District: Wake School Board, District 9
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
City of Residence: Cary
Incumbent: Yes, 12 yrs (1993-2005), March 2013—present
Do you have children in the district? If so, explain.
I have three grandchildren, all of whom graduated from Apex High School, and I myself graduated from Broughton High School.
The school board has been divided over partisan politics in recent years. How do you think that’s affected how the district has been run?
The injection of partisan politics has been detrimental to public confidence in the schools and the School Board, and I hope to bring a non-partisan, cross-party calmness, if you will, to the situation. The focus needs to be on how to serve all of our children well and the partisan bickering has distracted the school district from that focus.
What do you think about the current reassignment plan and what would you do, if anything to change it?
Well, the Board hasn’t done a reassignment plan yet with the new policy. But, I think that the three critical issues are that the student experiences stability in the school they are in, and that the family is in close proximity to the schools that would serve their children at any age.
But then we also have to balance that with being efficient in the utilization of the schools that the taxpayers have paid for, and with the necessity to provide transportation, which is a state requirement, and I’ll add to that the real key is that parents have confidence that their children are going to get a good education no matter what school they attend. That really is the key, that, to follow a lot of the concerns about student assignments, the reality is that families re-locate, children age out of particular schools, new neighborhoods are built, old neighborhoods age out, and the students that are served are constantly in flux and so, some assignment is necessary to make sure that we maintain a level of efficiency, that we use the buildings that we have, and that we honor those commitments to parents to minimize changes, to maximize stability for their children.
What is your main priority for the new superintendent for the next year or two?
To help him establish a keen focus on academic achievement for every child, and that includes stretching our brightest students, those that are performing at the highest levels and also includes an extreme focus on having every child learn to read and to be a competent reader. And that, I think, those two things, we’ll see a great deal of progress in our students and they’ll be prepared for success in the next level.
Do you support the proposed school bond? And, if so, what are your priorities for spending that money?
The priorities have already been established by the school board: a balance between new school construction to deal with rapid growth and renovations to make sure that we maintain a semblance of equity and facility across the district. I am fully in support of capital improvement plans that the County Commission and the school board have agreed on unanimously and I support the idea that a bond referendum is the best way to pay for it by allowing folks who are here now and those who may move here in the next 10 years to help pay for the construction of the schools that their children will be using.