ASHEBORO — Gidget Kidd views her newest assignment with the UNC Wilmington board of trustees as an ideal next step in public education.
“I have a passion for public education,” said Kidd. “I think it’s a natural progression. It’s a nice chapter.”
Kidd was elected chair of the board this month.
Kidd’s involvement has been extensive on the UNCW board, previously holding the position of vice chair and twice serving as secretary. She has chaired all board committees except for one.
Although she’s a UNCW graduate from the Class of 1991, much of her role in education stems from time in Randolph County. Kidd was an elementary and middle school teacher with Randolph County Schools for nine years and director of the preschool program at Asheboro First United Methodist Church for nine years.
She chaired the Asheboro city board of education for six years and remains part of that elected body.
She said it’s important for her to help bridge the gap between K-12 education and university level schooling. She considers that one of her tasks.
“I think I bring that connection,” she said.
As the first Randolph County resident to hold the chair position at UNCW, she hopes to further the ties between that coastal community and the Triad.
“I try to be a good ambassador for the university and introduce UNCW to the Randolph County community,” she said. “We want students from across the state.”
Kidd, whose husband is Randolph County commissioner Kenny Kidd, has been a member of the UNCW board since 2013. Mr. Kidd and their daughter also are UNCW graduates.
Issues addressed under Kidd’s watch are bound to include funding topics, future planning that forecasts a couple of decades ahead, and potential programs desired by students. She said recent additions of film study masters and coastal engineering masters have been logical programs.
She said she wants the university to continue to be known for what it does best – think and discuss.
Kidd said she is proud to see UNCW raising its profile among public schools in the state. Aside from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, Wilmington attracts more prospective students than the state’s other public universities.
UNCW used to hold the reputation as a destination for students looking to hang out at the beach.
“I think we’ve certainly raised our standards,” Kidd said. “It’s not just location, though that’s a huge part of it.”
Kidd’s expansive roles with UNCW include a board position with D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, which is a year-round K-8 lab school opened by the university in July 2018.
Hank Miller, a 1985 UNCW graduate who lives in Wrightsville Beach, will be the vice chair of the board of trustees and Wilmington resident H. Carlton Fisher of the Class of 1983 was elected secretary of the board.