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Alamance-Burlington Board of Education {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Alamance-Burlington 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 superintendent2. Establish policy3. Determine annual operating and capital budgets4. Approve student assignment boundaries5. Oversee the management of the school district’s major systems, including budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, personnel and auxiliary services.

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    Ryan Bowden

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    John Coleman

  • Cathy Dickens

  • Sandy Ellington-Graves

  • Brian Feeley

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    Paula Harrison

  • Linda Roach Kinney

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    Dayson Pasion

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    Seneca Rogers

  • Patsy Simpson

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    Donna Davis Westbrooks

Biographical Information

Identify the most serious issue you see facing our school system.

How will you address this issue once you are elected to the Board of Education?

Do you agree with the policy that Board of Education races are partisan?

In light of the recent need for remote learning/teaching, how do you propose to train and equip students, teachers and families to prepare for this now and in the future?

Age (optional) 37
Contact Phone (336) 516-0732
email address ryanbowdennc@gmail.com
YouTube video
Position/philosophy statement I have always put service before self and I promise to bring that same honor and dignity to the sacred duty of representing Alamance County.
The most important issues I feel at this time is having a true open door policy and providing the teachers and students with the resources they need. Teachers must feel their superiors are approachable without repercussion. Another issue I see that’s becoming of extreme importance is the need to promote skilled trade labor and vocational courses in our Public Schools. We must do a better job at promoting this type of career path with the same amount of energy we promote the college/university path. Not every child is geared the same and we must stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
I will do my best to break down barriers between teachers and their superiors to create a welcoming environment. 1. We need to bring back vocational courses back to our classrooms. 2. Continue partnership with our Local Business community. 3. Work to change the rhetoric and importance of blue collar jobs. Our public schools have devalued these professions for far to long now.

Alamance County Board of Education race is a non partisan race.

We should never allow partisan politics to enter our classrooms. Unfortunately this occurs all to often and our children have to suffer the consequences of others actions. Agenda’s and personal beliefs should never be pushed onto our children in the classrooms. Classrooms should be a place to educate our young minds not indoctrinate.
Insure that adequate funding is in place to support such programs. Work with Local and State governments to ensure proper equipment, resources and training is provided.
Age (optional) 30
Contact Phone (336) 639-0829
email address mrjcoleman32@gmail.com
Twitter @Mrncfinest32
Position/philosophy statement We're running so every student is given a fair and equal shot when going through public schools. We want to bring everyone's voice to the table!
Social and Economic injustices. Whether it comes from lack of income, lack of materials, lack of basic supplies. Some of these issues are super serious because it effects marginalized Communities the most and for Far too long has been acceptable practice. We're looking to end that !
I'll sit down with city and county leaders and come up with a growth plan and action plan where we can better tackle these issues. It takes a village to raise the Community. It's absolutely important that we sit down and have these difficult conversations.
Here in Alamance they are non partisan. However outside influencers make it partisan. My true view is that when it involves our children and their future partisan bickering and pandering shouldn't be on the forefront.
Having access to high speed broadband helps and if you can get it on a county wide / state wide level it would make remote learning alot more feasible. In regards to preparing for the online learning, just teaching the ins and outs of the programs being used for both parent and Educator.woild be a big help !
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Age (optional) 68
Contact Phone (336) 260-9057
email address pharrison53052@yahoo.com
Position/philosophy statement I believe that as a member of the board of education I will be advocating for great public schools for all students regardless of ZIP code.
I feel the most serious issue facing our school system is to assure that all students are provided equitable access to programs and a diverse, highly qualified staff. Many students currently do not have access to programs that will prepare them for their careers and give them the tools needed. All students need to be supported as they prepare for the postsecondary path of their choice. Also, research shows that our diverse student population achieve better if, especially during their elementary school years, they are taught at least one year by diverse staff.

When I begin to serve on the Board of Education I will express my concerns on equity for all students and for an emphasis on recruitment of diverse, highly qualified staff. I will ask to be part of any board committees that are working on these issues and will actively advocate for these issues. We have many colleges and universities that surround our county, including two large HBCUs, that we could recruit diverse staff members. We need to also take advantage of "growing our own" by encouraging a diverse group of high school students to choose a career in education.
I feel that board of education races should be non-partisan because the education of all of our children should be non-partisan. Their access to an equitable education should not be based on political issues. I realize that all things in life seem to be political right now but I feel that education of our children should not be based on the political affiliation of their parents, the BOE members or other leaders in the community.
The biggest need I see currently in our communities is the digital divide that exists throughout our area. All families do not have the computer and internet access necessary for their students to access the on-line learning that is necessary for remote learning. As a BOE member I will advocate area businesses to add home internet services for their employees as part of their company benefit packages, encourage businesses and faith communities to open their parking lots in evenings and on weekends for what I call “car learning”—where students can sit in their cars and benefit from the internet signals from the empty buildings and work sites, and advocate with county commissioners and state representatives to obtain for internet access for our internet deserts in our county and state. I will also advocate for more training for teachers and staff so that they can optimize their remote learning teaching.
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Age (optional) 36
Contact Phone (336) 437-7517
email address Pasion4edu@gmail.com
Twitter @electpasion
Position/philosophy statement It is imperative that we invest in education to offer equitable opportunities to improve student outcomes and drive economic development.
Systemically marginalized communities’ well-being must be taken into consideration by decision makers. We should not be happy with a system where we can predict our students’ outcomes based on race. These disparities and inequities can be seen in all aspects of our system. Black students are twice as likely to be suspended than White students. Black and Brown students are two times less likely to be enrolled in an Advanced Placement course and are under-identified for Academically and Intellectually Gifted programming. Black and Brown students are over-identified in our students with disabilities population. Black and Brown students are two times less likely to score at “College and Career Ready” on end-of-grade exams than White students.
As a district, we must put equity in the forefront of all decision making from the classroom to the board room. We must have a holistic examination of how systemically marginalized groups will be affected by proposed changes. This must be part of our culture and process as we look to enact any new policies or programs. As a board member, I would call for and aid in the formation of an open community led council, working with established community organizations, that would advise district leadership as it works to create a more equitable system. I would also establish the use of a racial equity impact assessment in all decision making, call for implicit bias and racial equity training, and recruit and retain a more diverse teaching staff.
In North Carolina, the majority of Board of Education races are non-partisan. It is my belief that non-partisan races allow Board of Education members to develop education policy with minimal impact from Party politics and allows for a more diverse candidate pool. Board of Education members should always have what's best for students at the front of mind in all decision making.
First we must acknowledge that the remote learning that we saw this past Spring was crisis teaching. Many of us had to switch to remote learning with little notice and professional development. As we have had time to prepare over the Summer months, remote learning/teaching will be different than the crisis teaching of the Spring. The Department of Public Instruction has provided guidance documents and have requested remote learning plans form all districts across North Carolina. It will be of the highest priority to make sure these plans are as detailed as possible and that they are being implemented with fidelity.

It is imperative that we provide consistency to our students and families as much as possible. This may come in the form of consistent scheduling for synchronous learning opportunities as well as asynchronous learning opportunities. Our teachers need relevant and up-to-date professional development on remote learning, especially in regards to developing relationships in a remote learning environment while embedding social and emotional practices in their teaching and learning.

Access to reliable broadband internet service is a barrier to many of our families. In the short term, we must work with local business and community partners to provide internet access for our families who need it. In the long term, we must advocate for expanded internet access, especially in our rural communities, by working with state legislators to provide those opportunities.
The support services shortage for students and teachers. In our county we do not have school nurses in every school and trained mental health professionals.
It will be around funding for the school system. This will come collaboration with our county commissioners. They will have to give their full support to our schools to get us our needs. It will be discussions with them. Then going to the state representatives.
No, we need that race to non-partisan. We are talking about the schools and our kids. Everything today gets into partisan views instead what is the greater good.
We have to be proactive, making sure to get the learning sessions in place. We need to involve the educators in the training needs. Reaching out to the families to have clear understanding of what they need to be capable to do the remote learning.
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Age (optional) 60
Contact Phone (336) 213-5274
email address ddw4abss@gmail.com
Position/philosophy statement A school district should promote a safe environment conducive to teaching and learning while developing strong relationships within the community.
Currently, I believe the most serious concern that is facing our school system is the fact that our kids are not able to return to school. It has truly been a heart wrenching matter for the entire county. The seriousness of Covid-19 is real and the data shared have been mind boggling. At the same time, our kids just need to be back in school! They need the personal teacher attention they will not get virtually, they need to socialize with their friends, participate in extra-curricular activities, and just simply get their lives back. Everyone needs that. But for a child, no matter the age, it is a necessity.
The current board and superintendent have done an amazing job throughout this entire process. Many things should be considered and a lot of “thinking out of the box” has been and will continue to be important. The staff is being trained to make the best of an awful situation so that when they do start working with our children, they will be focused and positive for their students. As a potential “new” board member, I will continue to work with individuals who are working to help our teachers, staff, and students. We need to be supportive, listen to questions/concerns, and make decisions that will make this situation a bit more tolerable. Developing positive relationships with all stakeholders can only benefit the success of our students.
Whether a person is a registered democrat or republican should not matter when it comes to working for our students and families. Honestly, our entire government should probably be that way. We all should want individuals in elected jobs who will fight for what is right for our county, our state, and our country. The problem is that individuals are made differently and what I may think is right may not be to another, which is why building strong relationships is important. People can agree to disagree and if individuals are respectful and kind, I believe difficult decisions can be made. I am not afraid to make difficult decisions but if it is done with our students’ best interest in mind, I believe those decisions can at least be respected.
We must have faith and confidence in the person who holds the position of “Superintendent” in our district. He/she is hired because it is believed he/she has the skills, initiative, and knowledge to get things done. Our current superintendent has a team of experts who are more than capable to develop a plan that will train our teachers and staff to do what is necessary to make virtual teaching/learning possible. In turn, our teachers can do the same with their students. Educators are adapters. We know how to survive when it comes to teaching our kids. When given hard, almost impossible situations, we can overcome. I have no doubt that the staff at ABSS will be successful, however you want to define that, regarding working around this hurdle. Maintaining communication with the families and public is imperative as well. Continuing with open board meetings, press conferences, videos, and blogs that are currently being done is important. If I am a member of the board in January, I will encourage ABSS to maintain its transparency with the community and support students, teachers, staff, and families in every way possible.