Party affiliation: Democrat

Relative experience: 16 years as a board member, teacher in the Weldon school district, graduate from Weldon High School, graduate of Fayetteville State University

Q: What is your motivation for running for this seat?

A: My motivation for running for this seat is to continue the much needed work this Board of Education has started and maintains focus on, which is student achievement and improving the proficiency rate for our students in Weldon City Schools, eliminating the drop-out rate, continuing to help students become college ready, and continue to create and maintain a highly-effective educational system by assessing student needs and providing opportunities that will enhance their growth and expand their knowledge base.

Q: What does the school board for Weldon City Schools need to do differently to keep students engaged all the way through graduation?

A: Things the Weldon City Schools Board of Education needs to do to keep students engaged all the way through graduation is: I’m not sure if there is anything the Board needs to do differently. We are doing everything possible. We do however need to continue to set high expectations, increase parental support, hold students accountable for their own learning, continue to utilize an evidence-based practices approach to education and decision-making processes, continue to create opportunities for students to be successful, continue to be data-driven in our decision making, continue to utilize our dollars in the most effective and efficient manner that would impact student achievement.

Q: If elected, what are your top three priorities and why?

A: My top three priorities are: Student achievement and proficiency rate, creating ways to provide additional educational opportunities for students, and teacher supplement. Why? Student achievement has continued to be low and we have not been able to sustain growth. So, I believe if we focus on proficiency and expand our educational opportunities for our students, we will see some positive results. Now in order to sustain these positive results, we need to be able to maintain good teachers and good teaching. So, I believe investing in our teachers will help in my priorities.

Q: Why do you think Weldon City Schools has ranked so low in the state in standardized testing? How does that change?

A: Why do I think Weldon City Schools has ranked so low on standardized tests? The reasons are so multifaceted — Achievement Gap continues to be a national problem when it comes to minorities. Given that, we must understand that WCS is about 98 percent minority students. Another reason is lack of parental support. We need more of our parents to get involved in their children’s education early on, from birth through graduation. Some students lack the drive or motivation it takes to be success to achieve at their highest potential, expectations are not set high enough early on, there is no accountability on students for their own learning, restraints placed on a school system that keeps students from maximizing their potential. There are things that public schools can’t do that charter schools for example, can do.

Q: Why should the public vote for you?

A: Experience counts and I have been serving on Weldon City Schools Board of Education now for 16 years and I believe we are on a pathway to success and I would like to continue the focus on our mission and the goals we have set. We need someone who is dedicated to the cause, focused on student achievement, who demands accountability, and who understands the overall operations of a school system and what the School Board responsibilities are. I am that person and I ask you focus on the progress Weldon City Schools has made, such as creating the only early college program in this area, having a high graduation rate, 100 percent of graduates being college ready and being accepted to a college or university for two years straight, creating a culinary arts program, created policies to address high expectations, establishing a Charger Learning Center for our middle and high school, and providing bonuses for teachers who meet or exceed the growth/proficiency rate set by the Board of Education. I am looking forward to experiencing more successes so I ask you to vote to re-elect me to the Weldon City Schools Board of Education.