A Parent Who "Gets It"
Betsy Flanagan was raised in Northeastern Ohio by a single mom who worked as an early childhood teacher during the day and worked a second job, as many single parent teachers still do today, at the local library in the evenings. Her father was a tool and die maker who worked night shift in a local shop supporting the automotive industry and worked during the days operating large equipment. Hard work was a value that was not only taught, but also modeled very well by her parents. Betsy and her two older brothers weren’t privileged kids growing up and she learned pretty early on that any opportunities she had would be opportunities that she made for herself. Being a very diligent student in public school in Salem, Ohio, she decided to take college prep courses and also elected to take a vocational program to learn to be an administrative assistant. Betsy knew her lot in life was going to require her to have to work to put herself through college. To this day, she has a special place in her heart for vocational programs for high school students who either don’t desire to go to college or need to work to earn the money to put themselves through college.
Following high school, she worked as an administrative assistant during the day and went to college during the night. After 8 years of taking 2-3 classes at a time in the evenings after working all day, she finally earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from East Carolina University. She graduated magna cum laude and was a Wall Street Journal scholar. Betsy married Mark Flanagan in 1999 and made their home in Farmville. Betsy worked in accounting director and controller positions until having their three children and determined the right thing for their family was to step back to a part-time accounting career. She began her own business, Flanagan Consulting, to provide controller type services to small businesses who don’t have accounting personnel on staff.
Betsy and her husband, Mark, have three children, Arch (13), Jack (12), and Sam (9). They all attend Pitt County Schools and at the time of the election in November, they will have a high school freshman at Farmville Central, a middle schooler in 7th grade at Farmville Middle School, and an elementary school student in 4th grade at Sam D. Bundy. Needless to say, she has “skin in the game”.
Betsy has been involved in volunteering in the schools and has been passionate about the public education of all Pitt County children from the day her oldest child entered kindergarten. She has served in the schools in many different roles including reading to students in the back of their regular classrooms, serving in multiple PTA roles, helping teachers out with bulletin boards, staffing book fairs, and serving on the Student Improvement and Positive Behavior Intervention System teams (just to name a few!). Betsy really does love our kids and it warms her heart to show up at school and be acknowledged with a hug or a handshake by students who know her by name.
After attending the Parent Engagement Program with Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County, Betsy felt empowered and confident to advocate in a greater capacity by running for the Pitt County Schools District 4 Board of Education seat. Being urged by several members of the community to represent the District 4 area on the Board, she filed to run for the office on the first day that filing opened. She has been working diligently to meet with principals, teachers, parents, and community leaders to make sure when elected in November, she isn’t stuck behind a steep learning curve and is ready to represent and serve Pitt County.