Sen. Jim Burgin, R-Harnett, is getting kudos from one of the state’s major professional associations.
At issue is the senator’s role as the primary sponsor of a bill which Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law earlier this month.
The new law will help fill critical teaching slots by allowing professionals in fields other than education to serve as adjunct instructors in our public schools.
The North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants sees an opportunity here for its members to give back to the state by serving our schools. The group praised Sen. Burgin because he has “made it easier for accountants and other professionals to get back in the classroom … to help teach” North Carolina students.
“Two of my best teachers were retired from other careers, and they changed my life,” Sen. Burgin said. “Sometimes it’s better to learn about a subject from someone who’s actually done it, as opposed to someone who has only read or heard from others about it.”
The new law includes safeguards to make sure the adjunct instructors are prepared for the classroom. Those wishing to serve must have a bachelor’s or graduate degree and must complete at least one semester (nine credit hours or more) of teacher preparation courses at a community college. Instructors will then be able to teach core academic subjects as well as courses in their professional expertise. The law also applies to courses in foreign languages and the fine and performing arts.
The CPAs were pleased that Sen. Burgin specifically mentioned them during floor debate.
“Who could be better to teach a course on financial literacy, economics, or mathematics than a retired accountant?” he asked at the time. “Accountants could take advantage of this opportunity to equip a generation to make financially sound decisions. They might also be that teacher who inspires students to enter the profession one day.”
We agree with the CPAs that this is a solid new law that will help North Carolina students. They were right to give Sen. Burgin an attaboy.
So does Christensen
Lt. Joshua Christensen of the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office has also been recognized, in his case, for making a big contribution to the professional development of the supervisors in his agency [article, June 25, “HCSO implements new leadership training program].”
Sheriff Wayne Coats had asked Lt. Christensen to find a way to bring out the best in those deputies who help lead the county’s law enforcement effort.
“We all go through leadership training,” Sheriff Coats said. “You can take courses for first-line supervisors, advanced supervisors, but we wanted a little bit more.”
He turned to Lt. Christensen to develop the right combination of curriculum and training.
Lt. Christensen came back with a comprehensive leadership program unlike any other in the state. “We want to give them these tools to be able to go out there and do this job at a high level while being a professional at the same time,” he said.
And now, 22 leaders in the Sheriff’s Office have graduated from the program.
Across the country, law enforcement officers have been subjected to harsh scrutiny from critics, the media and many politicians. But these officers do a difficult and dangerous job. They go through doors not knowing what’s on the other side.
They deserve our respect. And this effort by Lt. Christensen to further the professional development of the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office is a positive step.