Square Walden was a middle school science teacher in Pendleton, NC. One of his students was the young son of a sharecropper. The student was quiet and shy, someone who could have easily been ignored and left to fall through the cracks. But this teacher saw more than just another student. He saw an intelligent young man with the potential to make something of himself. So, Mr. Walden arranged to have his student tested through the TIP (Talent Identification Program), and because of that test, the student was able to complete both eighth and ninth grade in the same term, effectively entering high school a year ahead of schedule. There was a principal at Willis Hare High School in Pendleton, NC named Oscar Spaulding, who went out of his way to mentor a young man who entered his school a year before his classmates. Like the middle school teacher before him, Mr. Spaulding recognized this new student’s intelligence and potential. With his help, the student obtained a NDEA (National Defense Education Act) Loan and a NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) Scholarship and went on to earn a doctorate degree one month before his 24th birthday. These educators are not alone. Most successful people have a story about a teacher or a principal who made all the difference in their lives.
And where is that son of a sharecropper today?
Meet Bill Flythe
Armed with a PhD in Organic Chemistry, Bill Flythe began his career as a chemist and laboratory supervisor in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. After twenty years in the private sector, Bill returned to school, this time as a high school teacher in Brunswick County, where he taught science until his retirement in 2005. Still active in education, Bill currently works with The Region “O” Council for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering (ROCAME), an organization that provides STEM activities for minority students in grades 6-12.
Bill has never forgotten the help he received from his middle school teacher and his high school principal. Help that made him the successful person that he is today. The kind of help that all kids deserve. As a member of the Board of Education, Bill will seek increased funding for public education, support for Common Core standards, and more partnerships between community organizations and Brunswick County schools. We need more Bill Flythe's. And that's the best reason to elect this Bill Flythe to the Brunswick County Board of Education.