education has only one incumbent, and eight candidates seeking four seats on the Board. The downturn of the economy poses a great challenge to a school system that serves a quickly growing county. Here, we briefly examine the candidates for the Board of Education. Job Duties: Administrative, academic, fiscal, personnel, and operational policies for the district. Pay: Member, $401.92 per month, $400 per month for travel expenses; chairman, $545.25 per month, $500 per month for travel expenses. All members receive an insurance stipend of $500 per month. Term: Terms are four years. Three seats are open.

Candidates: Keith Branch of Wilson's Mills; graduate of Smithfield-Selma High. Before opening Allstate Insurance in Clayton, he worked with the state Office of the Auditor as an auditor of school systems. He feels he'd be a bigger asset to the community because he currently has a child in the school system.

W. Landis Bullock of Smithfield; Smithfield native who was chairman of Citizens for Better Schools, which built voter support for bond issues in 2005 and 2007. He is the owner of W. Landis Bullock Industrial and Contractor Supply. He wants to build schools that aren't overcrowded when they open, and he wants to do that without raising property taxes.

Greg Evans of Smithfield; Johnston County resident for 18 years. He wants to provide students with a quality education, recruit and retain good teachers, improve communication between the board and others, provide safe schools and prepare cost-effective budgets. He is a senior manager at a technology company in Research Triangle Park. Also, Evans is a past president of the Johnston County Education Foundation. His two daughters attend Johnston schools.

Amy Devereaux of Cleveland; received a bachelor's degree in English from N.C. State University and a master's in library science from the University of Maryland. She hopes to provide more volunteer opportunities, internships at local businesses, excellent teachers and mentors to students in an effort to reduce Johnston's dropout rate.

Lynn Neiverth of Clayton; retired schoolteacher and former school board member in Morris County, N.J. She will try to help low-performing schools improve dropout rates, improve communication among teachers, parents and the school board, improve teacher retention and eliminate wasteful spending.

Peggy Smith of McGee's Crossroads; retired principal of East Clayton Elementary, and is now coordinator of Campbell University's master's program in school administration. She hopes to reduce the school system's bureaucracy.

Mike Wooten of Kenly; graduate of Smithfield-Selma High, who works for Four Oaks Bank in Smithfield. He hopes to steer education dollars to reducing class size and paying teachers more. He'd like to see the schools put greater emphasis on vocational training for students who opt to not attend college.

Incumbent: Donna White of Clayton; a graduate of Clayton High and a certified public health nurse. She has called for direct dialogue between school board members and the county's teachers.

Other Johnston County Races and Candidates

N. C. House Leo Daughtry -R (Incumbent)

- District 26 Jimmy F. Garner -D - District 26 James H. Langdon Jr. -R (Incumbent)
- District 28 N. C. Senate David Rouzer - R - District 12 Kay Carroll - D
- District 12 Johnston Co. Commissioners Jeffrey P. Carver - R (Incumbent)
- District 1 James W. Brantley - D - District 1 W. Ray Woodall - R (Incumbent)
- District 2 PRIMARY WINNER Ted G. Godwin
- R _ District 2 DeVan Barbour, III - R (Incumbent)
- District 4 Glenn McLamb - D
- District 4 PRIMARY WINNER Donald J. Byrd - D - District 4 Tony Braswell -R (Incumbent)
- District 6 Lloyd Barnes Jr. -D -District 6 District Court Judges

- 11th District (Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties)

District Court Judge (Bryant seat) Bob Bryant Jr. (Incumbent)
District Court Judge (Bullock seat) Charles Bullock (Incumbent)
Gary W. Ragland District Court Judge (Faircloth seat)
Resson O. Faircloth (Incumbent) District Court Judge Jackie Lee (Incumbent)
District Court Judge (Love seat) Jim Love Jr. (Incumbent)
District Court Judge (Murphy seat) George R. Murphy (Incumbent) Paul Holcombe
District Court Judges (Stubbs seat) R. Dale Stubbs (Incumbent)
District Court Judge (Willis seat) O. Henry Willis (Incumbent)