Carroll G. (Carr) Ipock, II- Candidate Craven County Board of Education

Interview questions were developed by a Vetting Committee of 10 members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. All candidates for a particular office were asked the same questions. Interviews were conducted by 3 rotating members of the Vetting Committee. Summaries are the agreed-upon consensus of each 3-member group. Candidates were asked to interview in-person, but phone interviews were offered for candidates living outside Craven County if schedules would not allow travel.
Name, Candidate Position: Carroll G. (Carr) Ipock, II
Interview Date: 10-18-16
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Interviewed: In Person
Name: Carr Ipock
Phone:   252-637-3322
Email: carr_ipock@hotmail.com
Address: 414 Surrey Lane, New Bern, North Carolina, 28562
Educational Background:
Graduated from New Bern High School.
Studied biology and chemistry at the University of North Carolina.
Accepted a position with Whyerhouser and came back to school at East Carolina (chemical engineering)
Experience:
I’ve worked in process engineering and chemical engineering, and each of them is aimed at optimizing systems.
As Chairman of the Board of Education, I have worked with several different Superintendents of Schools. I’ve worked with Brad Sneedsan, Bill Rivenbank, Larry Mosser, Lane Mills, and now Dr. Doyle. I’ve had a lot of longevity and have learned a lot from a lot of Superintendents.
I’ve been involved in vetting charter school applications.
Demonstrations of Leadership:
I served on the State School Board, and was named “School Board Member of the Year” in 1996.
Memberships and Associations:
NC Counselors Association
NC School Board Association
Rotary
Wounded Warriors Association
Why are you running for this office?
There is still work to be done, and I understand that work better now. I want to help our new Superintendent transition. I want to be a voice for our students and families. I want to continue my charge with pre-K, vocational ed, and workforce development. I want to continue to grow Craven County standards and proficiency.
What is the organizational structure of your campaign, fund raising capability, etc.?
My campaign is self-directed and self-funded. Other than phone calls and advice, no one is helping.
Which of the Founding Fathers do you most admire?
 
George Washington.
Why?
I admire his military leadership. He was out-maned and out-gunned, but he motivated soldiers. With his leadership, we still won.
Margaret Thatcher once said, “Consensus is a lack of leadership.” Do you agree? Why, or why not?
I don’t agree. Consensus is the objective of leadership. Leadership works to arrive at a consensus. Compromise can be a consensus.
Which President do you most admire? Why?
Actually, George Washington again.
He was on an unchartered course. He knew what our nation should be like. He led the way in service. It wasn’t about power for him. It was about service. It demonstrated what today’s politics should be about.
Do you believe the Founding Fathers intended the Constitution to be:
            a. An evolving document whose meaning changes with time, or
            b. A permanent set of rules to limit the power of the federal government?
I’ve thought about this a lot. I believe it was intended to be a permanent set of rules. It was based on the rights of man and government. It can be amended.
Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced. What happened? How did you resolve it?
Many times I’m called on as a Board member by people who want me to intercede in their behalf. One parent I know well and am close to asked me to let her daughter remain in the school she’d been attending even though the family had moved to another school district. I asked her what hardship changing schools would cause. She replied that going to the new school wasn’t a hardship; she would just prefer that her daughter stay with her classmates.
I had just served on a panel that had turned down a similar request from another parent, so I could not treat this parent differently in good conscience. However, because it was someone I was close to, I knew something about her circumstances that would allow her to take an action that would cause the change she wanted to occur within the existing rules, and I pointed this option out to her.
Where do individual rights come from?
Initially, God.
When the Constitution was written, God was a part of that, and it comes from the Constitution as well.
What do you know about Common Core? What is your position on it and why?
I know too much.
What is your position on it and why?
It’s misunderstood. The title “Common Core” is toxic. It’s really standards for education across the country. What I wish we called it in North Carolina would be something like, “the NC Essential Standards for Excellence in Education.”
The math is totally misunderstood. It was hastily and badly implemented.
The “Common” part is not one size fits all, but it does allow students who come to North Carolina from another state to be on the same education tract.
What is your opinion on gun ownership, registration, and gun free zones?
Citizens have a God given right to bear arms.  I am against high capacity magazines and automatic weapons without proper government oversight.  Registration is not a problem with me.  As for gun free zones, especially at schools, there are pros and cons to both ways.  I am well aware that the school as a gun free zones is a soft target.  However, I am not ready to arm the teachers.  If school resources allow, there should be a School Resource Officer who is an armed law enforcement officer, and each school should have a well laid out security program.
What does the phrase “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?
Being a history major, I think that term came from what was happening in Europe where churches wielded tremendous power. I agree that church and state should be separate, but it’s gone to the extreme where the voice of the church is being diminished.
If elected, what would be your number one priority item during your term in office?
To continue to serve the stakeholders and monitoring stakeholders’ concerns. We have to continue working for pre-K, vocational education, and workforce development. For example, do you realize that some places in Virginia, pre-K students are as young as 3 years old?
This interview was conducted by Kathryn Blankley, Hal James, and Raynor James.

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