Wake School Board (District 2)

October 8, 2005 


THE BACKGROUND
The school system is governed by a nine-member board of education whose members are elected from nine separate districts in the county and serve staggered four-year terms.
Members earn $12,708 a year; the member serving as the chairperson earns $15,540 a year while he or she holds the position. The board sets policy, and the superintendent and administrative staff manage the system's day-to-day operation. The board has budget review authority, but it is not a taxing body and must submit its annual budget requests to the Wake County Board of Commissioners, which controls allocation of funds to the schools. In North Carolina, the basic public education program is funded by the state and is augmented with local funds.

THE HISTORY
Two incumbents — Kathryn Watson Quigg in District 1 and Amy White in District 2 — aren't running for re-election, but Bill Fletcher in District 9 is seeking his fourth term. School board chairwoman Patti Head is seeking her second term in District 7.

The Candidates

WANDA WEEKS DENNING

HOME: 2635 Carlie Adams Road, Willow Springs
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY: 46 Years
AGE: 55, born in Rocky Mount
FAMILY: Husband, Mickey; two daughters
EDUCATION: Associate Science – Fashion Merchandising, Stratford Women’s College
OCCUPATION: Homemaker; Community volunteer
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None
CIVIC ACTIVITIES: Education Committee, Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce; Fuquay-Varina Business Alliance; NCSU Cooperative Extension Advisory Council; Wake Education Partnership Board of Directors; Wake Tech Board of Trustees, Finance Chair
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Council Chair, First UMC, Fuquay-Varina
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democratic
POLITICAL HERO: Ronald Reagan
FAVORITE MOVIE: Forrest Gump
TOP PRIORITY IF ELECTED: “I want to contribute my efforts toward maintaining and improving WCPSS. We can always improve and we must constantly strive to meet the needs of all students. We have dedicated employees, parents, students and a "education" minded community all working toward making Wake County even better in an ever-changing world.”
HOW TO CONTACT: Telephone: 552-9844; E-mail:

DEBRA MCHENRY

HOME: 1021 Turner Farms Road, Garner
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY: 20 years
AGE: 49, born in Coudersport, Pa.
FAMILY: Husband, Rick; one son, one daughter
EDUCATION: Northern Potter High School, Ulysses, Pa., 1973; Bachelor’s of Social Work, Edinboro Univeristy, Pa., 1976; Masters of Social Work, University of North Carolina - Chapel HIll, 1993
OCCUPATION: Education Consultant for Homeless Education & REAP at Dept.of Public Instruction
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: No previous experience
CIVIC ACTIVITIES: Garner Education Foundation, Mayors Task Force,
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: 1st Presbyterian of Garner, Elder, Sunday School Superintendent
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
TOP PRIORITY IF ELECTED: “High expectations for all students with supports to meet them and true community partnerships.”
HOW TO CONTACT: Telephone: 772-7513; E-mail: Debra@DebraMcHenry.com; Website: www.DebraMcHenry.com

HORACE J. TART

HOME: 1817 W. Academy St., Fuquay Varina
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY: 58 years
AGE: 58, born in Fuquay Varina
FAMILY: Wife, Susie; one son, three daughters
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s of Arts with teachers certificate, Campbell University; selected courses at N.C. State University
OCCUPATION: Builder, Developer, and former Wake County Public School Teacher
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: none
CIVIC ACTIVITIES: Fuquay Varina Chamber of Commerce; Garner Chamber of Commerce
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Deacon and Sunday School teacher, Piney Grove Baptist Church, Fuquay Varina
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
POLITICAL HERO: Dwight G. Eisenhower
FAVORITE MOVIE: Saving Private Ryan
TOP PRIORITY IF ELECTED: “As a businessman and former teacher, I understand the im-portance of providing a world-class education and assuring that every citizen’s hard-earned tax dollar is issued wisely and efficiently. Parents, students and taxpayers are the ultimate customers to whom the Wake County School Board must be held accountable. Open and candid communications, fiscal responsibility and academic ex-cellence will be my foremost goals.”
HOW TO CONTACT: Telephone: 427-4304 (cell); 552-6790 (home); Website: www.horacetart.org

FERNIE E. WILLIAMS

HOME: 302 Cross Lake Drive, Fuquay Varina
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY: 5 years
AGE:
FAMILY: Wife: Yvette, one son, one daughter
EDUCATION: Associate in Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Central Piedmont Community College - Charlotte, 1994; Associate in Applied Science, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Central Piedmont Community College-Charlotte, 1989
OCCUPATION: Engineer-Godwin Manufacturing Company Inc.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: No political experience
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Christian
PARTY AFFILIATION: Libertarian
POLITICAL HERO: Thomas Jefferson
TOP PRIORITY IF ELECTED: “My top priority if elected is, to make fact based decisions that make the best sense for the Taxpayer and those served by the school system, the parents and the students.”
HOW TO CONTACT: Telephone: 567-0138, 740-8479 (cell); E-mail: FernieEWilliams@aol.com

The Issues

Questions have been raised about how the Wake County school board should have handled the alleged theft of millions of dollars from the system’s transportation department.
Denning: She says that the school board did a good job of investigating the fraud and that it’s not a major issue to the public.
McHenry: She says the fraud is a major concern to the public, and she’ll work to restore confidence in the school district.
Tart: He says the fraud shows the need to have businessmen like him on the board to provide greater oversight over school spending.
Williams: He says the fraud should have been found sooner and that he wants to bring greater fiscal accountability to the board.

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