17 vie for three at-large school board seats
by Staff Writer
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education will see some new faces in November, after all three at-large members decided not to seek re-election.
Board member Kaye McGarry held a news conference Friday, July 15, to announce her decision not to seek reelection, and Trent Merchant and Joe “Coach” White did not file by the July 15 deadline.
“I’m going to be an advocate for education,” McGarry said. “And I always feel like when one door closes, another one opens. And I will look forward to some ways where I can be a stronger voice for the majority, what I consider the majority, of citizens of Mecklenburg County on the education issues.”
By the Friday, July 15, deadline, 17 people had declared their candidacy for the three at-large school board seats. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials, this year’s race boasts the greatest number of candidates vying for an at-large seat in the district’s history.
Check out The Herald Weekly next week for the remaining candidate bios.
Education: B.A. in business administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Family: Wife, Christy, of 36 years.
Work/Political Experience: Banking; commercial lending; former owner of his own company, which he sold to his employees; ran for public office unsuccessfully four times.
Priorities: Scholarships and deconsolidation, or breaking Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in several smaller districts. Deconsolidating the school system could ease funding disparities between inner city and suburban schools, which currently get much less support, Bumgarner says.
If elected, Bumgarner pledges to donate his board salary to the school system to keep a teacher in the classroom. “Unless we get our graduates competitive, then we are just presiding over what was once a great nation,” Bumgarner said.
Contact information: Larry@deconsolidate.com or 704-919-1230.
Website: www.Deconsolidate.com or www.northmecklenburg.com.
Education: B.A., Brown University.
Family: Married to a retired U.S. Naval officer who currently owns and runs a video production company in Charlotte. Dashew has two children enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Work/Political Experience: Formerly ran Beowulf Inc., a small publishing company.
Dashew has served as a Parent-Teacher Association officer and chairwoman of the School Leadership Team at Smith Language Academy. She is also a co-founder of MeckFuture, a grassroots organization formed to unite families from more than 40 schools in support of sufficient school funding.
Priorities: Helping schools adapt to prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing world; strengthening schools to strengthen the economy; and building bridges and finding common ground between people.
Contact information: 704-659-1029.
Education: B.A. in history and organizational communications, Queens University of Charlotte
Family: Husband, Marcus Stewart, and two children enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Work/Political Experience: Chaired the School Leadership Team at Harding University High School; served as a member of the School Leadership Team at Piedmont I.B. Middle School; volunteered as a mentor at the Performance Learning Center, a district alternative high school, and a Title I tutor at Merry Oaks Elementary School. At the district level, she has been appointed to the district’s School Facilities Master Plan Citizen Advisory Committee; Citizens Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; the inaugural Charter Education Task Force; and the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners Crime and Justice Task Force.
She has worked with other parents to prevent closure and consolidation of local schools, lobbied the County Commission for increased funding for the district and pushed for increased parental involvement.
Ellis-Stewart works as a business intelligence specialist with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.
Priorities: Create more transparency in decision-making, use resources more effectively and continue push for rigorous coursework and significant academic gains for all students.
Contact information: 980-229-0338 or ericka4CMSBoard@yahoo.com.
Education: Associate of arts and bachelor of science degrees
Family: Wife, Marsha, and four children, all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools graduates.
Work/Political Experience: Chaired the School Leadership Team for North Mecklenburg High School in 2004; served as vice chairman of the Paw Creek Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association and co-chairman of Status of Veterans Initiatives in Mecklenburg County. Davis served on Gov. Jim Martin’s School Building Solutions Committee and the school district’s Bond Oversight Committee; Education Budget Advisory Committee and Committee of Twenty-Three.
Davis is a retired Air Force Strategic Planner on Air Staff at the Pentagon. He has spent more than 20 years in the business world taking an early retirement as a manager with The Yellow Corporation to return to active duty to assist in the development of the Air Force Strategic and Long Range Plan in Washington D.C. Upon retirement, he returned to Charlotte to devote himself to volunteering with the school district, expanding assistance to the county’s Veterans Service Office and advocating the county’s Managing Four Results strategic planning tool.
Priorities: Enhancing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Strategic Plan for 2014 to convey objective, measurable outcomes to determine funding; recruiting and hiring the next superintendent; aligning the district’s strategic plan with the county’s Managing for Results business plan; and restoring morale of district employees.
“Team CMS must be strengthened through open communications with all employees and the school leadership teams,” Davis said. “Employees are valuable resources and must have a place and input to process improvement.”
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education: B.S. in political science, Appalachian State University; master’s of public administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Family: Wife of 21 years, Janet, and children, Taylor, 17, and Bryce, 16, who attend Ardrey Kell High School.
Work/Political Experience: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education District Six representative, 2009 to present; member of Citizens Capital Budget Advisory Committee, 2003-07; member of Gov. Martin’s School Building Solutions Committee, 2006; member of Charlotte Chamber Partners for School Reform, 2004-06; member of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Long-Range School Facilities Master Plan Task Force, 2003. Participated in numerous school bond campaigns in Mecklenburg and York counties.
Morgan is a N.C. provisional real estate broker and former real estate and building industry lobbyist. He has served as vice chairman of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Commission; elder and Sunday school teacher at South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church; scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 119; Pop Warner football coach for the South Park Athletic Association; member of Centralina Council of Government’s Regional Sustainable Growth Cabinet, Charlotte Tree Ordinance Stakeholders Committee and Business Committee for Regional Transportation Solutions.
Priorities: Creating efficient schools through teacher development and support, weighted student and strategic staffing and community student assignment; maintaining efficient resources through budget management and operational efficiencies; and employing experienced leaders.
Contact information: timmorgancms@gmailcom or 704-577-3102.
Hans Peter Plotseneder
Family: Wife, Lesa, one son, 34, and four stepdaughters, ages 30, 28, 25 and 23.
Education: Ph.D. in economics and social sciences; M.A. in business administration; M.A. in school administration; N.C K-12 principal and curriculum specialist licenses.
Work/Political experience: IBM worldwide program manager for human factors; Bank of America vice president of process re-engineering; CEO and president of EDI Software Co.; member of Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee; 11-year teacher at West Mecklenburg High School.
Important Issues: Building consensus; promoting high student achievement in every school; drastically reducing drop-out rates; closing the achievement gaps; upgrading curricula to better serve student goals; establishing prerequisites for school choice that encourage diversity and equality; partnering with parents to improve student achievement; providing meaningful personalized education plans for every student; empowering teachers and rewarding high performance; and exercising fiscal responsibility.
Contact information: 704-906-2900 or DrPlots@DrPlots.com.
Family: Wife, Kimberly, and a 3-year-old son, Elliot.
Education: B.A. in journalism, Ohio State University; completed coursework for an M.A. in art administration, Winthrop University.
In 2005, he was part of the Arts & Science Council’s inaugural Cultural Leadership Training class. Afterward he was appointed to the board of directors for the Light Factory and chairs as Light Factory’s Education Committee.
Work/Political experience: Director of information services at FreemanWhite, a healthcare consulting and design firm. “I’ve had to deal with good budgets and slashed budgets, hiring and layoffs, while providing excellent support to our users,” said Wise, who has worked for the company 13 years. This is Wise’s first attempt at political office.
Important Issues: Concerned about gaps in the district’s Pay for Performance Plan. “I believe the program needs to be slowed down and reevaluated as there are too many unanswered questions and potential holes in the process and measurements.”
Find ways to de-emphasize high-stakes testing at every grade level and consider expanding More At Four to cover Bright Beginning pre-kindergarten program.
Find a new superintendent. “I do think Dr. Gorman had many excellent qualities, but he also saw some troubles with his last year on the job. We can use that experience to help us find the next top-tier leader to run Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”
Contact information: email@example.com