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Bulloch Local Government

INSIDER: Candidates for Bulloch County Board of Education – Post 8

District 8 for the Bulloch County Board of Education is being sought by Maurice Hill and Keisha Howard. 

Due to the social distancing guidelines, we have converted our traditional AllOnGeorgia candidate video interviews into short questionnaires. Each candidate in the race was provided an identical questionnaire with the same deadline. (Questionnaires were emailed to the email address listed on the qualifying paperwork) Candidates were told their answers would be blank in the event that they did not respond. Answers were not edited in any way.

The Primary Election was moved to June 9th.
The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 11th.
Early voting begins May 18th.
To sign up to volunteer as a poll worker, click here.

District 8 for the Bulloch County Board of Education is being sought by Maurice Hill and Keisha Howard.

Please provide a brief bio on yourself.

HILL: Samuel Maurice Hill is the son of the late Ben Samuel Hill and Betty Hill-Lundy. He is a Bulloch County native currently living in District 8 and a husband and father of three children who are currently enrolled in the Bulloch County School System. He is a proud graduate of the Bulloch County School System, Statesboro High School Class of 1997. He furthered his education at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services where he obtained an Associates of Science in Funeral Services. Maurice has been a funeral service professional for the past twenty-eight years. Currently, he is the owner of Hill’s Mortuary, Inc. of which he has operated for the past sixteen years.

Presently he serves as a member of the Bulloch County Board of Education representing District 8. He has served in this capacity for the past fifteen years having also been chosen by his peers to serve as chairman and vice-chairman of the Board of Education. In addition to this, Maurice currently serves as a board member of the Bulloch Alcohol and Drug Council and the Statesboro Family YMCA. His past affiliations include serving as a community liaison for the Central Savannah River Area Economic Opportunity Authority, the governing body for the Statesboro Head Start Program and as a member of the Governor’s Education Advisory Board under then-Governor Nathan Deal. He is a former recipient of the Dean Day Smith Service to Mankind Award and received past recognition for the 20 under 40 Business Leaders of Statesboro (2011). Maurice currently serves as pastor of Johnson Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

What type of experience and understanding of the education system do you believe is necessary to competently serve on the Board of Education?

HILL: Many people may not know but prior to serving on the Board of Education, I was employed as a substitute teacher for the Bulloch County School System. Having said that, I think it goes without saying that understanding the relationship between teachers and students is important and it’s the driving force behind providing a quality education. In addition to being an advocate for our teachers and students, it is equally important to be an advocate for the parents and all other employees of the school district. As a board member, you should be accessible for them to express their concerns and accountable for addressing those concerns. Knowing the importance of community engagement and the role community partnerships play in creating a quality learning environment is imperative. When there is growth within the community there is a direct impact on student growth which impacts the number of students we serve in our district. You must be aware of the socioeconomic factors and how they impact the district and community in which you serve and live in. As a local business leader knowing the importance of good stewardship with regards to the financial resources is a must. It’s important to prioritize what we are funding and how it impacts the budget which also impacts the payroll and what resources we can provide to our students.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

What are 3 strengths of which our district can be proud? why do you see these as strengths?

HILL: A number of new schools have been constructed while other existing schools have been renovated and expanded to provide a quality learning environment and additional services to the students. Having structurally sound facilities for our students, faculty, and staff aids in our ability to provide a safe learning environment. Instructional technology and resources have also been implemented in the learning environment to further enhance the students’ educational experience. Fifteen years ago when I became a board member, our learning environment did not have smartboards, Chromebooks, Google Classroom and other technical resources to assist our teachers with advancing our students. Our school system has been able to maintain its financial stability even during times of uncertainty which has aided in the ability to secure job positions and payroll for our employees.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

What are 3 needs that must be priorities for our district to address?

HILL: Maintaining consistency in hiring and promotion procedures as well as hiring more women and minorities in leadership positions within the school district. Equitable resources for all students as well as equitable funding for each school within the school district. Addressing the digital divide, mental health, and behavior issues that negatively impact student achievement both inside the classroom and at home.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

An individual school board member has no authority; only the board as a whole can make decisions for the district. What skills or traits will allow you to contribute to effective operations of the board as a whole and how do you overcome disagreement?

HILL: Listening with willful intent to understand different perspectives and why someone may have that perspective is a skill that is necessary. Being willing to see it from their point of view promotes a more collaborative effort towards a unified resolution. However, there
are times when it is necessary to stand in your truth even when it requires standing alone
because you are a representative of the people.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

If elected/re-elected, what would you hope would be key accomplishments of the board during your years of service?

HILL: To have a more diverse workforce that’s representative of the students we serve. Champion efforts to ensure all classrooms are staffed with certified personnel. To see an increase in the college and career ready performance index which is used to measure how well we are doing to prepare our students for college and future careers. Partner with community stakeholders to identify locations within underserved communities to establish educational resource centers. 

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

Bulloch County is very diverse and continues to become more diverse every year – economically, racially, culturally, and in other ways. Is the Board of Education and the school system generally doing enough to adequately represent the needs of the various demographics across Bulloch County?

HILL: Unfortunately, it’s not enough. The Board of Education and the school system as a whole isn’t doing enough to adequately represent the needs of the various demographics. Instead of working in silos unto our own constituents, it’s more productive if board members are more visible in each of the schools not just those that are in their district. It’s important that the superintendent is making the best effort to forge an open dialogue with organizations who represent those various demographics. This can be accomplished by engaging in town hall meetings and setting up a task force with equal representation of every demographic to serve as the voice for their stakeholders. We should be open to going into their environment and not always asking them to come to us.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

What should our school district be doing to ensure the safety of students and staff?

HILL: Our intergovernmental agreement with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and Statesboro Police has enabled us to staff our schools with school resource officers. We are continuing with effects to secure each school by securing entry points into the school and implementing security cameras to monitor activity within the schools. In addition to this, the procedure for parents and visitors to gain access to the school during hours of operation has been revised to require a picture ID.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

How can the Bulloch County Board of Education be more transparent about activities and finances?

HILL: It is my belief that transparency starts with the leader of the school district which is the superintendent. As board members, we are tasked with holding the superintendent accountable with regards to sharing the information and making informed decisions about the activities and finances. Also, the board meetings are where members of the community can hear first-hand about activities and finances. These meetings are also live-streamed and can be accessed from the Bulloch County Schools website.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested present a conflict of interest for you as a Bulloch County BOE member? Please explain your answer.

a) In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising in your official duties, how would you handle such a conflict to ensure maintenance of public trust?

HILL: There are no other employment or business ventures that I currently participate in that would be a conflict of interest for me serving as a member of the Bulloch County Board of Education. In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest affecting my ability to serve as a board member, I will follow the necessary steps or predetermined guidelines to notify the necessary stakeholders.

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

Is there anything else you’d like the public to know about you?

HILL: I would like to invite and encourage the public to follow me on Facebook at Campaign To Re-Elect Maurice Hill Board of Education District #8

HOWARD: Questionnaire not returned by candidate.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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