Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Cabarrus County Schools Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Cabarrus County Board of Education is the local governing body of the County Public School System. Its members are elected at large in nonpartisan races and serve staggered 4-year terms.The 7-member school board has 5 primary responsibilities: 1. Employ the superintendent 2. Establish policy 3. Determine annual operating and capital budgets 4. Approve student assignment boundaries 5. Oversee the management of the school district’s major systems, including budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, personnel and auxiliary services

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Denise D. Adcock

  • Candidate picture

    NeQueela Deas-Blanton

  • Candidate picture

    Cindy S. Fertenbaugh

  • Tim Furr

  • David Harrison

  • Sean Irwin

  • Nora Isabella May

  • Frederick (Preach) Merry

  • Candidate picture

    Catherine Bonds Moore

  • Hunter Moore

  • Candidate picture

    Keshia Sandidge

  • Candidate picture

    Robert (Rob) Walter

Biographical Information

What experience and qualities do you feel you bring to this office? (YouTube link or text, or both)

What do you think is the most important responsibility of a school board member?

What are the critical state funding needs for this county’s schools and how would you address those needs?

How would you assess teacher satisfaction in the county and how would you promote professional development?

Pre-Kindergarten is: [Importance Scale]

Please explain your choice.

What are the issues in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers?

Contact Phone (704) 773-1225
Position/philosophy statement Innovation, strategy, process improvement, and passion are needed to create a brighter future for our children in our public school system.
With more than 20 years of leadership experience, I understand the importance of individual discipline, development, and growth through education and the inherent value it brings to all those who participate. I have held different positions of leadership within the industry of healthcare and small business ownership. The leadership strengths I possess are those of strategy development, process improvement, team engagement, innovation of new ideas and the ability to communicate effectively to build consensus My experience includes: • Balancing large comprehensive budgets of over $50 million dollars. •Developing policies and procedures to meet current adherence to government and institutional regulations as well promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion. •Leading, collaborating, and challenging professionals through community involvement with local and international service projects through Rotary International. •Executing plans with a diverse team while working towards a common goal. •Casting vision and setting forth a plan of action with successful outcomes. •Obtaining, organizing, and evaluating customer/client feedback to help make decisions and adopt policy and procedures •Developing a positive organizational culture through the creation of strong core values. •Initiating organizational satisfaction measures for team, customer, and professional satisfaction. Visit deniseadcock.com.
To make sure the school system is providing a high-quality education safely and equitably to the children and youth of Cabarrus County through policy implementation, balancing the budget, forecasting new school construction and system needs in the next 5 years. Working with the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners to approve school budgets and improve zoning laws while representing the best interest of school leaders, teachers and support staff by listening and understanding the critical resources needed to provide this high-quality education. Listening to parental and community feedback and using it to increase the school system satisfaction across the county.
The critical state funding needs are for a continued increase in teacher and support staff pay through increased pay supplements included in the budget as well as projecting for future school building and program needs based on county population prediction increases.
Using surveys and stay interviews we could effectively organize teacher feedback and satisfaction. Increase teacher appreciation efforts and create teacher support systems. Incorporate leadership academies and opportunities for advancement into open school system leadership positions. Increase leadership opportunities to help solve problems and give feedback for needed changes in the classroom.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
Pre-Kindergarten is the early education stage where children are adaptable to learn second languages and increase their learning through repetitive learning. This stage in the education of our children is critical for their future success as it sets the foundation for their learning.
Overcrowded classrooms with a limited amount of support staff. Decreases in the budget for school tools and supplies for their students. Increases in violence and behavioral issues within the classroom decreasing the effectiveness of a teacher's ability to promote a safe learning environment. Increases in the number of children with special needs and lack of resources to address their individual needs.
Age (optional) 50
Contact Phone (704) 665-7633
email address ndblanton_ccs@yahoo.com
Position/philosophy statement EDUCATIONAL UNITY, A WIN FOR THE COMMUNITY
My experience includes over 15 years in the North Carolina criminal justice system, having worked as a Probation/Parole Officer, in both Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties. This job gave me the experience in the courtroom, testifying, preparing notes and building community relationships. My counseling training includes certifications as a Sex Offender Treatment Specialist and a Certified Clinical Military Counselor. For several years, I served as a School-Based Therapist in the Rowan County School System and a Community-Based Therapist, in both Cabarrus and Rowan counties. Additional counseling experience has been had, working with persons with disabilities, substance use disorders and the homeless. This allowed me to build relationships on all levels, particularly with children. My work at Right Moves for Youth, in Charlotte placed me in a position to mentor At-Risk Youth. I have participated on PTO Boards and School Improvement teams. I have served on the board of the Trusted Parents Organization. These taught me how to work well with others, on a board. Other qualities I bring to this office are my excellent communication skills, empathic training and respectfulness. I am solution-focused, creative and always willing to work together as a team. I have a great reputation for building relationships with others and compromising
The most important responsibility of a school board member is to be a team player, respectful of the other team members, their voices and opinions, realizing that he/she is but one member of the board. Every member must be heard and compromise is a must, when making decisions to best suit the needs of ALL STUDENTS in the county.
The critical state funded needs for Cabarrus County Schools include the need to keep up with the county's growth, school repairs and programs, as well as focusing on teacher retention and recruitment. To address these needs, I would look for ways to cut miscellaneous items from the budget, defer any non-essential projects and cut positions and programs not in use during the current year. If necessary to meet all the needs, I would consider talks with the county about increasing taxes, but, only if absolutely necessary.
I would assess teacher satisfaction in the the county by way of surveys and direct communication. Teachers deserve to have their concerns voiced directly to board members. Whether an immediate resolve is possible, or not, it is paramount for teachers to feel valued. I would promote professional development through knowledge sharing of hard and soft skills; in-services, conferences and the encouragement of continued education courses and certifications .

Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
Pre-Kindergarten is very important. It is the first line of defense for children who are disadvantaged, either developmentally, or socio-economically. Pre-K provides the emotional, academic, and social skills needed to close the gap and jump start the educational delays, that a lot of children face. Early entry into a structured school environment is particularly important for children/students with disabilities, or whose home environments lack learning opportunities. Pre- offers learning that might not otherwise be available to them.
The issues in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers in Cabarrus County appears to be due largely to what teachers are calling personal reasons. Other teachers appear to be leaving due to lack of competitive salary and benefits, retirement and relocation. Teachers are able to work in nearby counties for better pay. Many teachers are reaching retirement age and are therefore, leaving the profession.
Age (optional) 62
Contact Phone (704) 788-1476
email address cindycabarrus@gmail.com
Position/philosophy statement Dedicated to supporting public education over 17 years of serving on the Board. I study, listen, & make decisions to benefit the overall district.
My career in technology and project management lends nicely to supporting the 8th largest public-school district in NC. My focus has often been with district budgets, policies, and process improvements. I am known to be the “studious” board member, requesting clarifications, and often more data to support my decision. In my career, I was a continuous learner, adding certifications over the years. As the longest serving member of our Board, I have been able to bring history and experience to the Board. I also like to understand the opinions of others and mediate to a solution when appropriate.
The single most important responsibility is selecting the district’s Superintendent who will be the overall instructional leader and guide the district to continuous achievement. To make that decision, School Board members must ensure that they are prepared to study, to be active participants in the business before the board and have the breadth of knowledge to know what is needed in a Superintendent.
As the state legislature works on their budget year over year, expenses are often pushed down to local county budgets. Teacher pay needs to be addressed at the state level. Within our local control is increasing the teacher supplement which we have done over the last several years. Lottery funds which were originally intended for school facilities have been supplanted and again, local tax revenue must be used for more of the facility needs. With the pandemic and the need for virtual education, we need for the NC Legislature to pay the court settlement of the Fines and Forfeitures case. Those funds would then be used for technology in each district. We also need a state-level effort to ensure low-cost/no-cost internet access is available to families who cannot afford to purchase home internet.
Teacher satisfaction in Cabarrus County is consistently above average. We are fortunate to have teacher professionals who want to live and work here. Of course, we must always stay in touch with teacher perspectives, especially those under the Board's control. Professional development can present in many ways. Each summer, we have a technology “camp” for teachers to gain more technology skills. We have teacher-leader training cohorts where additional leadership skills are gained. I am currently a part of a DigiLearn committee for Micro-Credentials. We are exploring the development of a state-level way to recognize teachers who gain knowledge and skills in support of student achievement.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
Children can gain a strong foundation for their future education in pre-Kindergarten programs. When a child starts school with knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, colors, and other topics, they are ready to learn and be at or above grade-level as they move through school. Children also learn about being good citizens and develop important character traits at this young age.
Possibly the biggest issue is the North Carolina pay levels for teachers. Master’s degree pay was mostly removed by the NC Legislature in 2013. Only a select few teaching support positions can still earn master’s pay. School districts must request and use local tax dollars to pay a teacher supplement to entice teachers to work in their district. A second major issue is the cancellation of the original Teaching Fellows program. This program recruited some of the best and brightest students into teaching programs. There was also a component to encourage minority students to seek education degrees. Out of the Teaching Fellows, we often had those who continued to obtain additional degrees and certifications to pursue education administrative roles.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Age (optional) 53
Contact Phone (980) 622-2091
Candidate has not yet responded.
To support our teachers and staff so they can have the best tools to teach out children.
Early Education. Preschool for all children. Get more parents involved in the process.
Our teachers are not happy!!! Less data more teaching. Get rid of common core! Go back to the old ways to teaching and make our teachers pay higher and do much less testing!!
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
We need to start early in the development of the education, Basic reading, math and spelling!
Higher pay for the best quality teachers and assistant teachers as well as free lunch for all teachers and assistant teachers as well as the best insurance money can buy with no cost to them!!!
I am running for Cabarrus County Board of Education to represent parents of all children in my community. I have three children that attend school at Cabarrus County Schools; one in elementary, one starting high school and one a senior in high school. The best experience I have for this position is being an advocate for their education. I would like to be a part of the team that will improve the overall education and goals of all students in this county.
Ensuring that all students receive the highest level of education to be successful in their future.
All students in Cabarrus County are in need of dedicated digital devices.
Teachers should be assessed based on their student's goals and improvements. If the teachers and students have a strong relationship, they will both succeed. We should promote a teacher plan that has a can have teachers and students collaborate for many years, not only one. This way both will have longstanding relationships; teachers will know the best method for individual learning for each student and students will trust and gain respect for their educator.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
All children, regardless of income should have a strong beginning foundation. With this, we will ensure success.
I am not sure; this is not something I have experience with. But, like all jobs, if employees are not heard or appreciated, they will look elsewhere for other careers or opportunities. I believe teachers have struggled with adequate compensation and safety, and these are things that should be addressed to improve retention.
Age (optional) 71
Contact Phone (980) 621-4697
email address fgmerry@outlook.com
I feel my time as a substitute working in the classroom, seeing how teachers and students work.
I feel as a School Board member we need to keep classes small. Work to keep qualified teachers. Teachers pay and Supplemental pay
Biggest thing is teachers pay. Need also growth and funding for new schools and upkeep of older schools. Also funding for more vocational classes. Would seek help from County Commissioners
I believe most teacher are happy. Teacher surveys is a good tool. Each school should have periodic classes for teachers
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
It helps to get students acclimated to being with other kids
I believe Cabarrus does a great job in recruitment by send Admins to other states to tell about Cabarrus County Retaining again goes back to pay. Teachers in our state need to be paid better
Age (optional) 60
Position/philosophy statement I am a retired school counselor/educator of 35 years. Looking to continue my journey with passion for children and the greater school community.
I recently retired with 35 years of experience in education. I have a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counselor Education from UNC-Charlotte, two masters in School Counseling and School Administration and a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Middle School Math from Appalachian State University. I was a school counselor with Cabarrus County Schools for 33 years and started the counseling program at Royal Oaks and R. Brown McAllister Elementary. I spent 25 years at W.R. Odell and I also have 2 years of experience as a classroom teacher with Shelby City Schools where I was recognized as an outstanding first year teacher. I have served as Chairperson of the School Improvement Team at R. Brown McAllister and W.R. Odell Elementary. I represented Odell as a Teacher Rep for 3 years in the county. I received the Impact Through Education Award in March 2015 from Cabarrus County Schools for my service at W.R. Odell. I have spent the past 35 years as a teacher and school counselor supporting teachers, school staff, parents and most importantly, our children. I would like to continue this journey by serving on the Cabarrus County School Board.
Providing every child with the opportunity to receive an education in a safe and adequate school environment is the most important responsibility of a school board member. I have a sincere interest in public education and want to work with the community and other board members to improve student achievement. Everyone needs to be working as a team in setting policies for our district and what is best for our students. I have been an advocate for children as a school counselor and will continue that role as a school board member.
Cabarrus County has experienced so much growth over the years and the need for more schools. We have a great school system and is one reason why families are choosing to locate here. School Board members need to work closely with our County Commissioners in planning for additional growth with families and school age children. I will advocate on behalf of more county flexibility in planning for new schools and fighting for additional resources any chance I get with our officials in Raleigh. We do need to make sure we have adequate space for our students. I have attended several realignment meetings and I know how hard transition can be because I have been through it as a parent and teacher. It is important that we all work together and keep parents informed to move forward with all the growth.
Teachers are given several surveys throughout the year to complete. It is so important to take the data from our teachers to see how we can improve as a system. We also need teacher input on professional development because without it the county runs the risk of investing time and money into ineffective training. The staff should be provided training that is relevant to the needs of their school and students.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
I am a strong advocate for preschool programs. The early years are so important in building a learning foundation. Both of my children attended preschool programs and it was a very positive experience for all of us. I do wish we had more options for parents in the schools. I have observed at Mary Frances Wall on several occasions and was so impressed in how they are preparing students for kindergarten. We need more programs available to support children with developmental delays. Early interventions with professionals can help make the transition to kindergarten easier for students and parents. I have worked with kindergarten students for 33 years and the information that is shared from parents and preschool is so valuable with getting to know their child. Young children love to learn and it is so uplifting to see that enthusiasm coming into our schools.
Teaching is a hard job with long hours and our teachers need to be treated as professionals so we can retain qualified teachers. Cabarrus County is growing and we add new teachers every year. I will always be an advocate for teachers and education at the state level. We need to be sure that our local supplement is where it needs to be when competing with surrounding school systems. Recruiting new teachers is very important but consideration needs to be given to current employees if they are qualified when new positions become available. We are losing good educators and we need to evaluate by some form of feedback when a teacher chooses to leave our system. We all had a special calling for this profession and sometimes it is not about the salary but how you are respected. Teachers need to feel support from leaders without feeling all the pressure of test scores. I loved my job and enjoyed all my years in education with CCS and want the same for others.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Contact Phone (980) 434-1255
Position/philosophy statement "Fighting for a Better Cabarrus!"
I am a wife, a mother and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Over the past few years, I’ve dreamed of one day working in government to fulfill my civic duty. This past fall, after much thought and consideration, I decided to run as a candidate for the Cabarrus County Board of Education. I believe my experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will enable me to provide a unique insight to our board as to the of the impact of socioeconomic and social justice conditions on the quality of our communities. I am running because, I want to see more transparency in how our District operates. -We need to be more open and engaging with the communities we serve. If we are transparent, then we are able to ensure accountability. As we are seeing across the nation our country is hungry for transparency at all levels of government. Only then can we make sure that we are implementing programs that will best educate all of our students. I want our teachers to know we have their backs period. -We need to do a better job of supporting our teachers and providing them the resources they need to educate our children. I want our children to be safe in our schools. -We need to support our students via a whole person approach and ensure they are safe, both from internal and external dangers. I want to foster community centric practices on our board. -We need to work as one with our communities by engaging the stakeholders (parents, students, teachers, administrators.
As a public official, our most important responsibility is building and maintaining the trust the public we represent. I believe each member of the school board must work together to ensure the well-being of the community; always putting extreme emphasis on each child collectively. Specifically, board of education members are responsible for academic, financial, and structural planning for the school system, while always acting with total integrity and commitment to excellence in all things. Ultimately, my most important responsibility as a board member will be humility, inclusion, transparency, integrity and accountability in all decisions.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I’ve been trained specifically on the art of whole person approach and assessment. Thus, I believe our our state must approve Medicaid expansion to ensure every child has access to insurance and schools have the necessary funding for social, emotional support and access to technology. These concerns and unfunded academic mandates, which occur when the state says the counties must implement programs, yet provides no funding to do so, will be at the top of my agenda. Our county needs voices that can help the state understand the need for and the of importance of addressing these issues. As a board member, I would encourage our members to collect data to shows how inadequate funding and services negatively impact the learning environment and our community as a whole. Additionally, I'd work to ensure our board had allies at the state level to introduce and approve policies that change legislation. I'd work to remove programs that are under utilized by our schools to help allocate additional funding to underfunded programs.
Teacher performance must be assessed by student performance and effectiveness of instructional surveys. I believe in a progressive approach, where teachers are included in the discussions on how the county should evaluate their satisfaction. They are the true professionals and must play a key role in determining their own satisfaction or lack there of. Additionally, these assessments must extend to all levels of academic and instructional development. Lastly, satisfaction should be assessed annually via an anonymous survey. Those surveys should be reviewed by an external agency who then could suggests an action plan where appropriate.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
Pre-k allows the school system to capture the true needs of the child prior to he/she fully entering into the school system. It provides an opportunity for proper assessments, relationship building, and acclimation/transition to occur.
There are many concerns that negatively impact teacher retention. First and foremost is a cultural aspect that is primarily noted at the school level. This occurs when the school implements a top-down approach-administration vs. faculty, as opposed to an inclusionary one. There should not only be an open door policy where teachers feel supported by their administrators but the environment must foster togetherness. Teachers in our county may feel they have no collective bargaining power as they do not currently have a teachers union. Our county must offer robust teacher supplements, lead teacher positions with benefits, and leadership growth opportunities if our objective is to retain qualified teachers.
Age (optional) 49
Contact Phone (704) 784-9115
email address rob@voterobwalter.org
Twitter @MrRobWalter
Position/philosophy statement Provide a parent perspective on the board. Focused on improving how our CCS serves our students, stakeholders, & finding ways to help them succeed.
I feel one of my big roles is to bring a parent perspective to the school board. Beyond that I bring seven years of experience including one as vice chair and one as board chair. There is a big learning curve as a board member as our school system has over 33,000 students, is the largest employer in the county, and their are over 100,000 parents and grandparents that are following what goes on daily. A strong school system is a key to a strong community and economic growth. Many people move to Cabarrus County because of our schools. I believe our school system should represent our community's values and have local control (for example when we start and end the school year) I take my role seriously as my top goal is to see our students succeed. I've focused on supporting things that engage students, like our academies, language immersion programs, and access to technology. I've supported teachers by increasing teacher supplements, adding lead teacher positions, increasing planning time. I've worked to ensure we have safe school environment by have SRO, more mental health professionals and programs, security vestibules, and check in systems in every school. I've supported local suppliers and additional options in school lunch programs, supported efficient transportation systems, and instruments and uniforms for our band programs, and equipment and turf fields for our athletics programs. Know that I'll engage stakeholders, prepare diligently, & make sound decisions.
Most important responsibility is to see our students succeed and be prepared to move on to higher education, employment, military service, or start a business. My perspective is to focus on engaging them in their own learning as a key to do that.

Board members also need to represent the community that elected us and be their voice. Having an open mind, learning all you can about the school system and its issues, and being prepared to ask questions before making a decision and casting a vote are key to do that.
Since I've been on the board, there has never been a budget that funds all the school needs and programs to the level that in needed. The county has therefore had to supplement operations costs so we can meet the educational and safety goals of the school system.

Unfunded mandates are some of the biggest concerns our system has faced. We continue to advocate for teacher and staff pay to be competitive with surrounding states. In addition to funding the State restricts funding flexibility that would help school systems fund the programs needed for their communities. There is also fines and forfeitures money the state has collected that is supposed to go to school systems but has never been distributed as court directed. I'd like to see the State agree on helping with large capital items for school and technology costs. We also have open invitation for legislators to visit our schools.

We will continue to advocate for fair teacher and staff pay. We work with other school systems, are part of the North Carolina School Boards Association who helps lobby the legislature on our behalf. We have legislative priorities and communicate them to our local delegation, local elected officials, county leaders, and chamber of commerce.
As a board member we monitor teacher satisfaction surveys annually and overall Cabarrus County Schools scores above average on teacher satisfaction scoring. Some of that I attribute to the impact we have had on increasing the teacher supplement but also to working environment where many teachers feel supported by good principals, lead teachers, PLC groups and input into curriculum.

Professional Development has been an important opportunity we work to provide our teachers. What that looks like an how often the opportunities and type of professional development have been discussed often. County office does schedule some professional development but some is also developed or chosen at the school level. Our calendar committee also works to ensure professional development is included in the annual academic calendar.

As I board member, I will continue to encourage professional development as that translates in better instruction for our students by continuing to make sure that it is budgeted and that we continue to listen to teachers and find cutting edge and successful practices to engage our teachers.
Very unimportant
Somewhat unimportant
Neither important nor unimportant
Somewhat important
Very important
I think its important for young children to get opportunities for preschool as that prepares them for Kindergarten by preparing them for working with large groups of other children, daily routines, and being exposed to the learning basics.

There are several children in our community that don't have that opportunity either from limited available, parent work schedules, or economics. There are a number of organizations in our community that offer or support pre-k programs and I would like to see a clearinghouse for tracking availability and also see what options there may be for expanding these programs in the future like the one offered by Cabarrus Partnership for Children.
Teacher pay is always a top issue in recruitment because a teacher would make more working across the county line in Charlotte Mecklenburg. We (with the support of the County) have increased teacher supplements most of the years I've been on the board to help make a difference. Thankfully our teacher retention rate is better than average across the state but we don't take that for granted.

Cabarrus County does have a top notch Beginning Teachers program that gives each new teacher extra assistance and a mentor there first couple years. We have teacher leader cohorts, and teacher of the year programs that help develop sense of mission at Cabarrus County Schools. Our Education Foundation offers excellent mini grants to help teachers fund projects for their class. We have a large number of school level and county level admin that were teachers and can relate to the issue that they face.

One thing the board has done is increase the planning time for teachers, especially elementary teachers. We offer professional development programs, Learning Communities, Lead Teachers, Technology facilitators, and some of the best principals that support teachers around. We also have a superintendent that listens to teachers and fights on their behalf.

Paperwork, changing technology, challenging students, over testing and now the new reality of educating in a world of COVID-19 are all things that teachers face that can cause them to look elsewhere. We will continue to look to improve.