Tough decision: Nina Bunting resigns Indian River board to ‘state’ her case

 

DAGSBORO – Nina Lou Bunting’s passion for education continues – after nearly four decades as a teacher and 13 years on the Indian River School District school board.

Now, the Dagsboro resident is ready to “state” her case.

Answering opportunity’s knock, Ms. Bunting resigned in late June from the Indian River Board of Education to clear the way for her State Senate-approved appointment to the State Board of Education.

Nina Lou Bunting

Nina Lou Bunting has resigned from the Indian River School District Board of Education following her appointment to the State Board of Education.

It was a difficult decision, to leave the Indian River district where she taught for 30 years, but was an opportunity she could not pass up.

“Even though I hated to leave Indian River I just feel that there are other challenges that I’m interested in addressing,” said Ms. Bunting. “I see some things at the state level that I would love to have a part in doing something about.”

In May 2014, Ms. Bunting was unopposed as the incumbent in securing a five-term as a District 3 representative on the Indian River school board.

The Indian River board is currently advertising for candidates to fill Ms. Bunting’s seat until June 30, 2016. That person from District 3 would serve the second year of her term. The seat would then be up for vote in the May 2016 school board elections; the winner serving the remaining three years.

Ms. Bunting’s resignation leaves two vacancies on the IRSD board.

In late May, Shaun Fink of Millsboro resigned from the board, several weeks after running opposed for a five-year term representing District 2.

As a state board of education member Ms. Bunting’s prioritized list includes: preparing students to be career-ready; increased focus/emphasis on children with special needs; more training so all teachers can work with all students including those with special needs; and more citizenship education, particularly civics.

“Those are some things I’m passionate about. And I’m sure there will be plenty more when I get to the state level,” she said.

Ms. Bunting believes there should be more vocational training at public high schools rather than relying mainly on vocational schools.

“I think we are doing a good job getting them ready for college but I’m not so sure we are doing such a good job getting them ready for careers. Things that we need around here – plumbers, electricians, small motor work, the restaurant business, the hotel/motel business – all of those things are important in this area,” said Ms. Bunting. “If people want to stay here they need to be prepared for jobs like that.”

Special needs is dear to Ms. Bunting’s heart; her grandson is autistic.

“I see a great need for more speech therapists,” said Ms. Bunting.

While on a Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, Ms. Bunting worked very hard with the Lt. Governor to get the University of Delaware “to provide a program to supply us with speech therapists. I also am interested teaching training for our teachers so they are able to work with all children, atypical children as well as the special needs children.”

Civics, including United States history, is lacking in current education, she says.

“I don’t feel that we are providing our students with enough citizenship education – civics – because I feel that our kids are graduating from high school without really understanding the Constitution, understanding about voting or knowing the history of our country.”

The State Board of Education is comprised of seven members. The board meets monthly in Dover at the Townsend Building, home of the state Department of Education.

State board appointments are for six years.

Ms. Bunting’s appointment by Gov. Jack Markell received required State Senate approval.

“I’m always one ready for another challenge even though I am getting older. I am still interested in serving,” Ms. Bunting said. “Hopefully I will be able to get some of my concerns addressed.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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