Wendy Ford applies for Wake school board vacancy

khui@newsobserver.comDecember 19, 2012 

A former longtime upstate New York school board member on Wednesday became the first person to apply for the upcoming vacancy on the Wake County school board.

Wendy Ford of Wake Forest says her 19 years on the school board of the Churchville-Chili Central School District will provide valuable experience in Wake. She’s hoping to fill the District 1 seat that covers Wake Forest, Rolesville and much of Eastern Wake. Chris Malone will vacate the post Dec. 31 to take the seat in the state House he won in November.

“I am a firm believer in the power of establishing meaningful relationships within the community and on the Board in order to accomplish great things together,” Ford says in her application. “As a Board member, I would be visible in Eastern Wake’s schools, town halls and community institutions.”

All the applicants were asked to say how they’d help advance the school board’s strategic plan. Ford says she’d do these things:

• Advocating for all children in Wake County through a lens of fairness and equity.

• Remaining mindful that high-quality, well-supported teachers and staff members have positive effects on school cultures and student achievement.

• Working within budgetary constraints to provide the best access to instructional resources for students, including technology.

• Building upon common values in maintaining meaningful and respectful relationships with community stakeholders to advance the education of all children.

• Supporting a culture of high expectations among all Wake County residents and helping the board meet these expectations.

• Providing a fresh, objective, approach to the issues facing our community’s schools.

Ford was on the Churchville-Chili school board from 1978 to 1997. Located near Rochester, the district has about 4,250 students, compared to the nearly 150,000 in Wake.

Ford relocated to Wake County in 1997 when she accepted a transfer from her company. Ford, 62, said in an interview Wednesday that she has the time to serve on the board since she recently retired as an account manager selling medical technology for Grainger Inc.

Ford says that she has two grandchildren enrolled in Wake schools. Her son Gregory Ford is the principal of Hilburn Drive Academy in North Raleigh, which is the school district’s only K-8 school with elementary and middle school students.

The board’s eight remaining members will interview applicants and vote on a successor to Malone. The board is officially non-partisan, but it’s led by a Democratic majority and elections records show that Ford is a registered Republican.

Democrats could create a 6-3 super majority that would allow them to waive board policies.

Malone’s replacement would finish out his term, which runs through November. The new board member could also run in 2013 for a full four-year term.

Wake is accepting applications for the vacancy through Jan. 4. Go to www.wcpss.net/blog/2012/12/board-of-education-begins-search-to-fill-district-1-seat for information on how to apply.

Hui: 919-829-4534

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