Help Wanted

The Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools website reports as follows:

Applications to Fill School Board Vacancy Due Nov. 19

Valerie Foushee formally resigned from the Board of Education Nov. 4 after she was elected Nov. 2 to serve on the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. Foushee has served on the school board for seven years. Her term will expire in 2005.

The board has announced plans to advertise the opening and will conduct an orientation session for potential candidates on Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. at Lincoln Center.

Applications are due Nov. 19 by 5 p.m. to the Superintendent's Office. The timeline and application forms are available on the school system's website at: http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/Welcome.asp?DP=SB

Board members will interview candidates at a special meeting on Nov. 29 and select a replacement on Dec. 2. The new board member will be sworn into office on Dec. 16 to complete Foushee's unexpired term. Next School Board Discussion on High School Schedules Slated for Nov. 18

So sounds like you need to get on the ball if you are hoping to be appointed to the school board this fall.

Anyone heard any good rumors about who is going to apply?

Issues: 

Total votes: 231

Comments

Bea Hughes-Werner was not an incumbent when she lost in 1993. She was a challenger and finished fourth, behind third-place finisher LaVonda Burnette. When Burnette was later forced out owing to the discovery that she'd lied about her educational background, Hughes-Werner applied for an appointment to the resulting vacancy.

There are other precedents for defeated challengers being appointed (c.f. Richard Franck to the Town Council in 1995), but none I'm aware of for a defeated incumbent regaining a seat through appointment.

In the Nov. 12th editorial by the CHH,

http://www.herald-sun.com/opinion/chhedits/57-543262.html

one of the statements made was: "Precedent in this community says that defeated incumbents do not receive consideration for interim appointments to elective boards. There is no reason to abandon this tradition, despite the narrowness of Faley's loss in 2003."

In today's paper (Nov. 17th), a letter written by Mary Gratch, a counselor at Chapel Hill High School comments on this:

"I would like to point out that you incorrectly noted that there is no precedent for this reappointment.

"The precedent is that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board appointed Bea Hughes Werner to a seat that she had just failed to be elected to in 1994 or so."
http://www.herald-sun.com/opinion/chhletters/

Was Bea Hughes Werner an incumbent?Does it matter? Precedent or not, I think the issue ought to be about who can best do the job. And unlike the electoral process, who do the current Board members want to work with them as they go about trying to achieve the Board's goals and objectives.

I think you have gone over the top there, tk. You presume too much.

My posts were about the appropriateness of ignoring a clear message from voters. The margin of defeat was irrelevant as this was an incumbent and this community does not reject (and that is the correct word) its incumbents lightly. I have a "complex" about those who would deem thousands of voters irrelevant and try to slip someone in through the back door.

I think it is ludicrous to talk about people being "hung" and "shot." Those are the approaches of anti-democrats who don't respect the electoral process.

PS - Don't think an Indy endorsement would have been worth 600 votes.

I haven't heard anything specifically, but would hope that Gloria Faley would express an interest. Finished third in the balloting as an incumbent in 2004.

Gloria Faley finished fifth (of 6) candidates in 2003. The only incumbent in memory to be voted off the island. It would be a fitting corruption of the electoral process to have her appointed.

What was it that separated the fourth from the fifth finisher, 28 votes?

I've long believed in the following principles in such situations:

1) election losers should not be appointed to open seats for the simple reason that the voters have already rejected them;

2) except when they finish very close, within a point or two (e.g. RIchard Franck's 39? vote loss and subsequent appointment in 1995)

3) except when they lost as an incumbent in which case a higher standard should apply (e.g. the incumbent who lost badly in that same 1995 election would not have been a good choice for the seat Franck filled)

4) if a close loser applies and meets the above criteria, the appointing board should have a frank (not a Franck) consideration of the implications of the loss in the context of the overall qualifications of the applicant and their interpretation of the election results. Citizens will surely weigh in on it as well (e.g. see above).

Here's a case in point: Senate Democrats had good grounds to reject John Ashcroft for Atty General in 2000 on the basis that he had just lost a Senate election in MO.

Admission: Franck's appointment and subsequent worse defeat in 1997 is a good indication that my position may be wrong.

Gloria got about 5200 votes and finished fourth out of six (ie one place out of the winner's circle). That put her 300 behind Michael Kelley.

It's true that the voters did not elect her, but on the other hand, I have never gotten 5,200 votes and I have been elected 3 times.

This issue is always one to struggle with. The Chapel Hill Town Council has previously chosen not to appoint the fifth-place finisher of the most recent prior election.

On the other hand, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board appointed Bea Hughes-Werner to a seat that she had just failed to be elected-to in 1994 or so. So there's recent precedent either way.

There's really not much point in speculating until Gloria indicates she intends to apply.

Here are the 2003 #s:

ELIZABETH MASON CARTER 6251 EDWARD A SECHREST, JR 5894
MICHAEL J KELLEY 5579
JAMEZETTA BEDFORD 5307
GLORIA M FALEY 5279
GEORGE GRIFFIN 4275

I would like to nominate Ashley Osment, although I doubt she would be willing to serve...

I'll second that Ruby. Ashley would be a great asset.

Bottom line for me...get the best person for the position; that is the responsibility of the Board now. For sure, the fact that someone ran (expressed interest), and happened to lose to a higher vote getter is not a rejection by the public.

Another consideration will be the need to maintain diversity on the Board.

Alright, here we go. OrangePolitics.org is getting this message out before any other media outlet:

The persons present for the School Board Vacancy Appointment Meeting were:

Pam Hemminger
Peggy Drew
Jean Hamilton
Carolyn Schwarz
Dan Gajewski
Fred Kameny

and Gary Kayye.

Sorry if any of those spellings are off a bit. Also, it was mentioned at the meeting that Gloria Faley was unable to attend the meeting, but intends to apply. It was also mentioned that at least one other person could not come but intends to apply.

The meeting was conducted by School Board Members Elizabeth Carter and Lisa Stuckey. Staff members Kim Hoke and Neil Pedersen were also there and gave some input.

The overall message to potential applicants: This is a serious commitment.

This meeting was not mandatory, so it's not too late to apply. Applications can be obtained at the Lincoln School Administration Building on Merritt Mill Road. The application deadline is November 19, 2004 at 5 pm.

As a school system employee and a parent in this district, I cannot think of a better person to appoint than Gloria Faley. She has courageously fought for the needs of all students even when her position was not politically popular. I have found her to be open, caring, wise, and a tireless advocate working to accomplish the mission of this school district. I will rest easier in my job and my family with Gloria back on the board.

"appoint Gloria Faley"

I can't think of a more egregious slap in the face of CHCCS district voters.

This would be even worse than what the Supreme Court did in 2000 with Bush.

I will gladly support Gloria's appointment to the board! I don't see her failure to win re-election as a "rejection by the voters" in fact 5200+ us supported her candidacy. Gloria has demonstrated her commitment to the school system over and over again, both by her service on the board and through her volunteer efforts in our schools.

(I don't see her failure to win re-election as a “rejection by the voters”)

How about . . .

Terminated
Sacked
Canned
Thrown out
Eliminated
Given the heave ho
Booted
Sent packing

When your 5200+ votes trail your co-incumbents by 1000 and 600 votes, the message is pretty clear. What part of "no" are you missing?

Hey Rapier... what have you got against the woman. I read the paper. She gave a lot years to school. She set a school newspaper that my son loved and discovered the joy of writing. She wrote a grant to get a special writing seminar started that my daughter adored. She has gave scholarships to summer students out of her own funds.

What have you done for the community lately, Rapeier.

Have you a complex about this woman?

She got blamed for bringing a Southern Community partnership to council. She went to the council because she was serving as the board's vice chair. She was told to go as a board representative. That was her job. I supported the idea too. The Independent would not endorse her because they said "that she brought up the issue" which was a lie. Both of the incumbents got Indy endorsements and they asked her to go. There is your 600 votes. Please, get real

She served long hours for the past 12 years (look at the paper), she loves children, she was lied about, and she told the truth as politician. This is ONE year appointment. If and quite frankly, I don't believe that she will run again because of nasty people like you... IF, you can "boot her out again". I know that you will just LOVE the thrill. She is the best qualified person for the job. Oh, but that doesn't matter to you, you want her hung.

Get your guns, boys. This woman has to be shot. You lead the charge, Rapeier.

So suddenly TK is over the top when s/he challenges Rapier for his personal attacks on Gloria Faley? Please, let's look at his "egregious slap in the face" and later his list of eight verbs to "eliminate" Ms. Faley. If that's not personal, I don't know what is. Who knows why Rapier had such personal animosity, but his attacks do not take us forward in the discussion about filling the open School Board position.

The question before the community is who can best serve on the School Board for the remaining year of Ms. Foushee's term. Ms. Faley has the knowledge, experience, and dedication to do the job. She has proven that over and over again over the years. Ms. Faley probably has more volunteer and committee hours in schools that most of the other applicants combined. Is she perfect? No, but who is? Will she be able to represent Ms. Foushee's voice and that of the community well? Yes, I think so. She doesn't have the learning curve on issues, people, and politics that other applicants would. She can be effective immediately. Ms. Faley cares about doing what is best for *all* of the students in the district.

There is nothing sacred about keeping with old precedence about Board or Town Council members from decades ago. Does this get us what we want and need for the school community now? If voters don't like what Ms. Faley does, they can vote her out next year. In the meantime, she could serve with the same dedication and care that she has in the past. I say, have Gloria Faley fill the open place on the School Board.

I stand by my earlier post and concur with the one by Susan this morning.
The primary reasons I support Gloria's appointment to the Board is because she has a demonstrated commitment to the school system, she served our schools well as a previous Board member, and she is already up to speed on many of the issues currently before the board.

I think that the decision about filling the seat on the board be made on the merits of the current applicants, not some reading of tea leaves about what occurred or didn't occur in the past. My opinion is that Gloria is the best candidate. I'm open to hearing why someone else might be a better one.

(Who knows why Rapier had such personal animosity)

Who knows that I do?

Once again, it's about protecting the integrity of the voting process and has nothing to do with any (potential) applicant. I would object to ANY defeated incumbent being returned under the current circumstances.

However, I plead guilty to knowing how to count.

Whine about the "animosity" of the Chapel Hill Herald.

Since the Herald was kind enough not to plagarize my list of candidates (or putative candidates) above, I won't plagarize theirs, but you can read who applied on their website:

http://www.heraldsun.com/orange/10-546342.html

Notably a number of the people I mentioned did not apply, and at least one more former local candidate did apply. Click on the link and find out who it is . . .

If, if, if. By your logic, if there is another vacancy, George Griffin should be appointed. If there were 5 open seats, there would have been more candidates. Ms. Faley could still have lost. If there were only 3 open seats in 1999, she would have lost then. All these ifs are just ifs. What did in fact happen in 2003 is she came in 5th. How can you say it is not the will of the voters for Ms. Faley to not be on the board?

Jack, would you care to elaborate on what you mean when you say " I disagree"? Your comment is pretty broad reaching.

Do you have some specific facts?

Do you know anything about Ms. Faley? Are you pointing to a particular issue or policy? Do you have children in the school system?

Jeff,

Thanks or asking! My kids @CHHS were deeply hurt when the Scouts were referred to as "skin-heads"
by a representative of the school board.

Best, Jack

That is a lie, sir

I was there listening to the conversation at the board meeting. There is also a video tape of it for verification.

I know for a fact that Ms. Faley contacted each local scout master involved(outside the meeting) to talk about this issue in a very courteous way. She expressed concerns for students on both sides of the issue.

Ms. Faley talked about the work of the local scouts as well as how gay individuals had talked about their good experiences in local scout program as well as their pain over the policy made at the national level.

I also know for a fact that Ms. Faley has conducted her rocket program for more than one local scouting troop.

Reading this thread makes it very clear that Gloria Faley is controversial. Normally, I support controversial candidates, but in this instance, I would prefer someone who can step in, learn the job quickly and keep the focus on the schooling issues rather than on personality and past animosities.

Actually, Terri, this thread is markedly uncontroversial. Let's recap:

Anti-Faley Comments:
Katie Rockey
Rapier - who has so little regard for his/her own opinion that s/he posts anonymously, and
Jack Granger about whom let us simply say "Res ipsa loquitur."

I agree, Terri. It is always controversial when the democratic process is subverted. The voters had their reasons and these may never be known but their intention was clear. No hanging chads.

Many of the other candidates have some experience in the schools but the paper did not say much more. Anyone have any information about any of these people? Endorsements?

Mark--by your own words, appointing a failed candidancy is 'always one to struggle with." Appointing someone who wasn't re-elected in definitely controversial. To me (based on reading OP and newspapers) there are strong feelings being expressed on both sides for Gloria Faley's appointment, even though as you point out there aren't as many as sometimes appear here on OP. Could it be the complaints will start AFTER the appointment (if it were to happen)? (sorry for the cynicism)

I don't know if it is fair to characterize some of the comments on this thread as "anti-Gloria Faley" if the posters are simply trying to uphold a decision made by the voters a mere 13 months ago.

The most satisfactory resolution of this controversy would be for Ms. Faley to reclaim the support of the voters in 11 months (from a level playing field). Otherwise, there will be a nagging question of legitimacy and a widespread sense that the election process has been abused. As Terri B. suggests, complaints would be likely to start after her appointment.

This issue is "markedly uncontroversial" only in the safe confines of OP World. Elsewhere, it is quite controversial.

Terri

I have listened to negative remarks about Ms. Faley. They are fast, quick, without fact, and with rationale. Surprising you are ready to believe and support them. Now I will try to be honest.

I am a gay man. My partner died horribly of AIDS. Ms. Faley helped pass health benefits at SAS for my partner. She risked her reputation and her job because she believed in the right thing to do.

Without that work, he would have died alone and poor. I would have lost my house. Despite all of that, she stayed with me at 3 am on a Saturday morning. This was the time that he stopped breathing and passed away. She didn't even really know me and still she stayed with me. She stayed because she believed in the common human dignity of each and every human being. While I do not believe in God, Ms. Faley believes in the common good and grace of prayer.

To her, it was not just the support, she wasn't looking for a VOTE, it was the emotional caring for another individual. I know her partner quite well. Her partner told me stories about how Ms. Faley took children to events, dinners, and seminars to allow them to just experience something new and exciting. Stories about children (who Ms. Faley has known for many years) that would come to her door in the wee hours of the morning because they had no where to go. She believed in them. She fought for them. So, to you that action is too scary, it created too animosities.

If one listens to only what is a comfortable politician or position, then we would NOT have the civil right act, women's suffrage, or the voting rights act. It created too many waves. It created TOO many complaints. It causes TOO many animosities. That position was controversial. Maybe I am wrong; I thought that you were a progressive thinker (by your posts in the past). Being progressive means being controversial.

I ask you, Ms. Buckner. Are you afraid of issues that make you uncomfortable? Are you afraid of REALLY eliminating the minority student achievement? Are you afraid of a position what it means to really have equal rights for all students?

Okay, Mr. Granger will call me a pervert. He might tell me that my partner deserved to die and I don't deserve to have children. Is that you, Ms. Buckner?

From my stand point, people have told to lies about Ms. Faley that includes Mr. Granger. So, their lies are a reason to be afraid, shaken and run away. Mr. Granger told a lie. So we accept it, are afraid and go back into our closets.

Do you have children? I do. I have an adopted child who everyone told me I had no right to. My partner and I provided a home of love and support. Mr. Granger would have called me evil and a pervert. You would call me “too controversial”. Don't make waves. Is that what you say? As the waves rolled by, my daughter was passed from foster home to foster home. While you both were talking, Ms. Faley was finding resources, information, and support for my family and my daughter. By the way, my daughter is deaf. Ms. Faley found a way to provide her ways for her to achieve and expand. She is now a bright, excited, and delightful 13 year old with a bright future. If Ms. Faley had no done what she did, she would be left in an exception education classroom with limited opportunities.

We should listen to the fact that a group of people who don't like gay people, who think gay children need role models (like boy scout leaders who are gay) too, and there we should vote against Ms. Faley, We should listen to the Indy (supposedly progressive) who told a lie about the Ms. Faley because certain “progressive people” didn't like her stance on a particular issue.

Are there devoted people who support Ms. Faley? You are right there are. We will keep speaking. We will keep standing up. Because while you were talking, this woman (a woman who is attacked, lied about, and who still keeps standing) trys something to help those who are “different”, poor, might not make, or who is just takes too much energy.

Progressive people everywhere should be too scared to take their own stance, they should be lied about, and stuffed in a corner. So, as I understand your comment, we should never ask questions, we should never make waves for the common good, and we should never look for change. We should make things calm as thousands of children fall down a drain.

Ms. Faley has some strong support because she has touched all of us on common kind level, she has taken the time when no one was looking, she cared when no one else cared, and she stood up when it wasn't good for her to stand up. Ms. Buckner, I guess that is just my opinion and somehow you have a broader opinion. I just have my family who needs a person like Ms. Faley to stand up for everyone's right.

But, isn't that what school board members do… they remember all families including my family.

Ms. Faley IS “up to speed”, she requires NO time to learn, she KNOWS the issues, and Ms. Buckner, it is a one year appointment. Then, you can vote her out because she is JUST too scary. Or as Mr. Rapier says “kick the bum out”.

Mr. Chilton… if you think that I am going to give my name, you don't know that it's like to gay and have a child. I will not risk my child.

Jeffrey,

You know nothing about me so I find it incredibly presumptuous of you to assume my statements have anything to do with sexuality. It's wonderful that Ms. Faley was there to help you and your daughter when you needed help. But I really don't see what that has to do with appointing someone to the Board of Education. You should definitely vote for someone you like; the BOE should *appoint* someone who not only can do the job, but not detract from any of the work they have to do.

As for the rest of your questions to me, I can tell you that sexuality doesn't make me uncomfortable and I have always been a strong advocate for equal rights of all people, regardless of skin color, sexuality, or religious affiliation.

Why can't you just support your candidate without making egregious accusations of others? I said nothing at all derogatory about Ms. Faley except that she generates controversy.

Terri. you are missing the point. Instead of listening, you just defended your position. That's your right.

Your comment was "she creates too much controversy". Ms. Faley is not causing the controvesy, other people are (people who are in the minority on this blog board as Mark noted) causing the controversy. My objection is that you bowed their statments. Therefore, you appear to bowing in fear of them.

It was controvesy if one supported the voting rights act, civil rights. etc. etc. Should I go on about issue that progressives have supported over the years. Or am I reading the wrong blog board. Let me know.

Ms. Faley will do the job and is well qualified, others will detract from the board's work, not her. You are afraid of them.

You are saying let's don't support someone who is qualified. Let's don't support a progressive. Let's don't support soneone who has stood for "all children" is full sense of the word. Let's bow the scary people who might make our life difficult. It's not an election, Terri. It's a ONE year appointment.

Have you read her application. Sadly, I haven't. I have just a sampling of what she has done for a few children. But since you are making the statement so easily, maybe you should. It is public information.

I would recommend that you go look at what she has done compared to the other applicants.

Who is most qualified for a one year committment. Who can do the job the best for ONE year.

This is not an election. It is filling the term of a leaving member. It is not an issue of "supporting an candidate". She is NOT a candidate, she has graciously offered to serve. I can't even image how hard and courageous that action is given the attacks that she endured.

The question is who has the best qualifications and will speak for as well as understand the largest number of students.

My reaction is responding to people telling lies about a decent, kind human being. Not who will quiver in the corner because a good position might upset someone.

My reaction was the statment "Ms. Faley NEVER called scouts "skinheads". It is my opinion that you defended that statement. It was a lie. The lie about Ms. Faley was not about "personality and past animosities" issue. It was simply a LIE. Nor was it the first lie.

If Ms. Faley wants to be an example for children, she would withdraw her name from consideration. It is less than a year until the next election and that would be the proper way to do this. With all the good things said about her, I wonder why she would even want to be appointed this way.

Terri, why is the fact that she "generates controversy" derogatory? The only thing I have seen "controversial" about her is that she's a lesbian. Which is only controversial to a small group of people. How does the fact that there are homophobes in our community even related to whether she is a worthy candidate?

Martin Luther King was extremely controversial in his day. Did that disqualify him from leadership? I just don't get your logic at all, Terri.

What do you mean "appointed this way". What way? What is wrong with being considered?

Being considered because you have good solid qualifications. Being considered because you have spent 12 years (according to the paper) working for and in the school system. Being considered because you have a record for caring for children (despite Jack's lie).

Have YOU read her qualifications for this ONE year appointment compared to the other applicants.

Don't we want to tell children, if you have the time, serve, if you have the energy, serve, if you have the qualifications, serve, if you are a member of a community, serve.

To me this is not a issue of "voted off the island". It is who is best person to help paddle the boat.

Did MLK seek appointment as a defeated incumbent? The controversy is not about the person. It is about respect for the basic principles of democracy.

MLK didn't seek either appointment or for public office. He stood up for the rights of all with our regard for "popularity" whether he "generated controversy". That is lesson for our children.

But, you are right, Katie

It is about the respect. The respect for over 5200 who voted and supported the re-election of Ms. Faley and values that she believed in.

It does not matter whether you or I think she is qualified or not or how well she can paddle a boat. The voters obviously did not think she should continue on the school board or she would have won by a large margin (like more than 1000) as has occurred in all the past elections back to whenever.

Ms. Faley, please think how badly this will reflect on all the good things you have done and all the good things you could do in the future. Many who voted for you in the past think this is wrong. By pursuing an appointment you are saying to the voters that our opinion does not matter. That you are not accountable even to the voters. Is that the message you want to send? Is that how you want to be remembered? That is not a lesson children should learn.

Katie, if there had been a 5th open seat on the board (as there now effectively is), Gloria would have won it with 5,279 votes. So how is putting her in that seat defying the will of the voters?

Ruby--

If you don't think Ms. Faley is controversial, go back and read the threads on most every education topic, especially gifted education and merger.

I really have no clue why you or anyone would think my saying she is controversial has anything at all to do with her sexuality. Her public record, including the last election, is fairly clear. She's done a lot of good for the schools, but she's stirred up controversy--both good and bad IMHO. That's not a criticism or a homophobic statement. The fact stands that based on her record, she was voted *out* of office. If Barry Jacobs had won his election and the commissioners had appointed Margaret Brown (you started the hypothesizing), I have a feeling you would be making this same case. I don't get your logic either Ruby.

I aplogize to the list for starting a debate over a casual observation. It has generated more controversy than the original topic. I will more carefully censor my own casual comments to this forum in the future.

I wholeheartedly support Gloria's nomination to the board based on her record, her philosophy, and her character. She got my vote in the general election, she'll have my support throughout this process.

I think the appointment should be made based on the merits of the applicants, and not some reading of the tea leaves about past protocol. Gloria lost by 28 or so votes in a very heated campaign. I don't consider that margin a "mandate" from the voters, especially when the top vote getter had only 6000 or so votes out of a voting population in the district of over 50,000 people. I don't consider the winners to have a "mandate" nor the losers to be "rejected" by the populace at large.

Someone asked earlier about other (than Gloria Faley) applicants for the school board opening. On Nov 13th, the CH News reported this about Pam Hemminger. "Hemminger, a mother of four, also intends to apply. She said she is not sure how finding a place on the school board would affect another possible bid for county commissioner." Ms. Hemminger then went on to say she wants to serve the community.

It concerns me that Ms. Hemminger's primary focus still appears to be on a commissioners seat rather than on the position for which she is applying. The School Board is a huge emotional and time commitment, even for a one-year appointment. If her statement was reported correctly, it makes me wonder whether Ms. Hemminger just regards the SB appointment as a stepping stone to a commissioners seat. Her statement does not indicate to me true involvement in the SB position. I hope that is not the case.

I wish the newspapers on Fri/Sat reported more about the other applicants and their views. One article said they couldn't reach the others for comment. That is unfortunate because I'd like to hear about others' experience and views.

Does anyone know if the interviewing process on Nov 29th is open to the public? Where it will be held? Thanks.

Jeffrey wrote: "Mr. Chilton… if you think that I am going to give my name, you don't know that it's like to [be] gay and have a child. I will not risk my child. "

Uh . . . did I ask for your name?

Rapier got a jab higher up in this thread because s/he is taking potshots from the world of anonymity. That's cheap. But it's a lot different than protecting one's own privacy.

Terri, it seems like any and every post on the subject of schools generates a lot of controversy on this blog - not necessarily just Gloria's.

Also, Jeffrey, I don't think you should jump to conclusions about Terri Buckner's motives. A thorough reading of OrangePolitics.org makes it pretty clear that Terri is one of the more thoughtful folks on this site.

I think we want someone on the Board who has worked with the Schools, has a new and yet unrepresented view on our Schools and community, has shown a spirit of cooperation and respect, understands the sacrifices that are often made for education and the rewards that follow, who understands what it is like to be different and in another world yet looks for our school systems to be broad, accepting, and bold.

The candidate that I have in mind is Belinda Zayas. I have known Belinda in her participation in our son's classrooms, but she has done much beyond that. Belinda who is Hispanic and a native Spanish speaker has spent extra duty working with HomeStart Shelter for women and children through her church as well as working with the Math Superstars program.

Belinda has boundless energy and a deep understanding of finance -- she was commercial loan officer with First Union National Bank in Chapel Hill and Raleigh before putting her career on hold to spend more time with her children. During her career in banking, she worked with United Way and with not-for-profits and minority-owned businesses.

I know that Belinda's vision is a strong one and that her experiences give her the skills she needs to be a firm but cooperative Board member. Her focus will be entirely on the education of our children. She brings a perspective and voice that is currently lacking on the Board.

I hope that the Board and the readers of this board/blog will get to know Belinda and put her on the Board to represent us all.

Paul Jones makes excellent points about Belinda Zayas and I concur. I was glad to hear that she is interested and believe that she would be a wonderful addition.

Also, the Board has the opportunity to look at other candidates who come from other communities that have yet to be represented.

Whether the Board adds a Hispanic parent like Belinda or one of the Asian-American applicants, it will show that this community is serious about inclusiveness and diversity.

Mr. Granger, I accept your appology. You certainly have offended me plenty of times in the past 7 years!!!

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