Dawn Clark has withdrawn her application to fill the vacant seat on the Wake County school board created by the death of Zora Felton.
In a Jan. 14 email to school leaders, Clark said she couldn’t risk leaving her job as a guidance counselor at Martin Middle School in Raleigh if she was chosen to fill the vacancy. Under school board policy, the Raleigh resident would have been required to resign her position as a Wake school employee to serve on the board.
“I have found a school where I completely respect and honor my Principal’s values and passion for all students, families, staff, and our school system,” Clark wrote in the email. “Giving up working with our young people each day and advocating and supporting their today and their future, is far too great a sacrifice.”
Clark’s withdrawal leaves three candidates for the District 7 seat covering northwest Raleigh, Morrisville and part of Cary. The new board member would finish the 2-year term that Felton was re-elected to in November.
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Felton, a retired Wake social studies teacher, unexpectedly died Nov. 16.
The remaining applicants are:
▪ Phaedra Boinodiris, cognitive solutions leader at IBM and technologist from Morrisville. She says her technology and business background will help prepare Wake students for the new 21st century workplace.
▪ Kathy Hartenstine, a retired Wake principal from Raleigh. She says her 37 years of education experience will be of great use in helping move the school system forward.
▪ Mary Pollard, executive director of N.C. Prisoner Legal Services from Raleigh. The attorney says her legal training will help her to be an effective advocate for students and the school system.
Wake advertised for applications over the winter break.
Applicants were asked to list three strategies for advancing the school board’s Strategic Plan. The plan calls for raising Wake’s graduation rate to 95 percent by 2020 and producing graduates ready for productive citizenship as well as higher education or a career.
The board will interview the applicants later this month and could fill the seat then.