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County clerk of court appointed to task force for school safety

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By Sam Hickman

 Brunswick County’s clerk of superior court has been selected as the vice chairman of a task force that seeks to provide safer schools for North Carolina students.

Jim MacCallum, a Brunswick County resident for 11 years, worked in law before becoming clerk of court, but he also has an extensive background in education.

Prior to his move to North Carolina, MacCallum said education was his “alternate career” in West Virginia. He was a local school board member and served as a state school board member for 14 years. He was president of the West Virginia state school board on three different occasions.

“Education is something I’ve always been committed to for a very long time. It works well for me. It’s always been one of my passions,” he said.

The task force, created by executive order in September, aims to provide guidance to the Center for Safer Schools and consider future policy and legislative action to improve school safety.

MacCallum was a past chairman of the Communities in Schools program in Brunswick County and serves on the Foundation of Brunswick Community College.

“This is something I really look forward to,” he said. “This is a good fit for my lifelong interest in education and educational policy-making.”

Creation of the task force was one of nearly 80 recommendations put forward in a report to the governor from the Center for Safer Schools in September.

MacCallum said the task force is a follow-up to a number of public forums held around the state in April and May to gain input from communities and various institutions as to what they needed to address to provide safer schools.

“It’s our intention to involve the public as much as we can,” he said. “It’s important for us to keep the parents, students and teachers actively involved as we address these issues.”

MacCallum said the task force will operate under the auspices of the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools, which was established by Gov. Pat McCrory.

MacCallum heard about the task force and applied to serve on it.

“This was something I was interested in, so I sent in my resumé and fortunately they chose me,” he said.

Members of the task force will serve two-year terms and meet quarterly. The first meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4 in Raleigh.

McCrory described the members of the task force as “diverse, talented and functional.”

“One of my first actions after taking office was tasking the Department of Public Safety with developing a comprehensive plan to make our schools safer for students, parents, teachers and administrators,” he said in a news release.

 

Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.