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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Chapel Hill/Carrboro Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

2017 general election in Chapel Hill/Carrboro NC school district to choose 4 candidates for the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Board of Education.
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    James Barrett Software Engineering Manager

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    Joal Hall Broun Attorney

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    Ryan Brummond Medical Student

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    Calvin Deutschbein Graduate Student

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    Amy Fowler pediatrician

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    Kim Talikoff Teacher

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    Mary Ann Wolf Director of Digital Learning Programs, The Friday Institute at NC State University

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Please explain why you are running for this office and what experiences you have had that prepare you this job.

List 3 issues you consider to be important that should be addressed within the next two years.

What 3 ways do you see that funds can be allocated for your stated (in Question 2) priorities?

What do you see as some of the strengths of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools?

What is equity in classroom and how can we achieve it?

Campaign Phone (919) 593-0592
Twitter Handle @jcbarr
Position/philosophy statement Continuing progress in every school for every student, every day, in innovative, engaging classes
Our schools are headed in the right direction with the right administrative leadership, but we need effective board members to continue to hold the district to high standards for all students and ensure accountability and transparency. After 6 years on the board, 2 as chair, I have deep knowledge of the issues and potential solutions. My IT background overseeing multimillion-dollar budgets, 2 decades of volunteering with youth, and experience as a Justice United founder all inform my thinking.
* Strong implementation of the equity plan to enable better outcomes for all students, so that every student--no matter what level--learns and grows, measurably, every day, every year. * Focus on innovative, engaging instruction * Continue progress on transparency in our budget process. So far, we have added a 2-pager explaining how our money is used ( We should enhance this to clearly show individual program expenses, and ensure budget decisions reflect student needs.
The biggest change we need to make is an overhaul of our budget process, in which we will align our spending very clearly with the needs of every student. Such priority-based budgeting that takes into account varying levels of need would force administrators and the board to think even more carefully about how we follow through on our stated priorities,while providing more transparency in our budget decisions.
The board maintains a strong commitment to having a diverse student population in every school. Our district has an engaged community that strongly supports public education and the goals we hold for every student. We have great teachers who care for all students. And we have strong district leadership laser-focused on equity, innovation, and ensuring that every student is learning, every day.
To our board, equity means ensuring that each student has all the proper support needed to reach their full potential, regardless of race, class, socioeconomics, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, cognitive/physical ability, language fluency, or religion. Our plan for achieving this, passed by the board this year, has many components that I believe will lead to success; it can be accessed at
Campaign Phone (919) 357-3647
Campaign Email
Twitter Handle @Broun4Board
Current Occupation Director, Lobbying Compliance Division, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State
Position/philosophy statement As a board member, I strive to achieve excellence in education for children of all backgrounds.
I would like to rejoin the CHCCS Board to continue support of teachers, technology and accountability.

As a current board member, a former OWASA board member and Carrboro Town alderwoman, I’ve gained experience aligning values with budget priorities when funds and resources are limited.

My professional experience as Director of Compliance for the Secretary of State and as assistant public defender allowed me to engage with diverse groups to develop programs to enhance the overall community.
1. Effective implementation of the District Equity plan so that all students can achieve to their greatest potential. 2. Funding plan to maintain and renovate school facilities. 3. Secure sufficient funding to address: a. Increase of Teacher Assistants in the fourth and fifth grades; b. Increased mental health support for our students; and c. Expand gifted and talented programming to all students to support the District’s growth mindset.
1. Continue to assess current resource allocation and alignment with priorities. 2. Continue to develop in house expertise to reduce spending on consultants and outside providers for professional development; and 3. Consider creative partnerships and collaboration with universities and local elected officials to seek funding sources.
1. Top rate, innovative, and high quality teachers; 2. The District’s Special Education programs; 3. High achieving and community focused students and families; 4. The high school arts and music programs; and 5. Committed and energetic parent volunteers.
Equity means students are educated to their fullest potential no matter their race, learning style, gender, ethnic or socioeconomic background. We achieve equity by: Having diverse, quality teachers who are supported in their use of professional skills; Eliminating disparate discipline and implementing restorative practices in schools; Delivering rigorous, diverse instruction, and curriculum to all students; Transparent budgeting aligned with priorities; Better communication and transparency.
Campaign Phone (910) 545-6365
Campaign Email
Current Occupation UNC Medical Student
Position/philosophy statement A district that is by and for the people of Chapel Hill
I’m running for the Board of Education because I care about our public education and want to be a part of the solution for solving the challenges that we face in the future. Our board should be representative of the people it serves, including working parents of young children. In the past, I’ve served as an elected board member for our neighborhood in Onslow County. Our large neighborhood had responsibility for funding and maintaining many services that usually fall to a municipality, such as road maintenance, drainage, lighting and power, parks, and other community spaces. Since then, I’ve gained leadership experience as an officer in the US Army Special Forces. As the Director of Operations for a 450-person battalion, I oversaw the deployment and management of 18 Special Forces A-teams working on three continents doing a wide variety of tasks. As an Army officer I learned what it meant to lead a team and make decisions that have an impact.
1. Build a new district administrative center to enable the Pre-K programs to consolidate in the old building.

2. Continue to bring our maintenance and facilities support services into the sustainable future.

3. Continue to expand technology integration into our classrooms
1. Seek outside funding for eligible programs to free up district-provided funding to be applied elsewhere.

2. Seek partnerships within the tech industry.

3. Expand sustainability efforts to save on energy costs, promote positive behavior and provide a platform for multi-disciplinary educational opportunities.
1. Strong community commitment to well-rounded education.

2. Strong community involvement in education.

3. Incredibly diverse student population that represents a broad spectrum of cultures, languages and backgrounds.
Equity is the classroom is ensuring that each child has access to the appropriate and necessary learning resources, regardless of race or SES. We achieve this by generating the necessary data to identify our gaps, and then resourcing those gaps in ways that are proven to increase the probability of success.
Campaign Phone (970) 988-0117
Campaign Email
Twitter Handle @cd4sb17
YouTube video
Current Occupation Ph.D. student and graduate researcher in Computer Science at UNC-CH.
Position/philosophy statement I am running for school board because I believe in delivering results for every student.
At a Orange County Justice United listening session I was saddened to hear Latinx community members talk about little besides concerns that they and their children weren't being treated with fairness and respect by the school system. With years of academic advising and teaching experience (and more recently recruitment and admissions) with UChicago and a much experience with equity work in computer science, I felt I both had the ability and moral obligation to make a difference.
It is my belief that the foremost challenge of our education system is providing equity, or equality of results, for all students. Obviously the primary driver in this inequality, sometimes termed “the Achievement Gap,” is the racism that has marred our society from its inception. Secondary & tertiary challenges: treating educators fairly, ending discipline disparities, (maintaining facilities, securing funding...) arise from pursuing this goal of equality and the same underlying social problems
My favorite way to address equity is with the formation of demographically representative class profiles for all courses across middle and high school. This may require investing in counseling, curriculum development, and possibly instructor training if additional courses of certain types (AP, CTE, etc) come into demand. Beyond these three, further investment in scaffolding especially around third grade literacy will be necessary to ensure students are equipped to learn from an early age.
I believe the greatest strength of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is in the diversity of its students (and, of course, staff, community, and families). We are so blessed as to have students of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, incomes, religions and so much more to strengthen the learning students can receive from each other. The district is hugely fortunate to have passionate and involved parents. The district has access to many unique benefits through proximity to the University.
Equity in the classroom means creating classrooms that serve the highest aim of education to produce an equitable society. That means investing in students that are receiving less investment from elsewhere in society (as a result of racism, classism, or otherwise) to ensure all students have a fair chance to succeed. Furthermore, it means educating students to understand equity and work to actualize it beyond the classroom.

An equitable classroom is a successful classroom and vice versa.
Campaign Phone (919) 698-8168
Twitter Handle @amybf3_amy
Current Occupation pediatrician
Position/philosophy statement For all kids! I aim to maintain excellence while improving equity and inclusion in the district.
I hope to empower all kids to learn. Though excellent, CHCCS have several areas that need improvement so that all kids graduate prepared for postsecondary education or success in good jobs. My studies in engineering, pediatrics, and preventive medicine have prepared me to evaluate problems, develop solutions, and monitor progress on both the individual and community level. Leading the CHCCS Special Needs Advisory Council the past 2 years, I have built relevant relationships and advocacy skills.
1. Address equity and achievement gap by supporting a growth mindset (expecting all kids can learn) and eliminating the opportunity gap (through prekindergarten, appropriate school and after school supports, and summer enrichment). 2. Improve quality of instruction for students with disabilities through use of expanded co-teaching, improved adapted curriculum, and ongoing objective data monitoring. 3. Maintain excellence in terms of rigor & breadth of courses, teacher quality, & facilities.
Funds for prekindergarten should be expanded, or we need to find alternate funding to expand prekindergarten to meet demands (50+ on wait list last year). Funds should be maintained and/or expanded for co-teaching and for elementary and middle school after school and summer enrichment programs for students who need additional support. Current professional development funds should be directed towards encouraging a growth mindset. We must continue to fund current broad and rigorous curricula.
1. Broad and rigorous curriculum offerings. CHCCS has a wide range of AP, science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and language classes; these need to continue, and all students should have access. 2. Teachers. We are blessed with many highly qualified teachers. We need to work hard to retain these teachers and continue to recruit highly qualified teachers to teach all our children in CHCCS. 3. Funding. Thanks to our community’s values and county commissioners! This must be maintained.
Equity means expecting that all kids can learn & providing the appropriate supports & opportunities to ensure they do. Promoting a growth mindset & making school an environment where all students & parents feel welcome are key. For the many children who start school at a disadvantage, CHCCS should provide the appropriate supports, namely effective prekindergarten programs & timely support through effective instruction, tutoring, relevant curricula, access to technology, & summer enrichment.
Campaign Phone (919) 240-4020
Campaign Email
Twitter Handle @kimforchccs
Current Occupation Teacher
Position/philosophy statement To achieve our potential, we need to understand how the rubber meets the road inside our schools.
I am running to contribute to CHCCS. As a parent, as a teacher, and as a member of the superintendent’s advisory committee, I have seen opportunities to work collectively to improve how we serve our students. To achieve that potential, we need to understand how the rubber meets the road inside our schools. I would be delighted to bring that perspective. I offer a broad set of relevant professional experiences. Throughout my career, as a teacher and earlier as a pediatrician, my focus has been the healthy development of children, families and communities. Our schools advance that mission, reflecting what we believe. As a teacher, I believe we must honor that students learn differently, while all learn from each other. As a parent, I believe we should embrace preparation at home while acknowledging significant variation in outside support. As a community member, I believe CHCCS’ success should be measured by whether we help every learner in every school make the most progress possible.
GROWTH ACROSS THE BOARD: All students need access to challenging curricula and support to take their next steps. Given our documented large achievement gaps, we must elevate every one of our students while maintaining our rigor and challenging our highest achieving students. We must not endorse ‘zero sum’ framing but address gaps by offering enrichment to all students. TEACHER RETENTION & RECRUITMENT: High-quality teachers are the single most important factor in student success. We need to keep our skilled teachers for our students to reach their potential. Yet our turnover is high. From being in the classroom, and talking with others, I believe we can create a work environment that inspires innovation and attracts faculty. SMART INFRASTRUCTURE: CHCCS’ incorporation of sustainability in infrastructure decisions and educational programming has increased student engagement, saved costs, and reduced our carbon footprint. We should continue our search for both efficiencies and inspiration.
First, our allocations must advance our core goals and educational priorities. We can more efficiently move every learner forward, our core priority, by using data to evaluate what is and is not working. Providing all students access to challenging curricula can raise student growth. Second, despite resource constraints we need to ensure that every student has excellent teachers and that we make the most of teachers' capacities. Funds for two-way communication and curricular support across CHCCS will help teachers to advance all of their students. Third, we can save funds via increased coordination, for instance in purchasing and in the integration of the many student services that we provide. Every dollar saved can be spent on other needs and broader educational goals. As we invest, we should work with the facilities department and sustainability coordinator to prioritize what directly affects learning and to take into account energy efficiency and life-cycle costs.
It is an exciting time for CHCCS. We have new leaders who already are demonstrating a willingness to engage broadly with the many questions that our community has put forward. We are a district that greatly values diversity. We have a cadre of teachers who are deeply invested in the success of all of our students. Despite limited resources state-wide, we are fortunate to have technological services in all of our schools, which often are used to enhance group learning and help to differentiate instruction. We have already demonstrated operational and educational commitments to sustainability. We stand ready to continually assess and improve. I am optimistic about the possibilities offered by this transition.
Equity in the classroom means that each student has unrestricted opportunity for growth. That includes the elimination of all messages that diminish students’ expectations of themselves. Further, it means that enrichment must be available to each student. We want every student to self-identify as a learner who tries hard things. Such advances depend upon the undergirding of improved core instruction. Since our teachers are already working hard, how can we advance in these directions? Based on my own experiences, I would say that teachers often can point directly to where any extra instructional supports would be most productive for their entire classrooms. They have many insights about which programs are most effective, including the need for a curricular vision and support that builds consistently over time. Specifically, many would welcome going beyond basic training with effective equity coaching that can help them to do more for all of their students.
Campaign Phone (410) 903-0605
Campaign Email
Twitter Handle @wolf4chccs
Current Occupation Director of Digital Learning Programs, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University
Position/philosophy statement We have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that every student reaches her/his potential.
Education is part of who I am and how I think. I taught 5th grade before working with districts in all 50 states for the past 20 years. I have advocated for public education, while guiding educators, principals, and superintendents to improve their schools. My three children have attended public schools in NC. I believe that every child comes to us excited about learning, and I want to continue to help our district to improve to meet the needs and potential of EVERY student.
Three key issues include: 1. Closing the achievement gap by ensuring that students have the essential conditions to be successful and that educators are able to meet their needs in a classroom with a wide range of abilities and learning differences.   2. Moving to more student-centered, personalized learning that recognizes all learning differences and strengths in a system that “does well." 3. Teacher retention and morale/Teacher pay through incentives and a culture that supports educators.
I think the following approaches would support the issues above: 1. Ensure that the district has a shared vision that focuses on building a culture that addresses the learning differences and needs of each student. 2. Ensure that funds for professional learning provide personalized opportunities for educators to grow and improve. 3. Ensure that the development and investment in content and curriculum support the learning differences and needs of students and teachers.
CHCCS has a critical strength in human capacity in the teachers, coaches, principals, district leaders, and support staff. The community is also deeply invested in education and wants to be involved in meaningful and supportive ways. Finally, our students bring a wide range of interests, talents, and strengths. Our district has the opportunity to build upon its strengths among the people and the system to push itself to personalize learning and to continue to reach the potential of each student.
I do not view equity as equal inputs, but rather as ensuring that each student has what he or she needs to reach his or her potential. This fundamental shift in thinking supports eliminating the achievement gap by considering each child as an individual and understanding the strengths and weakness that enable or hinder learning. Building upon the work already happening in CHCCS, we can continue to supporting teachers in their own learning to meet the individual needs of each student. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.