"A society benefits when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit"         --Thucydides


      The members of the Henderson County Board of Public Education are the elected trustees of your schools. A school board member represents several constituencies -- parents, students, teachers, taxpayers with no children in school, homeowners concerned with property values, and business owners with a stake in what our schools contribute to the quality of life and reputation of the community. For those of us who believe the best government is local, the School Board election is a chance to pick candidates with conservative values and conservative solutions who are close enough to home to be watched as they represent you in decisions about how your tax dollars are spent and how we educate our children. 

        The school system is run day-to-day by licensed education and finance professionals; the Board selects them and watches to see that their actions

(and non-actions) are well and properly chosen. School Board members have no line authority; they work on a different level, determining policies, allocating expenses, anticipating problems, and seeing that the problems are addressed. Knowing the potential hazards of micromanagement by board members, I prefer the "noses in, fingers out" approach. That is how I plan to serve on our School Board.

        Candidates promise to benefit voters when they clearly state their educational philosophy, so voters can make choices with the expectation of predictable policies. I have tried to make my views on many school issues known through candidate forums, community appearances, newspaper advertising, and this website. I welcome invitations to speak to any group about the schools. If you have something to tell me and we haven't met, please send me an e-mail at doc@burtharris.com, and we can exchange ideas and information. No subject is too sensitive to be discussed. If I don't know the answer to your question, I'll get it for you.

        This election campaign is really a performance review of the existing Board, and a job interview where you decide who will best represent you going forward. Although I have management experience as head of a complex, 30-surgeon, 150-employee, $50 million surgical department in a medical school and university teaching hospital, I learned more about schools as the father of four, grandfather of six, a children's doctor for 45 years, a teacher and a coach. My life has been and still is about kids, and I believe all these experiences can be put to good use on the school board. While I can't say I was born and raised in Henderson County (that's my parents' fault !), I've been here a long time and have become part of Western North Carolina. My different background and experiences offer a new look and new thinking for our school system.

        What happens in our schools changes lives. Who represents you at school really matters. If you really believe that right now our schools are as good as they could be, vote for the incumbents. But if you think we could be doing better and that we need a little fresh air, please consider voting for me on November 8.