Filing ends for city school board

By Tom Joyce -

DOBSON — The end of the candidates’ filing period Friday for the Mount Airy Board of Education revealed that only one of the three seats involved in this year’s election will be contested.

Tim Matthews, an at-large member of the city school board who has served since 1996, is being challenged by Greg Perkins, who is seeking a public office for the first time.

Matthews, 60, is a longtime local pharmacist while Perkins, 52, is associated with Perkins & Associates Insurance Specialists in Mount Airy.

The election will be held in November.

Facing no opposition is Kyle Leonard, who represents District A on the board, which covers the Mount Airy No. 1 voting precinct.

Leonard was appointed in May to replace a board member who moved outside the district, and now is in line to be elected to his first four-year term.

A resident of Cherry Street, Leonard, 28, is employed by Lincoln Financial Group in its operations area.

Cooke devoted to schools

Ben Cooke also is running unopposed for his District B seat, which includes residents of the Mount Airy No. 2 and 3 precincts. He has served on the board since 2010 and is looking ahead to his third term.

Cooke, 47, who filed for re-election last week, explained his reasons for doing so on Friday.

“I really don’t have any agenda,” said the incumbent, who lives on Wrenn Avenue and owns and operates Cooke Rentals Inc. with his wife Lone.

Cooke mainly wants to maintain what is already occurring.

“I just like being part of such a wonderful school system,” he said.

“And I like what I see and I’d like to see it continued — whether or not I have any bearing on that is yet to be determined.”

Having three children in Mount Airy City Schools is a factor.

“My kids are still in school, all three will be in high school this year,” Cooke said.

“I just think all the schools are heading in the right direction,” he added, pointing out that most of the campuses have undergone various transformations in the last several years. “I think we’ve got the right people in the right places, and I’d just like to see it continued.”

Cooke has been assisting the Mount Airy High School football team since 1998.

He has been heavily involved in community activities encompassing recreation and other areas and was selected as Citizen of the Year in 2015 by the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.