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Exam Code: NAB-NHA Practice exam 2022 by team
NAB-NHA Nursing Home Administrator (NAB)

Required Activity Areas:
The AIT Program should be based on the five domains of practice, which are covered in the various departments found in a long term care facility. The tool presents
the departments as modules and rotations; it is through these departments/modules that the program should be designed, so that the individual AIT can meet an appropriate and tailored amount of time in each of the domains as appropriate. These modules include:
• Administration
• Human Resources
• Nursing
• Business Office/Financial Management
• Diet
• Rehabilitation
• Medical Records
• Activities
• Social Services/Admissions
• Housekeeping/Laundry
• Environmental Management/ Maintenance

A. Quality of Care/Nursing
1. Develop a rounding sheet with the administrator and director of nursing that is resident- centered; initiate implementation.
2. Observe nurse peer review on administration of medications.
3. With director of nursing, ensure medications are not expired.
4. Develop resident satisfaction surveys and make recommendations for implementation as necessary. B. Rehabilitation
1. Organize and implement a follow-up program for discharged residents to the community.
2. Develop audit for equipment inventory and complete audit; report.
C. Medical/Resident Records
1. Conduct admission audit of current in-house resident population, analyze data and report. Assist with recommendations, as needed.
2. Conduct audit of flu vaccination response variables, analyze data and report. Assist with recommendations, as needed.
3. Conduct audit of admission and annual required vaccines, analyze data and report. Assist with recommendations, as needed.
4. Conduct medical records audit with appropriate staff.
D. Activities
1. Develop and implement a volunteer program
2. Develop/enhance Life Enrichment/Person Centered Care program
a.Interview residents and families and analyze information to ensure that desired activities are planned and implemented as necessary
b.Working with Directors of Activities and other personnel as needed, help develop in-service for Life Enrichment/Person Centered Care; assist appropriate staff with delivering in-services.
E. Social Services/Admission
1. Conduct an audit of admissions documents (per regulations and organization policy), analyze and report.
2. Complete an audit of resident preferences, such as time to eat, rise and retire, bath/showers, time of therapy, etc. Make recommendations as necessary
3. Develop and implement an outreach program that communicates regularly with residents and/or families post discharge.
F. Dietary
1. Develop a questionnaire for residents related to dietary satisfaction including variables such as taste, temperature, timeliness, presentation, etc; implement, analyze and report; make recommendations.
2. Meet with the dietician and dietary manager to learn how menus are developed, followed, and implemented; conduct an audit to confirm residents are receiving correct foods, drinks and adaptive devices.
3. Understand nutritionally compromised concerns and how weights are monitored.
4. Audit purchasing and storage of dietary supplies and food; report to dietary manager and administrator.
5. Audit to ensure foods are served and maintained at proper temperatures and in accordance with the Food Code.
G. Housekeeping/Laundry
1. Conduct weekly audits, evaluating such variables as dust, floors, toilet, showers of designated public areas; track, trend and report accordingly.
2. Audit resident rooms for housekeeping variables;track, trend and report accordingly.
3. Audit residents to determine if laundry is clean and received promptly.
4. Audit infection control, safety and cross contamination procedures and make recommendations as necessary.
5. Follow the linen distribution system from soiled to clean and report accordingly.
6. Observe resident clothing management

II. Possible Activities/Assignments related to Domain 20: Human Resources
A. Conduct an employee file audit per regulations and organizational policy.
B. Collect annual turnover rates for last few years, and develop a strategic plan with activities, timeframes, etc. for identified changes.
C. Develop an employee satisfaction questionnaire, administer it and analyze data;develop a subsequent plan.
D. Develop, organize and implement several employee activities.
E. Track absentee information, such as shift, day of week, reason, frequency;
analyze and report the findings.
F. Audit external health care providers (e.g., physicians, dentists, podiatrists) to determine current licenses, liability insurance, etc.; analyze and report the findings.
G. Study and analyze recruiting plans/staffing patterns and offer ideas to improve current processes to ensure that the needs of the residents cared for are met.
H. Review and understand the facilitys employee handbook to ensure accuracy and that all federal/state guidelines are followed and make recommendations as necessary.
I. Review and evaluate payroll plans, compensation plans, and benefit packages
J. Participate in a complete employee hiring and orientation process ( interview, background check, etc.).
K. Conduct a staff meeting and an in-service training program.
L. Participate in a disciplinary/grievance procedure and an employee counseling session.
M. Understand and have knowledge of National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) as it relates to the facility.
N. Review and evaluate the unemployment compensation record of the facility and attend an unemployment compensation hearing as necessary.
O. Review and report on ways to encourage and support professional development of team members.

III.Possible Activities/Assignments related to Domain 30: Finance
A. Assist the administrator with all budget (capital, cash, operating, etc.) development and submission.
B. Understand and assist with accounts payable processing.
C. Analyze and understand how aged accounts work.
D. Understand the facilitys bad debt and write-off policy; determine avenues for improvement.
E. Understand triple-check systems for private pay and all third party payors.
F. Describe and review regularly produced financial reports to determine if fiscal issues have arisen and make recommendations as necessary
G. Review and describe the chart of accounts, bookkeeping procedures, income and expense statements and balance sheets; make recommendations as necessary.
H. Understand the financial audit process utilized by third party payors to ensure billings are in accordance with services provided.
I. Analyze and understand third party payor cost reporting systems.

IV. Possible Activities/Assignments related to Domain 40: Environment
A. Audit preventative maintenance logs per regulations and company policy;track and trend such variables as time of day, season, staff member, etc.
B. Audit resident rooms, utilizing audit tools to evaluate such items as electrical outlet plates, call bells, water temperatures and beds; track, trend and report accordingly.
C. Review emergency generator and life safety regulatory requirements according to state, local, and federal laws specific to your building(s) and prepare a compliance report.Conduct audit of past year of the log; develop/revise preventative
maintenance log with maintenance supervisor.
D. Conduct an audit of the past years log; develop and/or revise preventative maintenance logs with the maintenance supervisor.
E. Assist the administrator and maintenance supervisor with developing and implementing an emergency plan.
F. Develop a rounding sheet with the administrator and maintenance supervisor that is environmental and safety centered; initiate its implementation.
G. Audit Log Out/Tag Out procedures to ensure compliance.

V. Possible Activities/Assignments related to Domain 50: Management & Leadership
A. Review policy and procedure manuals to determine if they are appropriate and timely, per regulations and organization policy and make recommendations for change as necessary.
B. Develop and assist the administrator with an annual strategic planning meeting.
C. Review current internal and external contracts and agreements for accuracy, efficiency and timeliness; organize and make recommendations as necessary.
D. Review and become comfortable with federal regulations and state specific regulations; assist with educating department leaders, if needed.
E. Assist with writing a Plan of Correction and/or identified regulatory violations.
F. Review and update the facilitys organizational chart and job descriptions.
G. Review short-term and long-term goals of the organization for appropriateness.
H. Study the bylaws/mission statement/vision of the governing body and how decisions and policies are made within the organization. Analyze the authority throughout the facility.
I. Plan and attend internal and external meetings and prepare reports for the organization, as necessary.
J. Review the facility marketing plan and make recommendations for change as necessary based upon facility dynamics and community needs.
K. Review and understand the facilitys media publicity efforts, including (but not limited to) writing news releases, facility publications, newsletters, etc.
L. Organize and write a report to include competitive information, such as description of services and amenities, survey history, CMS 5-Star rating and community involvement.
M. Review the facilitys corporate compliance program to ensure all appropriate rules and regulations are followed.
N. Review and describe how the facilitys risk management program minimizes legal liability.
O. Review and analyze facilitys information management system, including technology, to ensure safeguards are in place to provide resident confidentiality, data security, social media, cell phones, etc.
P. Review and analyze the facilitys quality improvement programs.
Q. Review the facilitys customer satisfaction program, including resident relations initiatives, reception/concierge duties and resident/family surveys.
R. Transitional Care: understanding the various regional lines of service and how they relate, as well as initiatives to ensure continuous delivery of safe and quality care as consumers transition between the different lines of service.

Nursing Home Administrator (NAB)
Certification-Board Administrator basics
Killexams : Certification-Board Administrator basics - BingNews Search results Killexams : Certification-Board Administrator basics - BingNews Killexams : Best Database Certifications for 2020

Savvy, talented and knowledgeable database professionals are always in demand. This article covers some of the best, most in-demand certifications for database administrators, database developers and anyone else who works with databases. 

During the past three decades, we’ve seen a lot of database platforms come and go, but there’s never been any question that database technology is a crucial component for all kinds of applications and computing tasks. 

Database certifications may not be as sexy or bleeding-edge as cloud computing, storage, or computer forensics. That said, there has been and always will be a need for knowledgeable database professionals at all levels and in a plethora of database-related job roles. 

To get a better grasp of the available database certifications, it’s useful to group these certs around job responsibilities. In part, this reflects the maturity of database technology and its integration into most aspects of commercial, scientific and academic computing. As you read about the various database certification programs, keep these job roles in mind: 

  • Database administrator (DBA): Responsible for installing, configuring and maintaining a database management system (DBMS). Often tied to a specific platform such as Oracle, MySQL, DB2 or SQL Server. 
  • Database developer: Works with generic and proprietary APIs to build applications that interact with a DBMS (also platform-specific, like DBA roles).
  • Database designer/database architect: Researches data requirements for specific applications or users, and designs database structures and application capabilities to match.
  • Data analyst/data scientist: Responsible for analyzing data from multiple disparate sources to discover previously hidden insight, determine meaning behind the data and make business-specific recommendations.
  • Data mining/business intelligence (BI) specialist: Specializes in dissecting, analyzing and reporting on important data streams, such as customer data, supply chain data, and transaction data and histories.
  • Data warehousing specialist: Specializes in assembling and analyzing data from multiple operational systems (orders, transactions, supply chain information, customer data, etc.) to establish data history, analyze trends, generate reports and forecasts, and support general ad hoc queries. 

Careful attention to these database job roles highlights two important technical issues for would-be database professionals to consider. 

First, a good general background in relational database management systems, including an understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL), is a basic prerequisite for database professionals of all stripes. 

Second, although various efforts to standardize database technology exist, much of the whiz-bang capability that databases and database applications deliver come from proprietary, vendor-specific technologies. Serious, heavy-duty database skills and knowledge are tied to specific platforms, including various Oracle products (such as the open-source MySQL environment and Oracle itself,) Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2. That’s why most of these certifications relate directly to those enormously popular platforms. 

It’s important to note that NoSQL databases – referred to as “not only SQL” and sometimes “non-relational” databases – handle many different types of data, such as structured, semi-structured, unstructured and polymorphic. NoSQL databases are increasingly used in big data applications, which tend to be associated with certifications for data scientists, data mining and warehousing, and business intelligence. Although there is some natural overlap, for the most part, we cover those certs in our annually updated “Best Big Data Certifications.” 

Before you look at our featured certifications in detail, consider their popularity with employers. The results of an informal search on several high-traffic job boards show which database certifications employers look for most when hiring. Though these results vary from day to day (and by job board), such numbers provide a useful perspective on database certification demand in current job listings.

Job board search results (in alphabetical order by certification)*




 LinkedIn Jobs 



IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2






Microsoft SQL Server database certifications**






Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL Database Administrator






Oracle Database 12c Administrator












*See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the “Best Certifications” series.

**Combined totals for MCSA: SQL Database Administration (540), MCSA: SQL Database Development (569), MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (640) and MTA: Database (503).

If the sheer number of available database-related positions isn’t enough motivation to pursue a certification, consider average salaries for database administrators. SimplyHired reports $86,415 as the national average in the U.S., in a range from $60,960 to over $128,000. Glassdoor’s reported average is somewhat higher at $93,164, with a top rung for experienced, senior DBAs right around $135,000.

Top 5 database certifications

Now let’s look at the details of our top five database certification picks for 2020.

1. IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2

IBM is one of the leaders in the worldwide database market by any objective measure. The company’s database portfolio includes industry standard DB2, as well as IBM Compose, Information Management System (IMS), lnformix, Cloudant and IBM Open Platform with Apache Hadoop. IBM also has a long-standing and well-populated IT certification program, which has been around for more than 30 years and encompasses hundreds of individual credentials. 

After redesigning its certification programs and categories, IBM’s major data-centric certification category is called IBM Data and AI, which includes a range of database credentials: Database Associate, Database Administrator, System Administrator, Application Developer and more. It’s a big and complex certification space, but one where particular platform allegiances are likely to guide readers straight to the handful of items that are relevant to their interests and needs. 

Database professionals who support DB2 (or aspire to) on Linux, Unix or Windows should check out the IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2 certification. It’s an intermediate credential that addresses routine administration, basic SQL, and creation of databases and database objects, as well as server management, monitoring, availability and security. 

This certification requires candidates to pass two exams. Pre-exam training is recommended but not required.

IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2 facts and figures

Certification name

IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2 11.1 (Linux, UNIX and Windows)

Prerequisites and required courses

None required; recommended courses available

Number of exams

Two exams: IBM DB2 11.1 DBA for LUW (exam C2090-600) (60 questions, 90 minutes)


DB2 11.1 Fundamentals for LUW (exam C2090-616) (63 questions, 90 minutes)

Cost per exam

$200 (or local currency equivalent) per exam ($400 total). Sign up for exams at Pearson VUE.


Self-study materials

Each exam webpage provides exam objectives, suggested training courses and links to study guides for sale through MC Press. Click the exam Preparation tab for detailed information. You can also visit the Prepare for Your Certification Exam webpage.

2. Microsoft SQL Server database certifications 

SQL Server offers a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence, data warehousing and data-driven applications of all kinds. That probably explains why Microsoft offers database-related credentials at every level of its certification program. 

Microsoft has taken significant steps over the last year to change its certification program from technology-focused to role-centric, centered on the skills one needs to be successful in specific technology jobs. With these changes in mind, Microsoft now identifies four job tracks in its certification program: Developers, Administrators, Solution Architects and Functional Consultants. You will find a wide variety of skills and technologies within each of those categories, but we’ll concentrate below on the company’s SQL Server certifications.

MTA: Database Fundamentals

The MTA program includes a single database-related exam: Database Fundamentals (98-364). This credential is ideal for students or as an entry-level cert for professionals looking to segue into database support.


Microsoft offers several SQL-related credentials at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) level:

  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 (three exams)
  • MCSA: BI Reporting (two exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development (two exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration (two exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development (two exams)


There is one SQL database credential at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert level: Data Management and Analytics. This certification has the MCSA as a prerequisite (a list of valid items follows in the table) and then requires passing one elective exam.

Microsoft SQL Server database certification facts and figures

Certification name

MTA: Database Fundamentals

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014

MCSA: BI Reporting 

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

Prerequisites and required courses  

No prerequisites:

MTA: Database Fundamentals

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014

MCSA: BI Reporting

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

MCSE Data Management and Analytics prerequisites (only one required):

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

MCSA: Machine Learning

MCSA: BI Reporting

MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure

Training courses are available and recommended for all certifications but not required.

Number of exams

MTA: Database Fundamentals: One exam

  • Database Fundamentals (98-364)

MCSA: BI Reporting: Two exams

  • Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI (70-778)
  • Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel (70-779)

MCSA: SQL Server: Three exams

  • Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (70-461)
  • Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases (70-462)  
  • Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (70-463

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development: Two exams

  • Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse (70-767)
  • Developing SQL Data Models (70-768) 

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration: Two exams

  • Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure (70-764)
  • Provisioning SQL Databases (70-765) 

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development: Two exams

  • Querying Data with Transact-SQL (70-761)
  • Developing SQL Databases (70-762) 

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics: One exam (from the following)

  • Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464)
  • Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server (70-465)
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server (70-466)
  • Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server (70-467)
  • Developing SQL Databases (70-762)
  • Implementing a Data Warehouse Using SQL (70-767)
  • Developing SQL Data Models (70-768)
  • Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (70-773)
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions (70-777

All exams administered by Pearson VUE.

Cost per exam

MTA: $127 (or equivalent in local currency outside the U.S.)

MCSA/MCSE: $185 (or equivalent) per exam


Self-study materials

Microsoft offers one of the world’s largest and best-known IT certification programs, so the MTA, MCSA and MCSE certs are well supported with books, study guides, study groups, practice questions and other materials.

3. Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator 

Oracle runs its certifications under the auspices of Oracle University. The Oracle Database Certifications page lists separate tracks for Database Application Development (SQL and PL/SQL), MySQL (Database Administration and Developer) and Oracle Database (versions 12c, 12c R2, and 11g, and Oracle Spatial 11g). 

MySQL is perhaps the leading open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Since acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010 (which had previously acquired MySQL AB), Oracle has rolled out a paid version of MySQL and developed certifications to support the product. 

A candidate interested in pursuing an Oracle MySQL certification can choose between MySQL Database Administration and MySQL Developer. The Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator (OCP) credential recognizes professionals who can install, optimize and monitor MySQL Server; configure replication; apply security; and schedule and validate database backups. 

The certification requires candidates to pass a single exam (the same exam can be taken to upgrade a prior certification). Oracle recommends training and on-the-job experience before taking the exam.

Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator facts and figures

4. Oracle Database 12c Administrator

Most Oracle DBMS credentials require candidates to attend authorized training classes to qualify for the related exam, but MySQL (and Sun-derived) credentials often do not. Oracle certifications also represent a true ladder, in that it is generally necessary to earn the associate-level credentials first, professional-level credentials second and master-level credentials third, culminating with the expert level. 

Oracle Database 12c R2 is the latest version, which includes enhancements to Oracle Database 12c. Oracle 12c certifications are currently offered at the associate, professional and master levels. 

A Foundations Junior Associate certification (novice level) is also available for Oracle Database 12c, as are three specialist designations: the Implementation Specialist, the Oracle Database Performance and Tuning 2015 Certified Implementation Specialist, and the Oracle Real Application Clusters 12c Certified Implementation Specialist. 

Available expert-level credentials include the Oracle Certified Expert; Oracle Database 12c: RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administrator; Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Expert; Oracle Certified Expert; Oracle Database 12c: Data Guard Administrator; Oracle Certified Expert; and Oracle Database 12c: Performance Management and Tuning. Oracle still offers 11g certifications as well. 

NoteAlthough premium support for Oracle 11g Database ended on Dec. 31, 2014, extended support lasts until December 2020, so it’s probable that Oracle Database 11g will remain in use for the short term. 

We focused on requirements for Oracle Database 12c certifications. One important consideration is that Oracle 11g is forward-compatible with Oracle 12c, but Oracle 12c is not backward- compatible with the prior version. Because Oracle 12c is a newer version, IT professionals with Oracle 11g certifications should consider upgrading their 11g credentials.

Oracle Database 12c Administrator facts and figures

Certification name

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate (OCA 12c)

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional (OCP 12c)

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Master (OCM 12c)

Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Master

Prerequisites and required courses

OCA 12c: Training recommended but not required

OCP 12c: OCA 12c credential and one training course required; complete course submission form

OCM 12c: OCP 12c or 12c R2 credential and two advanced training courses (must be different from the course used to achieve the OCP); complete course submission form; submit fulfillment kit request

Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Master: Three credentials

  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Master
  • Oracle Certified Expert, Oracle Database 12c: RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration
  • Oracle Certified Expert, Oracle Database 12c: Data Guard Administration

Oracle training: Classes typically run 2-5 days; costs range from $1,360 to over $5,580.

Number of exams

 OCA 12c: Choose one exam from the following:

  • Oracle Database 12c SQL (1Z0-071) (73 questions, 100 minutes)
  • Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration (1Z0-062) (67 questions, 120 minutes)

OCP 12c: One exam: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration (1Z0-063) (80 questions, 120 minutes)

OCM 12c: One exam: Oracle Database 12c Certified Master (12COCM), a two-day, performance-based exam

Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Master: None

Cost per exam

OCA 12c: 1Z0-071and 1Z0-062 cost $245 each.

OCP 12c: 1Z0-063, 1Z0-082 and 1Z0-083 cost $245 each

OCM 12c: 12COCM costs $2,584; contact Oracle for pricing/availability of upgrade exam.

Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Master: None

Note: Prices vary by geography.


Self-study materials

Each Oracle certification exam webpage lists exam subjects as well as recommended training courses, seminars and practice tests. A variety of self-study guides are available on Amazon. Oracle Database certification candidates benefit from student manuals, labs and software provided as part of class offerings.

5. SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA (Edition 2016)

SAP SE has a large portfolio of business application and analytics software, including cloud infrastructure, applications, and storage. The foundation of the SAP HANA platform is an enterprise-grade relational database management system, which can be run as an appliance on premises or in the cloud. The cloud platform enables customers to build and run applications and services based on SAP HANA. 

SAP offers a comprehensive certification program, built to support its various platforms and products. We chose to feature the SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA cert because it aligns closely with other certifications in this article and is in high demand among employers, according to our job board surveys. This certification ensures that database professionals can install, manage, monitor, migrate and troubleshoot SAP HANA systems. It covers managing users and authorization, applying security, and ensuring high availability and effective disaster recovery techniques. 

SAP recommends that certification candidates get hands-on practice through formal training or on-the-job experience before attempting this exam. The SAP Learning Hub is a subscription service that gives certification candidates access to a library of learning materials, including e-learning courses and course handbooks. The annual subscription rate for individual users on the Professional certification track is $3,048. This online training program is designed for those who run, support or implement SAP software solutions. Though this may seem like a steep price for online training, you will likely be able to pass any SAP certification exams you put your mind to by leveraging all of the learning resources available to SAP Learning Hub Professional subscribers. 

Typically, SAP certifications achieved on one of the two most exact SAP solutions are considered current and valid. SAP contacts professionals whose certifications are nearing end of life and provides information on maintaining their credentials.

SAP Certified Technology Associate facts and figures

Certification name

SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA (Edition 2016)

Prerequisites  and required courses        

 None required

 Recommended: SAP HANA Installation & Operations SPS12 (HA200) course ($3,750)

Number of exams

One exam: SAP Certified Application Associate – SAP HANA (Edition 2016), exam code C_HANATEC_12 (80 questions, 180 minutes)

Cost per exam



Self-study materials

The certification webpage includes a link to trial questions. SAP HANA trade books and certification guides are available on Amazon. The SAP Help Center offers product documentation and a training and certification FAQs page. The SAP Learning Hub (available on a subscription basis) provides access to online learning content.

Beyond the top 5: More database certifications

Besides the ones mentioned in this article, other database certification programs are available to further the careers and professional development of IT professionals who work with database management systems. 

While most colleges with computer science programs offer database tracks at the undergraduate, master and Ph.D. levels, there are few well-known vendor-neutral database certifications. The Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) is part of this unique group, offering its Certified Data Professional and Certified Data Scientist credentials. Find out more about ICCP certifications here

EnterpriseDB administers a small but effective certification program, with two primary certs: the EDB Certified Associate and the EDB Certified Professional. PostgreSQL was the fourth-ranked relational database management system in October 2019, according to DB-Engines

Credentials from GoogleMarkLogicTeradata and SAS may also be worth considering. All of these credentials represent opportunities for database professionals to expand their skill sets – and salaries. However, such niches in the database certification arena are generally only worth pursuing if you already work with these platforms or plan to work for an organization that uses them. 

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant, and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written for numerous publications, including Tom’s IT Pro and GoCertify, and is the author of more than 140 computing books on information security, web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems. 

Earl Follis

Earl is also a 30-year veteran of the computer industry, who has worked in IT training, marketing, technical evangelism, and market analysis in the areas of networking and systems technology and management. Ed and Earl met in the late 1980s when Ed hired Earl as a trainer at an Austin-area networking company that’s now part of HP. The two of them have written numerous books together on NetWare, Windows Server and other topics. Earl is also a regular writer for the computer trade press, with many e-books, whitepapers and articles to his credit.

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Killexams : Best Computer Networking Certifications

IT pros skilled in the many areas of networking are in high demand in today’s job market. Those serious about their IT careers should consider one or more of these best-of-breed networking certifications to set themselves apart from their competitors.

When it comes to the care and feeding of modern networks, there’s quite a lengthy list of tools and technologies that qualified IT professionals must master – especially those who aspire to work as network administrators. In addition to the servers and clients that make up the endpoints in such environments, there’s a lot of network infrastructure to worry about. This includes switches and routers (both physical and virtual), plus a raft of appliances and services, such as unified threat management (UTM), next-generation firewalls (NGFs), software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions, virtualization (NFV) components and WAN optimization, as well as spam, email, and content filtering.

Wrapping your head around all these certification options and specialties can be challenging, but knowing where to start can help. We looked at five networking certifications (in their order of appearance in the job boards table that follows) that we consider leaders in the field of networking for 2019 and beyond.

To pick our leaders, we looked at the state of networking certification, examined various market and salary surveys, and performed an informal job board survey that revealed the number of job posts across the U.S. in which our featured certifications were mentioned on a given day.

Making its first appearance on the leader board this year is the SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP). It replaces the Juniper Enterprise Routing and Switching, Expert (JNCIE-ENT) credential. While the JNCIE remains a great credential, job board numbers for the SCP were stronger, earning it a slot in the top five. The other featured credentials include the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), CompTIA Network+ and WCNA Certification for Wireshark (WCNA).

Job board search results (in alphabetical order, by certification)




 LinkedIn Jobs 



CCIE (Cisco)

1,318 1,705 3,000+ 1,033 7,250

CCNP (Cisco)

3,296 4,225 7,000+ 1,904 16,425

Network+ (CompTIA)

537 739 1,000+ 78 2,090

SolarWinds Certified Professional 

282 314 527 147 1,270

WCNA (Wireshark)

10 16 27 11 64

The featured certifications represent all major tiers of networking job roles, from the entry level (Network+) to the expert level (CCIE). According to Glassdoor, a person just starting out in networking, most likely as a technician or junior administrator, can expect to make about $67,000. Midtier network administrators and engineers make an average of $79,000 to $90,000, while CCIEs average around $119,000.

CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert

An evergreen and high-value networking certification is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), which comes in several tracks. The annual production of CCIEs remains small enough that Cisco can still claim itself able to hire all of them itself, with demand and appreciation for this difficult and rewarding certification always stratospheric. Over the past few years, the Storage Networking credential gave way to Collaboration, and a Data Center credential made its debut, as well as other new certification tracks.

Although the road to obtaining a CCIE is long and hard, it is well worth the effort, time, and money. This credential opens doors to plenty of job opportunities and high salaries for networking professionals.

CCIE facts and figures

Certification name Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
Prerequisites and required courses None.

Cisco recommends eight years of relevant job experience.

Number of exams Every CCIE track requires both a written and lab exam. Written exam scores are valid for 18 months. Lab exams must be attempted within 18 months of the written exam. CCIE candidates may not schedule a lab exam until receiving a passing score on the written exam. Candidates must retake the written exam if they do not pass the lab exam within three years. All written exams are 90 to 110 questions, 120 minutes.

CCIE Collaboration:

  • CCIE Collaboration Written exam 400-051
  • CCIE Collaboration v2.0 Lab Exam

Note: New CCIE Collaboration Written and Lab Exams will be utilized beginning on Feb. 24, 2020, though candidates’ progress to date before the cutover will be transferred to the new program.

CCIE Data Center:

  • CCIE Data Center Written Exam: 400-151
  • CCIE Data Center Lab Exam

Note: New CCIE Data Center Written and Lab Exams will be utilized beginning on Feb. 24, 2020, though candidates’ progress to date before the cutover will be transferred to the new program.

CCIE Enterprise Wireless:

  • Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR 300-401)
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0

CCIE Security:

  • CCIE Security Written Exam: 400-251
  • CCIE Security Lab Exam

Note: New CCIE Security Written and Lab Exams will be utilized beginning on Feb. 24, 2020, though candidates’ progress to date before the cutover will be transferred to the new program.

CCIE Service Provider:

  • CCIE SP Written Exam: 400-201
  • CCIE SP Lab Exam

Note: New CCIE Service Provider Written and Lab Exams will be utilized beginning on Feb. 24, 2020, though candidates’ progress to date before the cutover will be transferred to the new program.

CCIE Wireless:

  • CCIE Wireless Written Exam: 400-351
  • CCIE Wireless Lab Exam

Note: New CCIE Enterprise Wireless Written and Lab Exams will be utilized beginning on February 24, 2020, though candidate’s progress to-date before the cutover will be transferred to the new program.

Cost per exam Written exam: $450 or equivalent worldwide

Lab exam: $1,600 or equivalent worldwide

Exam rates vary based on exchange rates and local taxes (VAT, GST).

Self-study materials CCIE learning opportunities include study documents, recommended reading, test examples, training opportunities, online communities and study groups, all available through the Cisco Learning Network.

CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional

The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) takes aim at platforms and products from a leading networking equipment vendor found at most communications and internet service providers, not to mention enterprises and businesses of all sizes, including government, research, and academia. It’s hard to go wrong with Cisco certification nowadays, and the CCNP is its most important midrange credential across a wide variety of specialties.

Cisco offers several flavors of the CCNP: Cloud, Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching (the most popular), Security, Service Provider, and Wireless. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a required steppingstone to the CCNP. What usually comes after the CCNP for networking professionals could be another CCNP (different specialty), one or more Cisco Specialist certifications, or the advanced Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), also available in numerous specializations.

CCNP facts and figures

Certification name Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications:
  • CCNP: Certified DevNet Professional
  • CCNP: Collaboration
  • CCNP: Data Center
  • CCNP: Enterprise
  • CCNP: Security
  • CCNP: Service Provider
Prerequisites and required courses  A valid CCNA or CCIE credential is required.
Number of exams The primary CCNP certification (Enterprise) requires the core exam plus one of the concentration exams below:
  • 300-401 ENCOR Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR)

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-410 ENARSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services (ENARSI)
  • 300-415 ENSDWI Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI)
  • 300-420 ENSLD Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD)
  • 300-425 ENWLSD Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSD)
  • 300-430 ENWLSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks (ENWLSI)
  • 300-435 ENAUTO Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO)

Other CCNP certifications require four exams.

Cost per exam $300
Self-study materials Recommended training is listed online for each CCNP Certification track. Self-study materials include books, flash cards, practice tests, and virtual and physical labs.

CompTIA Network+

There aren’t that many entry-level networking IT certifications around, probably because CompTIA’s Network+ credential more or less owns this niche. Many IT and certification pundits, including us, believe the Network+ to be an important early checkbox element in any savvy IT professional’s basic certification portfolio. If you’re just starting out, this is a certification for you.

CompTIA Network+ is also a vendor-neutral certification and a steppingstone to a variety of more advanced networking credentials. Some vendor-specific certification programs even include it as a prerequisite.

Network+ facts and figures

SolarWinds Certified Professional

Our sole newcomer to the top five this year is the SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP). Headquartered in Austin, Texas, SolarWinds makes simplicity its business. At SolarWinds, businesses and IT professionals will find tools, products, and solutions to Improve performance and monitoring and to solve real-world problems easily and efficiently. SolarWinds offers solutions across six areas: network management, system management, security, database management, IT help desk and the cloud.

SolarWinds currently offers a single credential, the SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP), designed to validate a candidate’s skill, knowledge and expertise in using either the SolarWinds system management or network management product portfolio. Candidates can choose to test for the SCP on either the Network Performance Monitor (NPM) or Server and Application Monitor (SAM) path. Either way, a single exam is required to earn the credential.

SolarWinds is committed to ongoing education and ensuring that SCP credential holders maintain skill currency as new products and technologies are released. To accomplish this, SolarWinds requires SCP credential holders to maintain a SolarWinds subscription and attend events and training. The subscription provides SCPs with webcasts, online training, invitations to in-person and online events, enhanced support, opportunities to study with SolarWinds experts, and more. An annual subscription fee of $200 is required. Credentials expire after three years if a candidate fails to maintain a subscription and attend training.

SCP facts and figures

WCNA: Wireshark Certified Network Analyst

Founded in 2007 by major networking geeks Gerald Combs and Laura Chappell, Wireshark University offers only a single certification but makes it worth your while. The WCNA for Wireshark Certification (WCNA) recognizes knowledge of network packet and protocol sniffing and analysis using Wireshark, as well as TCP/IP network communications, network troubleshooting, and network security. To achieve this credential, candidates must pass one multiple-choice exam, which is DoD 8570-certified.

The WCNA is good for three years, but certification holders must obtain a total of 20 continuing professional education (CPE) credits each year to maintain their credentials in good standing. These CPE credits must focus on activities related to the WCNA exam objectives (sniffing, analysis, etc.) and not be tied directly to job tasks. For example, attending a Sharkfest or Black Hat conference, or even reading the Wireshark Network Analysis Study Guide, can net some CPEs.

Along with administering the WCNA program, Wireshark University offers self-paced, instructor-led and customized training options for anyone who wants to learn about Wireshark and packet analysis. An All-Access Pass is a one-year subscription to all WCNA for WireShark training courses and costs $699.

WCNA facts and figures

Beyond the top five: More networking certifications

There are lots of other choices for networking professionals to investigate and pursue outside of these five.

Another interesting and upcoming Open Linux Networking focused credential comes from Cumulus Networks – namely the Cumulus Networks Open Networking Professional (CCONP).

While it didn’t make the top five this year, the Juniper Enterprise Routing and Switching-Expert (JNCIE-ENT) remains an excellent credential for candidates interested in Juniper technologies.

Many other major networking vendors, including F5 and HPE, offer networking-focused credentials that ascend all the way to advanced or expert credentials. Serious network professionals will also want to check out the certifications from Avaya, Citrix and Extreme Networks.

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Dr. Vanessa Bobb wants you to treat your brain 'like any other organ'

Dr. Vanessa T. Bobb almost became a cardiologist. In fact, she studied comparative physiology while in the MD/PHD program at Brown University in Rhode Island. 

As a resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Bobb said she noticed a common thread across all medical disciplines. Many of the patients she saw had behavioral health comorbidities — anxiety, depression, substance abuse — but little attention was being paid to those conditions.

"I knew that if I was going into this helping profession, one of the best ways to go about doing that, was to getting to the root cause, which was getting to the behavioral health component," she said.

After medical school, she continued her studies in adolescent and adult psychiatry and public health administration. 

Now a board-certified psychiatrist, and vice president of behavioral health and medical integration the Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP), Bobb taps into her multifaceted clinical and academic experience as she ensures that the mental and physical health needs of plan members are met.

"Traditionally, (the field of medicine) has been very bifurcated," Bobb said. "For some reason, in the U.S. and the West, we act as though this organ in your head is somehow separate. You've got your brain as an organ and we deal with that over there, and all the rest of your body... the primary care docs — the 'real' doctors — take care of that."

A Brooklyn native, Bobb moved with her attorney husband Julian and 16-year-old daughter Janelle to the Capital Region in the spring of 2021, settling in Halfmoon.

She said she appreciates the area's ample parking, numerous parks and, of course, Stewart's ice cream (her go-to order is a chocolate-chip, cookie-dough hot-fudge sundae, with all the frills).

She stepped into her current role at CDPHP in 2019, right before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the health crisis, a national staffing shortage continues to weigh heavily on the mental and behavioral health industry, especially crippling providers that serve children and adolescents. At the same time, demand for these services is surging, as surveys show that teens are experiencing higher rates of emotional distress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To help its members navigate these challenges, CDPHP has been working closely with community-based organizations and local hospitals to Improve transitions and quality of care, Bobb said.

CDPHP is actively working to recruit and train new mental health professionals and supports primary care physicians who are often the first stop for families with children who have mental health issues, according to Bobb.

Under Bobb's leadership, CDPHP has sought to dismantle the stigma around treatment while expanding access to therapy through partnerships with virtual platforms Valera Health and Aptihealth.

"One of the big things we do in CDPHP is communicating that 'mental health is health and the brain just as important as any organ in your body,'" she said.

Within the health plan's care management team, there are also in-house behavioral health certified to help parents and children navigate services, Bobb said.

In addition to serving its own members' mental wellness needs, the health plan is invested in expanding the outpatient mental health infrastructure in the wider community, such as through its exact partnership with the Schenectady-based Ellis Hospital on the Living Room, which provides walk-in mental health services in a home-like setting, Bobb said.

Sun, 16 Oct 2022 04:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Channel 9 General Election Guide: CMS School Board candidates

Ahead of the general election on Nov. 8, Channel 9 is asking candidates in several local races why they’re running and what they hope to accomplish if elected. We sent five questions to all candidates contending to represent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on the school board and asked them to respond in about 100 words.

READ MORE coverage from The Political Beat HERE

  • How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions, like social distancing, masking, and remote learning?
  • What are the top three qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent?
  • Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more?
  • What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers?
  • What sets you apart from your opponents?

In all, eighteen candidates are vying for the six open district seats on the CMS school board. Four incumbents are running to keep their position in the nonpartisan races.

Below are the complete, unedited responses of each candidate who chose to participate.

District 1

© Provided by WSOC Charlotte

Rhonda Cheek

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? a. I do not believe that health-based decisions should be made by a board of education, but rather by the Mecklenburg County Health Department or the NC Department of Health. This includes decisions about masking and remote versus in-person learning. The school board should not have been making decisions about mask wearing, health professionals should have been the determinants. b. I was an advocate for a safe return to in-person education and did not agree with the board majority, who abandoned the plan developed by staff to send students back to school in-person in August 2020. I stated publicly on numerous occasions that I had great concerns that the vast majority of our students would not do well academically in remote learning, and that unfortunately was true. I voted against continuing remote learning throughout fall of 2020 and remained an outspoken advocate for in-person learning. c. I vehemently opposed the former Superintendent’s recommendation to end all sports and extra-curricular activities in January 2021. When I learned of his plan, I spent 36 hours nonstop lobbying my colleagues on the school board to solidify enough votes to have a public show of non-support on this staff lead operating decision. That lobbying was successful and ultimately, we were able to allow sports and extra-curriculars to continue. As a result, many CMS teams and individual students won state and regional competitions as a result.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent?

a. Integrity is a core quality and non-negotiable

b. Excellent communication skills with all stakeholder groups

c. Visionary and Innovative academic leader with strong management skills; must be able to develop a strong strategic plan to move the district forward, must be able to delegate and manage a team. Must hire/place strong talent in the organization to support his vision, then give them the freedom to move their programs forward under her/his watch.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I support looking research-based practices and evaluating what current programs and initiatives are showing academic gains in students and also look for key indicators and trends in students that are struggling. a. Attendance policy enforcement b. In-person education c. Curriculum integrity across all schools, but allow the school to use flexibility in curriculum delivery. d. Emphasis on small group work in reading and math, including tutoring and one-on-one interventions e. Integrated afterschool programs that coordinate with school day instruction. f. Summer enrichment programs that are integrated with the school curriculum g. MTSS- Multi tier system of support now being implemented to support students’ holistic needs. h. Enhanced professional development I would also like see the following concepts more deeply implemented a. Improved parental engagement- both at school and in the community. This is the “It takes a village” concept. Schools need to be welcoming and encourage parents to be involved, especially in their children’s education journey. Students with engage parents have higher outcomes overall. b. Community wide literacy program, impacting children beginning at birth. There are civic/faith and non-profits in places that could be united behind this, which should include adult literacy. Children exposed to reading and books in infancy and pre-schools years develop higher language cognition and are better prepared for K-12 education.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? One crucial issue is the teacher pipeline, less students are entering education programs in college. CMS has its Early College program in education and needs to restart the teacher cadet program in all HS to expose students to the teaching profession. The state requirements to teacher licensure when moving from other states needs to be streamlined and reasonable, so teachers can get into the classroom when they move here from out of state. We also need reasonable licensure requirements for lateral entry type teachers, especially in the trades and STEM areas. Retention of teachers is multifaceted. The board needs to continue to lobby the state for improved pay and benefits, especially for veteran teachers. We must all create and ensure a culture of respect and accountability at all levels. That starts with the Superintendent and travels to every level of the organization. We must also ensure a safe workplace.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have over 2 decades of experience advocating for the education needs of District 1, both as a community advocate and as an elected leader. I have been an effective, solutions-oriented advocate, who has a long history of building relationships with all stakeholders; students, parents, staff, community leaders, `and local/regional/state/federal lawmakers

Melissa Easley

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? As a member of the high risk community and a child that is unable to get the vaccine, I appreciate the fact that the board took the time to look at all the evidence and listen to our community health experts.Overall I feel the board did the best they could with the ever changing information that was available. I also feel that there were mistakes made along the way, as with any new situations, and I feel that if something like this were to happen again, things would be done differently.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? Three qualities I want to see in the next superintendent are The person is a Visionary. They have clear vision and goals for the future of CMS. Someone who wants to see those goals through and who has had experience in a mixed urban and rural district. The person has many Leadership skills. Someone who not only has the knowledge of best practices and maximizing achievement, but also surrounds themselves with knowledgeable strong people to help support the superintendent and our educators and staff. Finally to be an excellent communicator and relationship builder. This focuses on the culture of CMS, someone that will encourage our community to come together and build on the whole child learning and the journey to become an anti-racist district that CMS has committed to do doing.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I think what the board has done is a great start in getting on the correct path. I think more can be done, but taking on too much can also be a detriment to our progress. School performance grades will not be fixed overnight, or even in this BOE term, but we need to continue to make progress as we have been and in ways even bigger strides. We have the highest growth rate of our surrounding counties. If we continue growing our students for more than one year,like we did this past year, our student achievement will continue to improve.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Base Salary is something that needs to be addressed at the state level, but the supplement is at the local level. As a board member I can advocate for our educators in Raleigh to fully fund education as I have been for the last 7 years. I will continue to build relationships not only at the state level, but on a county city level as well.

The second way to recruit and retain teachers is by changing the culture of CMS. Making sure that our staff and students’ basic needs are met first. Our staff and students need to feel safe and supported before we can put all of our focus on student achievement.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I am the only candidate in District 1 that is a certified educator in CMS and spent the last 10 years teaching our students.

I am the only democrat who is endorsed on the “Blue Ballot” for district 1.

Not only have I taught in CMS, but I have been a strong public-school education advocate creating connections across Mecklenburg,the state, and in Raleigh.

I am a mother of two elementary school children in CMS. This means I continue to have a vested interest in my children’s and your children’s future in CMS. I will work to continue to build bridges between our community and school board.

Hamani Fisher

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I believe during the unprecedented situation of COVID 19, the board stayed close to the recommendations of the Mecklenburg County Department of Health and attempted to keep our children as well protected as possible. There were a lot of unknown variables as we dealt with the factors surrounding the pandemic. I would like to ensure that there are adequate assessments of lessons learned from what we just experienced on global scale as well as policies authored that will equip us to be better prepared for future instances.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? As we will search for our next Superintendent, the following are 3 qualities that I would like to see reflected in a candidate.

Character- It will be important to discover what each candidate believes in as it relates to their values and educating Children. What is their philosophy of moving the needle in educating children.

Courage- Does the person possess the courage to make a bold move to build a greater CMS. What is their potential forecasted vision for the years down the road and not just for today. It will take courage to be an innovative leader.

Capacity- Does the candidate possess the training, education, and experience to anticipate what is coming down the road as well as possess the ability to proactively navigate thru a crisis that may arise. Experience is a great teacher that can if applied correctly, assist anyone to get out in front of a crisis and allow them proactive and not necessarily reactive.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? In addition, with the current initiatives, high visibility and authentic caring for all stakeholders is crucial. Effecting positive relationships assures that all are working together to assure the best outcome for all students.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? I believe in the approach of returning to the ancient path of respect and highlighting positive initiatives for the continued professional development for teachers. Teachers are professionals in their field of expertise and we must assist them in becoming greater in their proficiency of the curriculums we are requesting them to teach. As a CMS Board it is important to exemplify before teachers that we are vested in their success as well as a balanced life approach. I believe that we should continue to investigate innovative solutions that will afford us the opportunity to raise teacher salaries and offer a equitable bonus incentive system for all employees.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I am proud of my ability to represent the educational values of the community , demand accountability and be a team player as we become collaborative in working with all stakeholders to get the job done! But most of all my over 20 year’s experience of serving the public and being a voice for those who needed an advocate. I have experienced CMS from the perspective of a parent, community partner/leader and advocate. I believe my experience in all these roles has served a catalyst to prepare me to lead in the office I am pursuing.

Bill Fountain

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? The eight women on the school board failed our students, parents, and taxpayers by not allowing in school learning for over a year. This wrong-headed decision steered parents with resources to send their children to private, religious, or home schools, leaving the vast majority to struggle with virtual learning often without adult supervision. Unfortunately, this left a huge learning gap which some say will take years to fill. It damaged children’s social interactions, resulting in loneliness. These eight women should have followed the private and religious school practices of in classroom learning and leaving masking decisions to the children’s parents.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? The three qualities are successfully managing large organizations with innovation, experience as a teacher, and having a high moral character. I would add a fourth qualification that he or she should not be a proponent of woke culture. The woke theme of blaming white people is counterproductive for it tells the black and brown children all their problems stem from white people, so they’re not responsible for their behavior and learning. It also hones in on rejecting traditional morality by promoting sexual deviant lifestyles such as homosexuality and transgender. The lack of discipline sets no behavior standards for students.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? Pre-Kindergarten in small settings for children older than three can help social interaction and reading, writing, and math skills. My reservation is the insistence of teachers, administrators, and school board members of including social emotional learning, which is a disguise for advocating gender identity and telling black and brown children that they’re victims of white supremacy. reading with phonics is a promising initiative that produced results in Mississippi.

I’d like to see some initiatives on vocational training tied with the community colleges. This path offers students a real shot as a productive member of society.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? The lack of support from administrators for discipline in the classroom is a key reason for many teachers leaving CMS. We see within CMS that disruptive behavior goes unpunished often based on the argument that the troublemaker experienced a difficult childhood. This policy doesn’t support the teacher trying to maintain an orderly learning environment. Too many times it’s the same children causing the disorder.

Teacher’s pay should be commensurate with their educational requirements; however, my sources say many teachers who left CMS went to surrounding counties for less pay but a safer and disciplined learning environment.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I’m the only candidate challenging the woke culture in our schools, which led to low performing and unsafe schools. It’s robbing students of self-esteem, confusing their God given sexuality, and setting no behavior standards.

I’m a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel fighter pilot and Pentagon defense planner and a retired program manager of two successful hundred million dollars programs. My wife and I moved here 18 years ago. Soon afterwards I left retirement to teach high school for ten years. I also have demonstrated my concern for CMS’s failures by speaking at the school board meetings for over a year.

Ro Lawsin

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I believe the CMS School Board handled COVID-19 decisions poorly by locking down and forcing students to learn remotely longer than ANY school district and county in the state and furthermore, forced students and children to wear masks longer than any other school district despite many neighboring counties making their schools mask-optional. The damage done to students suffering from learning loss as a result of the lockdowns is immeasurable and the damage unknown for years to come.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent?

1. Experienced Superintendent

2. Proven Track Record & History of Success

3. Highly endorsed by former employer, staff, colleagues and teachers

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I firmly believe CMS needs to do MORE to include a significant increase to professional development for our teachers. A study of the teaching methodologies of how our teachers are teaching can help identify areas of improvement teachers can use in the classroom to help students learn better. In addition, identifying successful programs nationwide and implementing “pilot programs” to see if success can be achieved in CMS

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? First and foremost find out the root problems affecting teachers in CMS and identify reasons why they are leaving. To compile this date, conduct EXIT INTERVIEWS of every CMS teacher leaving to apply lessons learned to current teachers in the hopes of keeping them and attracting new, qualified and experienced teachers. Identify key funding needs for increases in teacher pay to make sure all CMS teachers pay is competitive not only in NC but nationwide.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Proven leader in the community, high energy and passionate parent that brings 21 years as a retired Air Force Officer, former small business owner and active community leader that the CMS School Board is sorely lacking. I also bring a sense of empathy, kindness, and listening skills parents deserve in a school board member as well as courage and tenacity to not only fight for but advocate those critical issues most concerning parents.

District 2

© Provided by WSOC Charlotte

Thelma Byers-Bailey

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I believe we made the appropriate decisions based on the medical advice available at the time. I believe that social distancing and masks were effective. I was disappointed in the lack of effectiveness that remote learning was for so many reasons, especially for our minority students.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? Experience as a Superintendent in producing high achievement scores and exceptional growth among a diverse student population in a large urban school district will be my top priority.

I will also consider someone with the classroom and school leadership experience who can spot effective teaching skills and is willing to move staff strategically to produce effective results in every school.

I will be looking to see what types of staff they would be considering to bring with them to fill gaps they perceive we may need to be filled in our management teams.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I believe the current Student Outcomes Focused Governance (SOFG) initiative is helping the district determine what students know and are able to do. This will identify which students are not meeting growth so resources can be put into place help them. By monitoring progress toward the various goals and guard rails each month, we expect the achievement scores for all students to increase while closing the gaps we currently see among student groups.

I also believe that fully funding the current Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) will help to identify and mitigate the barriers that prevent some students from focusing.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Since school districts receive their funds from federal, state and local government. Our state Constitution has says the state has the primary responsibility to fund education. There have been periods of time when our state has met this mandate and our education system has thrived.

That is no longer the case and local counties have been forced to attempt to pick up the slack. Our state Supreme Court is seriously considering mandating our state to fund education according to the Leandro proposal. If that occurs it will go a long way to funding the education needs.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have a proven record of getting things done especially with respect to making sure CMS bond packages are fiscally sound and equitably distributed. I have traveled extensively to learn the latest innovations in education. I have brought concepts back to CMS, the latest being the SOFG work our board implemented.

I have served our board as Vice-Chair for 2 years and have been elected to 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the NC School Boards Association (NCSBA). This year our local Pride Magazine selected me as one of the Influential Women Leading the Way in Charlotte.

Juanrique Hall

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I think given everything that they were being told at the time the school board acted in good faith. I hope that we have a lot of lessons learned from this, though, that we can go back and refer to in the event something like this happens in the future..

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? I need to see someone that is capable of inspiring leaders to lead and holding those who are uncapable of leading to account. I understand that school districts need leaders provide a vision for the future, managers that are capable of identifying & communicating the steps needed make the vision achievable AND workers who are able to execute the steps.

Our next superintendent needs to know That the board will hold him accountable for taking action & leading effectively.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I think that the initiatives that have been laid out have been established in good faith So I am willing to see if they can be successful and give credit where it’s due if they are successful and if they aren’t make changes.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? The biggest thing that we can do to address paying retention is to provide more opportunities and incentives for people to enter the workforce as well as exit opportunities to remove those who are failing. One thing that I would really love to do is open Our class rings up to the many military instructors that we have that live in this & state. Most of these instructors have bachelor’s degrees and thousands of hours teaching young adults. They also have navigated difficult and rewarding career successfully and they know how to handle large bureaucracies. So I believe this is an asset that we should investigate using much further.

What sets you apart from your opponents? The current BOE member for District II Could walk down the halls of every school in our district and no one would know who they were. My other opponent is directly tied to religious groups that are unwilling to accept our LGBTQ+ students.

So I believe that I am the only candidate that has support from both conservative organizations and liberal organizations as well as parent, Veteran, Latino, African American & LGBTQ+ organizations.

And most importantly, I know for a fact that I am the only candidate that stands for serving students not sides.

Monty Witherspoon

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

District 3

© Provided by WSOC Charlotte

Gregory “Dee” Rankin

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? The board made calculated and informed decisions during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having 2 children that attend CMS and a daughter that is an educator in the district, I am glad the board utilized data, followed the state guidelines as well as the CDC, to ensure our students and staff remained safe while still receiving an education. We have to remember, just because students were not in the building 5 days a week, that did not mean learning was taking place and that our educators were not working hard. Students were learning and educators were working diligently to educate our students through a global pandemic.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? The top three qualities I would like to see in our next superintendent are:

1. Data and detailed oriented

2. Possess an equity lens

3. Motivator/Relationship Builder

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? As a district we can always do more to Improve student outcomes. As a Board Member, if elected, I would like to have quarterly reports from the academic department as well as the equity department. We must ensure that the assessments throughout the year are aligned with state standards so that we have a better understanding of what our students’ needs are and also provide an opportunity for educators to identify possible improvements in their practices. Consistent reports from the equity department are essential because equity should be at the center of every decision that we make.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? As a board we must continue to lobby to state representatives to increase teacher pay. Also as a district we must commit to investing in our teachers. We must provide professional development to our staff that is relevant. One of the complaints I hear from teachers is that some of the professional development they receive is not relevant. We must implement professional development that promotes growth. As educators grow they feel supported. Supporting our educators to the highest capacity possible is how we will be able to retain teachers other than the obvious, which is increasing teacher pay.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I pride myself on being a systems thinker. I understand that there are multiple disciplines involved when attempting to solve the problem of how do meet the needs of each student in CMS. I have a proven track record serving our community. First I am a former educator, so I understand what it’s like to be in the classroom. I have served on several community organizations in a leadership capacity all with the common mission of helping kids. The capacities in which I have served the community are as follows: Chair of the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance, Chair of the Education Committee for the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte Mecklenburg, Co-Chair of the Student Wellness Committee on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Equity Committee. I understand the importance of creating effective policy and as a board member my goal will be to create policy that is effective and equitable. Being a native Charlottean, educating our kids is personal to me. I want to see our city and county to continue to grow and the only way that can happen is if we educate our kids in a manner that when students receive a diploma from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools they are prepared to be self-sufficient, productive members of society.

Steven Rushing

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I believe CMS operated in the best interest of the safety of our children with the actions and lenght of time for the distancing, masking and remote learning. I believe the time that CMS used was more than enough to keep our children safe.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? I believe for the next superintendent we need to think outside the Box find someone new with possible radical new ideas. Someone who understands the need to have everyone involved especially but not just the majority but the minorities included in what our teachers and students need. A superintendent that understand the need for help in the Latin community which in some areas makes up a large amoung of the students but a lot of times has no spokesperson except for now with me running in district3 which has a large Latin-American presence. We need perhaps someone younger and with a heart for the teachers and sees the need to support our teachers while the teachers support our students.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I do agree with the initiatives that were detailed and do believe they are a great start but there’s always room for more improvement. There is no such thing as perfect outcome when it comes to our schools performance but we can push ourselves always strive to always work as hard as possible to do the very best for our children and teachers.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? I believe there has to be a push in every direction to get more funding allocated for teachers pay and their supplies needed to offer the best for our children. The best possible education for our children is only possible by having the best teachers so one hand washes the other. We need to cut the fat from areas that can wait or are not needed to provide the much needed pay increase for our teachers at the same time getting and keeping our teachers engaged in what decisions are made in our schools will keep the retention of our teachers high. If our teachers feel like they have skin in the game and have a real voice to be heard our teachers will know they are valued and this will give our teachers a sense of appreciation and support which will keep them in CMS positions.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I will not ever say anything negative about my opponent all I can say is what I bring to the table. I bring a different and fresh new look at things and not the traditional cookie cutter ideology. I bring an eagerness to move the needle on behalf of our children and teachers. I bring also a perspective that comes from the Latin-American parents in the community which doesn’t have much if any support in CMS because I am a Latin-American parent. I bring with me ideas to include the parents that have the availability to be included more in the day-to-day interaction with different programs one of which I call D.O.D. (Dads on Duty) to help teachers with time and student protection while in school. We need programs that drive and push our children to strive for the best in all categories in school.

District 4

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Carol Sawyer

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? Many of our CMS students families lost loved ones during the peak of Covid. I hope that we never face a health crisis of that scale again. I believe the Board made the best decisions it could given the ever-changing (and sometimes conflicting) recommendations of the CDC, Mecklenburg County Public Health, ABC Collaborative, and other bodies charged with public health and school recommendations.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent?

I want a superintendent who:

- encourages innovation and risk taking within the parameters of the Board’s goal and guardrails

- balances the needs of the district to provide equal and equitable education experiences across schools, while allowing implementation decisions to be made by the staff members closest to the work

- has high expectations for students, educators, and staff

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I support the strategies adopted to Improve student outcomes. However, more work needs to be done the ensure that those strategies are employed with fidelity, and that they reach all the students who need support.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Educators need respect, support, pay. CMS needs to balance the need to standardize curriculum across schools with the flexibility desired by our most experienced teachers to implement the curriculum with integrity.

I supported increasing the County pay supplement 10%, unfortunately the final budget only funded a 5% increase. The North Carolina General Assembly must raise educator pay so it is comparable to other similarly degreed professionals.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I have served on the Board since 2017. This is a challenging job and I have learned how to do it well. I chair the Policy Committee and previously chaired the Facilities Committee. I shepherded the creation of a new equity policy and a Community Equity Committee. I have fully embraced the Board’s student outcomes focused governance work and dedicate a significant amount of my time to monitoring performance in terms of goals and guardrails.

I am responsive to constituent concerns and questions. I actively reach out to constituencies via social media, eNewsletters, community events, and neighborhood meetings.

Stephanie Sneed

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

Clara Kennedy Witherspoon

Did not respond to Channel 9′s questions.

District 5

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Lisa Cline

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? It’s a shame that Washington politicians have made this a political issue instead of looking at the effects that this had on our children, both socially and educationally. By keeping the schools closed the mental health of our children suffered tremendously and the learning loss is going to take a while for the children to recoup.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? This is hard to decide, as there are many qualities the new superintendent must have. 1.A visionary, innovative leader who values transparency. 2. An inspirational leader who is accountable and bases decisions based on what is best for students. 3. Demonstrates high ethical standards and leads with integrity. Strong financial intelligence. Successful teaching and administrative experience. Outstanding communication skills.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? These initiatives are just a beginning. The District must allocate more funds to the 50 schools that are failing by the state standards. Standards need to be raised for all children while supporting those who need additional reinforcement so that all children are performing at or above their grade level. The District must allow our teachers to do what they do best: Teach! Let them design lessons that are appropriate for their students rather than giving them a purchased curriculum. The State provides the Standards to follow and the scores needed for success; teachers do not need to be told to be on a certain lesson on a certain day. Finally take away all the additional workshops our teachers are required to take. Last week, CMS added 4 additional workshops to be completed by January 21, 2023. When do our teachers have time to plan and grade lessons? They are not paid to do these additional requirements!

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? CMS should lead the state by creating an incentive plan for retaining teachers. CMS controls the supplement, the state controls the pay, so CMS should pay the teachers who earn their Masters additional monies as an incentive. Rather than keeping teachers at a step for a number of years, these steps should be increased yearly. The current pay does not help the more experienced teacher.

What sets you apart from your opponents? 39+ years of educational experience, 29+ in CMS! I was a teacher, curriculum developer, and administrator, but more importantly I was a CMS parent for 15 years, serving on the PTSA boards of my children’s elementary, middle, and high schools. I worked on the East, South and West sides of Charlotte, so I understand the needs of the different communities. I was at one of the high schools Judge Manning suggested we close, through the hard work of our teachers and staff, we began to close the gap of our students. My priority is the children. We need to rebuild the broken trust between the community and the school system.

Trent Merchant

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? Hindsight is 20/20, so anyone answering this question will be able to point out mistakes, yet no one can change the past, so a more helpful question for students would be “What are we going to do about it moving forward?”

The Board was correct to go remote in March 2020. Beyond that, it gets more complicated. Almost everyone suffered during COVID. The biggest failure by CMS was that it had poor executive leadership, and it doubled down on that poor leadership. I address this in much greater detail at

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent?

  • Success leading a complex organization with multiple sites, and many customers / employees
  • Courage, decisiveness, ability to execute without having all of the information or funding
  • An organization builder, not a resume builder, with a track record of hiring people better than themselves

I’m also looking for an authentic leader who brings

  • high EQ - empathy, self awareness, ability to neutralize toxicity
  • Exceptional communication skills, especially in adaptation and listening for nuance

But that’s just me… The Board needs to listen to input from the community, then work together to agree on which traits are must-haves and would-like-to-haves.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? They are on the right path, but there still is not a big unifying goal to inspire the Board, team, and community.

When I was on the CMS Board 2006-2011, we united around the goal of “Raise the Bar and Close the Gaps” related to student achievement. It was the drumbeat that drove every decision, and provided a cohesive framework for all of our initiatives.

It was incredibly successful, as we won the Broad Prize, based on the best overall gains in student achievement and closing achievement gaps in the USA - despite making massive budget cuts due to the Great Recession.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? I am working on this issue with a school district in California through my consulting practice. The issues vary by county in NC, but in CMS we need to build a culture, which starts with courage and clarity at the top. For teachers, the elements of that culture include:

  • Fostering respect for teachers
  • Ensuring safe schools - physically, intellectually, and emotionally
  • Making licensure / professional development more relevant and less compliance-driven
  • Delivering some clear academic wins so we can advocate effectively for better compensation.

We also need to build better relationships with county and state leaders.

What sets you apart from your opponents? My professional skill set and authentic style are exactly what CMS needs at this point in time. I bring unmatched experience and perspective to the role, including:

  • CMS Board Member 2006-2011, when CMS was incredibly successful
  • Strong Independent Voice and team builder
  • Executive Search Consultant who will make sure we hire the right Superintendent
  • Corporate Leadership experience: Started the first-ever Talent function at company we grew to $5B, then led the International Division
  • Former teacher, coach, theatre director, and school leader
  • CMS Parent 2007-2026

Endorsed by multiple organizations and bipartisan community leaders - see for details

District 6

© Provided by WSOC Charlotte

Summer Nunn

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking, and remote learning? I do not envy the position the board was put in during COVID especially given they are not doctors or disease experts. What I can say is none of them were parents of elementary school kids who couldn’t read or were learning to read. I wish they would have prioritized kids’ needs based on grade level after reviewing the progress and outcomes of students and teacher feedback on what was best. We all wanted them safely back in the classroom quicker as remote and hybrid specifically caused tremendous challenges.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? · Determined. We need to find someone who has been successful at turning a large organization around where performance is falling short and staff satisfaction has declined. Someone who walks towards challenges. · Servant. We need someone who knows the success of an organization is built by those in it and it is finding the right people and being disciplined enough to listen to them as well on the best path to success. We need someone to create an environment where people feel respected and accountable. · Problem solver. We need someone who is relentless in improving student success for all based on the community vision delivered by the board. They need them to create strategies and plans, measure, and optimize. We need someone looking for issues to solve and making sure CMS has the right plans and empowers the right staff to achieve their goals.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I think moving toward the goals and guardrail as a framework to measure student outcomes is the right direction for the board. I am not sure it accomplishes what the community wants from the board since it is heavily focused on test scores at a certain period rather than whole-child learning and meeting the needs of every kid. Moreso, I question if we have all the right goals. I also don’t see enough strategy and plans to accomplish these goals filtering down from the superintendent and their leadership as a parent who sits on the Student Improvement Team (SIT) at my kid’s elementary school. It feels like we have goals and the plan is completely placed on the principal and parent group (SIT) which is why we see such variance through our schools and their performance.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Overall, the state must start prioritizing funding for public education more than they are now. We now rank at the bottom of per-student spending when looking at the size of NC’s economy. Most teacher pay is dictated at the state level. I look forward to working with the state legislature to get NC back to being one of the top in public education and resourcing teachers properly. The board can start listening to teachers and measuring satisfaction. NC Teacher Working Condition Survey is conducted every two years and roughly 70% of our teachers fill it out. This could be an immediate proxy until we roll out a proper survey. We must understand why they are leaving and then start solving those issues. Some glaring themes are around class size, not enough on-instruction time, too much paperwork and other school duties, enforcement of policies, and lack of professional development. Teachers don’t feel like they can do their job nor are they able to develop further and we have to solve that. That could be technology investments, support staff adjustments, and commitment to communication and development. Also, when they can leave teaching and go get a job making 20-40% more, they need a more livable wage.

What sets you apart from your opponents? I am the mom of 2 elementary school kids who watched my kids start their education career from my home. I am at the beginning of CMS with a Kindergarten and 4th grader. I am also a successful business leader who has served as a corporate marketing executive for multiple Charlotte-based businesses. I have hired the right people and built teams for large multiple-site location organizations. CMS is a large organization with 180 schools and a $2B budget. I have tremendous experience building, collaborating, and securing budgets based on strategy and working with other counterparts to show the return on investment and reallocation needed to achieve goals. I am also honest and transparent and don’t want to play political games nor do I have hidden agendas other than making CMS as great as possible for my kid’s generation and all of the communities in Charlotte.

Sean Strain

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? CMS handled Covid with care and concern, before vaccines were approved and available for students (age 12) and staff. That said, there was still a gulf between the CMS position and that of the Governor/Secy of HHS that cost all of our children tremendously between August 2020 and Spring 2021. Our advisors laid out the pros and cons, the risk/benefit analysis if you will, in a 6-hour Board briefing. Ultimately, the decisions made by the Board were not rational decisions made based on scientific facts, particularly but not exclusively post vaccine availability. We needed to listen to our medical experts, and every week the evidence mounted that schools were, and in-person learning was, “Safe and Essential.”

The data shows the harm of keeping students of school, and now we work to regain the scholastic abilities of all, and holistically repair our students-both physically and mentally. Of course we are a large school system, but we can’t disregard the mental health of many students, which has been affected by closing the CMS doors for this extended period of time. Bringing more counselors on staff, as well as hiring the appropriate amount of teachers/teacher aides will help ease the stress of all. This will lead to success in all areas, for ALL students, not just District 6.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? The top three qualities I will look for in our next Superintendent are:

*Proven leadership of a large ($1B+), complex - preferably services - organization in a regulated industry. Has to have strong, demonstrated track record of establishing culture of accountability, performance management, achieving/exceeding goals, developing a strong team culture of purpose and commitment to the Mission, incenting and rewarding performance while giving counsel to those not meeting goals/performance objectives.

*Accountability; to students/families, faculty/employees and CMS community supporters.

*Accessibility; someone who brings their experience to CMS, but is also open to feedback and input from the BOD, and our community.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I understand and generally agree with the initiatives, but recognize it’s just a start. We have a long way to go to fill the void of the Covid years, let alone to address the decades-old gaps we so often “admire” as opposed to closing. This will require teamwork from teachers/staff, students, our community and families. The Superintendent can establish initiatives, but they will become empty words without follow through and willingness to assess and readjust as needed. All of that being said, with respect the question itself is a bit misplaced as strategy and execution belongs to the Superintendent and the Board’s job is to evaluate his/her performance in achieving them - so while I certainly have an opinion on the defined initiatives (and have provided some feedback), our primary job as a Board is to evaluate progress toward meeting our Goals and assess, incent and reward staff accordingly.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Teachers should be one of the highest paying professions we have in the world, but sadly this is not true. The quote I have seen-”teachers are in it for the outcome, not the income” is great, but teacher pay needs to be addressed and competitive at all levels. To attract and keep quality teachers, NC needs to offer pay commensurate to the experience and demonstrated proficiency, capability and performance. This needs to be addressed at the state level. All of that being said regarding state pay, we must also establish a culture within CMS where staff want to work - CMS being a destination and retirement job - and that includes addressing all aspects of the workplace culture (incl but not limited to student behavior/conduct, reducing load on the teachers - incl offloading some aspects of work *back* to County services, and general workplace code of conduct issues).

What sets you apart from your opponents? Proven leadership experience. My two opponents are each very qualified - no less qualified than I was 7 years ago. Each of us are business professionals, several with executive experience, each of us longtime parents having experience with CMS (incl SIT/local school policy board) on which to reflect. The key difference is that I also have a record of 5 years of service demonstrating with every discussion, debate and vote that I am Student-centered, Mission-focused, and understand the role - both the content and context - to continue to operate in said role from Day 1. I am known very broadly as “A Voice of Reason” and “A Voice for Students” - and am respected by many, if not most, of those recognizing that this is a public service role for me rather than a political seat. I have the community relationships and support both locally and in Raleigh to move our work forward, and am uniquely qualified in my race to do so.

I am asking voters to look at my voting record, and will continue to fight for our students, our faculty, and quality school experiences. We need to focus on sending career and college readystudents into the world. There are many avenues in which we can achieve this, and I’m happy to sit down with anyone to dive into details.

Michael Watson

How do you feel the school board handled important COVID-19 decisions like social distancing, masking and remote learning? I try to have some grace regarding the decisions related to Covid-19. As a country we were dealing with an unprecedented series of events and there wasn’t necessarily a roadmap to navigate a pandemic. In my opinion, the decisions were made through the lens of an abundance of caution in the interest of saving and preserving life and not within the lens of maintaining a positive learning environment. In retrospect we know now that social distancing and masking could have allowed our students to remain in school with a level of continuity in the learning experience. There also could have been a better job articulating the reasoning behind the decisions with our communities.

What are the top 3 qualities you want to see in the next Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent? The top three qualities I would like to see are 1. Demonstrated understanding and execution of point leadership, meaning that the next superintendent can surround him/herself with the best support staff to execute a vision. 2. Ability to communicate effectively and transparently to the community, the CMS organization, and the board. The energy to execute and deliver upon the goals and expectations of the CMS Board.

Since the latest round of school performance reports from the state, district officials have detailed various initiatives aimed at improving student outcomes. Do you agree with those initiatives, or do you think the district needs to do more? I think the initiatives put forward have promise but much like initiatives in previous years there is a disconnect between addressing root issues in an individualized manner vs a district wide initiative. It is my desire to see more locally designed solutions to address inequity and achievement gaps as there are unique and nuanced root causes within numbered districts and even at schools within the same districts. We must get better at focusing on data driven outcomes.

What do you think needs to be done to address pay and retention among North Carolina teachers? Recruitment and retention is a serious matter within CMS, and I do not think pay and total compensation tells the whole story. Let me preface that with the statement that our teachers deserve a livable wage, and we should do everything we can to stay competitive within the market. We have challenges filling that gap when our state legislature has not fully funded us but again that is not the whole story. We need to also make sure our educators feel supported and have a reasonable work environment. We could learn a lot from just listening to what they say.

What sets you apart from your opponents? In my district I am the only candidate that has served CMS at every level at some capacity. At the elementary level I served as a 3-year SLT Member and VP of the PTA. At the Middle school level, I served as a 3-year SLT member and President of a PTA. I continue to serve at the High School level on the PTA. In addition, I am on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board for the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri. I have a passion for education and ensuring all students have positive outcomes. I bring a fresh vision with an emphasis on data driven transformative solutions to make CMS the district of choice for education.

Vote 2022 Stories

Channel 9 General Election Guide: CMS School Board candidates

Channel 9 General Election Guide: North Carolina state House candidates

Channel 9 General Election Guide: North Carolina state Senate candidates

Channel 9 General Election Guide: Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioner candidates

(WATCH BELOW: Election turnout lags in Charlotte’s rare summertime vote)

Sun, 16 Oct 2022 08:20:45 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Meet the candidates running for the Dexter School Board in November

DEXTER, MI - Four candidates are vying for two open seats on the Dexter School Board in November, including two incumbents seeking reelection.

Incumbents Daniel Alabre and Melanie Szawara face challenges from Rhonda Haines and Christy Vander Haagen for six-year school board terms in the Nov. 8 general election. Alabre and Szawara were appointed to the board in July 2021 to fill seats vacated by former trustees Daryl Kipke and Julie Schumaker, who resigned.

Alabre has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master of arts degree from the University of Florida. Upon graduation, Alabre received an active-duty commission in the Army, retiring as a Colonel.

Haines earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Eastern Michigan University and has worked in medical sales for 25 years. She has worked closely with teachers through the years because of her son’s learning disability, and has “nothing but praise” for what they do, noting that she enjoys working with people to solve complex issues.

Szawara grew up in Dexter, graduating in 1996. She has children in third and fifth grade attending Dexter schools. She owns MKS Law, PLLC, her own family law practice in Dexter and is a certified domestic relations mediator.

Vander Haagen graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s in English and journalism with a minor in political science. She has been active as a classroom volunteer and as a stay-at-home mother to two children, while serving as a substitute teacher, paraprofessional and secretary in the schools.

MLive/The Ann Arbor News partnered with the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information for readers. Each candidate was asked to outline their stances on a variety of public policy issues listed below. Information on other state, county and local primary races can be found at

All responses in the voter guide were submitted directly by the candidate and have not been edited by the League of Women Voters, except for a necessary cut if a reply exceeded character limitations. Spelling and grammar were not corrected. Publication of candidate statements and opinions is solely in the interest of public service and should NOT be considered as an endorsement. The League never supports or opposes any candidates or political parties.

What are your goals should you be elected and how will you work to accomplish them?


I am committed to providing safe and secure schools, closing the learning gap from the pandemic, and improving scores among economically disadvantaged students. I will review and push for a limited resources allocated towards fixing security issues. I will support diversity, equity, and inclusion because including everyone from diverse backgrounds provides a safer school for everyone. I will advocate to continue the summer enrichment learning program we started this year, which focuses on students who have fallen behind and need extra support. Our lower income students have fallen behind their peers statistically and I will promote in-school tutoring and academic support for those who may not have the resources to do so at home. Education covers all spectrums, not just those students who are college bound, and I will continue to support our alternative education programs which have a near perfect graduation rate.


My goals once I am elected are to represent every student and every parent. 1. Education first - Education should be put above all projects. We need to get back to the basics. 2. Transparency - I will always be accessible to parents and community members alike. Anything I know, you will know. 3. Advocate for parental rights - Every parent’s voice should be heard when it comes to their child’s education. 4. Fiscal responsibility - Using our tax dollars where it will have the most impact on outcomes.


The role of a Board of Education trustee is not to advocate but is advisory in nature. Therefore, my goals as trustee will be to continue to maintain stability, while promoting strong curriculum and safe and healthy learning environments for the students. Dexter is known for its excellent schools. Supporting the students and promoting education available is the best way to continue the legacy of Dexter Schools.

Vander Haagen:

My goals are: more transparency and accountability; lowering sports fees and retaining teachers and students. If I am elected, I will work to ensure we enact procedures or policies that will encourage trustees to answer questions more personally and directly. If I am elected, I will meet voters/parents at least one time per month and make myself available for questions. I have promised that since day one of my campaign. I have heard from dozens of people who would like a clearer picture as to where their tax dollars are being spent. There should be a monthly payment register on the district web site that shows taxpayers where every dollar goes. I believe people want to have a better understanding as to why, for example, our pay-to-play fees are so high. If I am elected, I will work to ensure increased financial transparency. I will also make it a priority to talk to families who choose to leave the district. We need to understand why they leave.

What should be done to Improve student achievement in the district?


DCS has started and will continue to work on learning loss and increased mental health issues caused by Covid. Using ESSR funds, we hired five new counselor positions to identify and assist children dealing with mental issues, many caused by isolation during the pandemic. We started school summer programs and teachers identified students who were deemed at risk or falling behind in reading and math to place into these students into programs that allow them to expend energy and have fun while learning. It is our goal to continue these programs and the summer camps where over 1,500 children from the community participated at little cost. We have also identified that many economically disadvantaged children are falling behind at the earliest years in reading. These students need to be targeted for the enhanced reading and math programs which will build a solid foundation for growth.


Public schools are suffering from declining enrollment and Dexter is no exception. We should be working with parents and having focus groups to discuss what we can do to turn this around. The National Assessment of Educational Progress just published a study about the pandemics devastating effects on education and found that our children are up to 2 years behind academically. This should be concerning for everyone. I wholeheartedly believe that the focus of Dexter Schools should be solely on academic loss. This could mean many things such as using the ESSER funds they received for tutoring, more emphasis on core subjects, and using teacher approved proven methods.


There is no question that there has been learning loss as the result of the COVID shut downs and delays in education. To Improve upon closing that gap and capitalizing on student achievement, Dexter has already implemented programs and incorporated additional assistance to gain ground from learning loss. Still, I believe that seeking the independent input of teachers in evaluating students on their growth each academic year can be more meaningful, not just through the standardized testing.

Vander Haagen:

The pandemic has set many school systems back, academically. A exact study showed that the pandemic may have erased nearly two decades of progress in math and reading, nationally. Dexter Schools have not been immune to this setback. I believe the best approach for us to address learning loss and to close the gap between where our students should be and where they are is to go back to the basics. give teachers the freedom and flexibility they need to do what they do best, teach. Then we need to set clear goals and a deadline as to where and when the district must meet milestones. Perhaps we could put together groups of teachers and parents who are willing and able to help with tutoring, office hours, etc. I also think our students and teachers would benefit greatly by more frequent classroom visits by administrators and school board trustees.

What are your priorities in balancing the budget?


Dexter Community Schools has had a balanced budget for many years. My priority is to maintain competitive salaries for educators and staff to compete with the surrounding districts. It is important to not only keep teachers and staff, but be able to recruit new educators. We also need to continue to invest in professional development for our educators and new programs to increase our proficiency in young learners in reading and math and economically disadvantaged students who are below the average in test scores. This must be done while planning and budgeting for the future to maintain our physical infrastructures, facilities, and fields in top conditions for safety and an environment conducive to learning.


Dexter Community Schools has been good about keeping a balanced budget. What I would like to see is the high pay-to-play fees being reconsidered. These fee’s are an obstacle to student engagement and children need that.


Dexter is fortunate to have a solid CFO and prospective planning for anticipated budget and expenditures. DCS has been solvent for many years and the plan is to continue to be “in the black”. However, funding (how it is collected, calculated and distributed) has such a huge impact on schools and therefore students and teachers. The funds which are provided to schools from the state and federal government are tied to specific parameters and rules. Schools must be proactive in seeking funds and thoughtful in planning for uses for the funds.

Vander Haagen:

I think Dexter Schools has always been good at keeping a balanced budget. I am not an accounting expert; but, I am a huge advocate for fiscal transparency and wise spending. If I am elected to the Board, I will always ponder the benefits vs. costs when it comes to spending the taxpayers’ money.

What is motivating you to run for the school board? Do you have an issue you especially care about?


My short term as an appointee on the Board has impressed upon me the need to support our teachers and public education. I witnessed individuals raise false facts, ignore science, and attack medical professionals. Across the country, groups are now propped up by extreme political interest groups that seek to disrupt school board meetings, censor books, and restrict educators from teaching. Teachers are professionals in whom we should place our faith in preparing young minds to live in an ever-changing world. The same group attacking our educators are attacking minority groups based on race, sexual orientation, gender identification, etc. Parents have an important role in their children’s education. They may opt their children out of books or programs, but teachers should be protected and supported so they can do what they love – educate young minds.


The most important issue to me is catching our children up academically. Also, I have been attending Dexter school board meetings regularly for a few years now and there are a few things that stand out: 1. They vote unanimously 100% of the time with no serious discussion or debate. 2. When parents speak on issues, they feel dismissed. 3. It took them several months of pleading to get the teachers their new contract. The paraprofessionals still do not have a contract. I am motivated to run on turning this around. Our teachers are amazing, and they should not have had to go hoops to feel appreciated. I want parents to feel like they are being heard. Every decision I make will be thoroughly researched with open discussion on social media as well as in person.


The Dexter community and schools are near and dear to me. I love being connected to the community and volunteering my time to give back to Dexter. Being on the Board, I understand that it is not the role of a trustee to promote a single issue. What is important is to be thoughtful in the decisions facing the schools and honesty in the approach to the issue. I will continue to educate myself as to the issues presented to the board, and to listen to the community members when making decisions.

Vander Haagen:

The school board first caught my attention just before Covid hit. I believe we could have handled it differently so there would have been less of a devastating impact on students’ learning. I think, collectively, we became too wrapped up in ‘numbers’ and ‘cases’ and lost sight of the overall health and wellness of the students, teachers and staff. Decision makers had plenty of opportunities to open the schools and opted not to do so despite cries from parents and teachers alike who did want to return to school. If I am elected, I will never vote to keep students out of schools. I was motivated to run because I believe what we allowed to happen to our children and families was irresponsible. If I am elected to the Board, I will listen to the parents and the expert teachers as there were so very many who WANTED to be in school but were told they could not return.

What are the greatest challenges that will face the Board of Education in the coming year?


The biggest issues facing the DCS are reversing the learning loss caused by covid, mental health issues, and a need for increased budget to fund programs and pay our teachers and staff adequate salaries. The DCS BOE has already committed resources and programs to reverse the learning loss and focus on identifying those students who need support academically and with mental health. The attack on Michigan public education by those who would seek to shift public funds to private and “for profit” schools will impact Dexter Schools if allowed to pass and must be stopped.


I know I keep repeating myself, but the greatest challenge will be catching children up academically. This must be the school boards priority. Also, student retention is vitally important for funding and the school board must investigate why resident students are leaving for other schools. I want Dexter Schools to be a shining light, to be the district everyone wants their children to attend. In order to do this, there needs to be changes made. Personally, I think Dexter can do this because we already have the staff and resources to make it happen. Dexter is an amazing community with so much to be thankful for.


The greatest challenge that faces the Board of Education is the continued work in addressing the learning loss of the students over the past 2 ½ years from the shut down and pandemic. Each student learns different and each experienced learning loss in different ways. To gain ground and ensure the students continue to make the educational grounds they were prior to March 2020, DCS will need to remain proactive and inventive to address each individual loss. Another potential challenge facing the board is to maintain the stability of the board to continue productive work in the community and schools. I hope that the continuity of the board as to respect of one another to work through conflict will continue.

Vander Haagen:

I think the greatest challenges facing the Board of Education and DCS as a whole this coming year will be tackling the learning loss issues and finding more highly qualified teachers. Another challenge for the Board of Education this year will be addressing why we are losing students and teachers to other districts. Retention of both is key to ensuring Dexter Schools maintain excellence.


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Tue, 04 Oct 2022 05:54:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Meet the candidates: New Hanover County Board of Education

Eight candidates will vie for a spot on the New Hanover County Schools Board of Education this year. 

The candidates – four Republicans and four Democrats – will face off for four open seats this November, currently held by Stefanie Adams, Nelson Beaulieu, Judy Justice and Pete Wildeboer.  

Those candidates include three incumbents and five newcomers to the school board race. 

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 20 and lasts through Nov. 5. 

Josie Barnhart 

Josie Barnhart is a newcomer running as a Republican for the New Hanover County Board of Education. © Contributed Photo Josie Barnhart is a newcomer running as a Republican for the New Hanover County Board of Education.
  • Age: 33 
  • Occupation: homebuilder and former educator 
  • Family: Married with three children 
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics education with a minor in mathematics from the University of Central Florida 
  • Political affiliation: Republican 

Nelson Beaulieu 

Nelson Beaulieu is an incumbent running for reelection to the New Hanover County Board of Education. © Contributed Photo Nelson Beaulieu is an incumbent running for reelection to the New Hanover County Board of Education.
  • Age: 39 
  • Occupation: Instructor of history and political science at Cape Fear Community College 
  • Family: Married 18 years with two daughters attending New Hanover County Schools, ages 13 and 14 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in organizational management, master’s degree in history, master’s degree in political science from American Military University 
  • Political affiliation: Democrat 

Pat Bradford 

  • Age: 69 
  • Occupation: Founder, owner, publisher and editor of Wrightsville Beach Magazine 
  • Family: Bradford is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother 
  • Education: Bachelor's degrees in teaching and communications from Appalachian State University 
  • Political affiliation: Republican 

Dorian Cromartie 

Board of Education candidate Dorian Cromartie. Cromartie is a newcomer to the race. © Contributed Photo Board of Education candidate Dorian Cromartie. Cromartie is a newcomer to the race.
  • Age: 31 
  • Occupation: Longshoreman 
  • Family: Did not provide 
  • Education: Did not provide 
  • Political affiliation: Democrat 

Judy Justice 

Board of Education candidate Judy Justice. Justice is an incumbent and has served on the New Hanover County school board since 2018. © Contributed Photo Board of Education candidate Judy Justice. Justice is an incumbent and has served on the New Hanover County school board since 2018.
  • Age: 69
  • Occupation: Retired educator
  • Family: Two children, two grandchildren who attend New Hanover County Schools
  • Education: Bachelor's degrees in history and communications from UNCW, master's degree in school administration from UNCW
  • Political affiliation: Democrat 

Melissa Mason 

Melissa Mason is running as a Republican for the New Hanover County Board of Education. © Contributed Photo Melissa Mason is running as a Republican for the New Hanover County Board of Education.
  • Age: 33 
  • Occupation: Adjunct instructor at Cape Fear Community College 
  • Family: Married 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology, master’s degree in deaf education 
  • Political affiliation: Republican 

Veronica McLaurin-Brown 

Veronica McLaurin-Brown is a newcomer running as a Democrat for the New Hanover County Board of Education © Contributed Photo Veronica McLaurin-Brown is a newcomer running as a Democrat for the New Hanover County Board of Education
  • Age: 72 
  • Occupation: Retired educator 
  • Family: Husband Carl, son Kenneth, stepdaughter Carla, stepson Ronald, and six grandchildren 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in social studies from, master’s degree in education, supervision certificate from UNCW 
  • Political affiliation: Democrat 

Pete Wildeboer 

Pete Wildeboer © CONTRIBUTED Pete Wildeboer
  • Age: 60 
  • Occupation: retired educator – principal, assistant principal, teacher, coach and athletic director 
  • Family: No answer 
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from Springfield College, MSA from UNCW 
  • Political affiliation: Republican 

What are the top issues you want the board to focus on and why? 

Barnhart: Parents and teachers should have access to quality curricula to support academic growth. We should provide pathways for career, college-bound, or military enlisted students after high school to Improve student success. Consistency in discipline and expectations will create a safe learning environment, both at school and on the bus.  We need to maintain school resource officers at every school, and have adult volunteers to help keep our schools safe. Lastly, I believe parents or guardians are allies in the school system and we should be encouraging parent involvement, giving access to curriculum to families, and allowing parents to make medical decisions for their child. 

Beaulieu: The most important issues the board should focus on are addressing learning losses and helping our children heal from the toll the pandemic has taken. These kids have been through a lot of trauma resulting from the closures. They are still in the midst of the pandemic. They need a board that focuses on their mental and emotional well-being and on making sure they have the tools to graduate career and college ready. Pay is also a big issue and the board needs to build relationships with the people who can best address it: our county and state leaders. 

Bradford: My top issues are parental rights, student physical and mental safety, and returning a focus to the four core subjects; reading, writing, mathematics and civics. Our school district is going in the wrong direction. The pendulum has swung too far away from what is most important and it must return. Each of these issues are essential to the education and advancement of NHCS students. 

Cromartie: The issues I want the board to focus on are safe schools for all students; high expectations for excellence and achievement for all students; the encouragement and support of all learning styles; and opportunities for workforce preparation. I believe if these principles are followed, the students of New Hanover County will receive the quality, world-class education they deserve. 

Justice: We need to provide resources to our schools such as good pay for our staff and good facilities for all students. Additionally, as a board we need to deal with the failed leadership at the top of NHCS. Our staff morale has hit rock bottom as a result of the ineffective leadership coming from the top of our district. Employees are leaving in record numbers. We need to correct the racial and economic segregation which is preventing equitable education opportunities, and we need to increase its support and protection of the many students who have been victims of sexual abuse and racial discrimination at the hands of NHCS staff.

Mason: Parent rights: parents have been disregarded through various policy changes. The policy manual must be revised to ensure parents have access to all information on their children. Safety: students have a right to be safe. Schools must be made safe. Kids living in fear don’t learn. We need more school resource officers and background checked volunteers. This will encourage positive behavior and strengthen community relationships. Restoring trust: parents have lost trust in district leadership. Thousands of students have left the district for schooling alternatives. The new administration must commit to transparency and responsiveness, and must be held accountable. 

McLaurin-Brown: Children come first. We must ensure that every child at every school receives an excellent education. No “low performing” schools should exist in our resource rich county. We must attract and retain a highly qualified certified and classified staff by increasing pay, providing professional support, and creating a positive school culture and climate. The infrastructure of our school dist4rict, which includes our practices, policies and physical resources, must be improved to end disparities in student progress and achievement.    

Wildeboer: The first is providing the very best education for our students every day. Thirteen schools with a D or F rating from the state is horrible and did not meet expected growth. We need to get back to basic education. Secondly, we need to keep our students safe. A year ago, we had a student shot on our school campus. We need to formulate a plan and goal to keep students safe. Thirdly, we have got to get the school board back to a functioning body whose primary purpose is to do what is best for educating our students. Our job is to educate our children, not to argue with each other. 

What will you do to bring more cooperation between board members, as well as with the community? 

Barnhart: Our board needs to work together to create intentional opportunities for success for all kids, regardless if a vote does not go their way. The board needs to collaborate more with the county commissioners to alleviate this ‘us versus them’ mentality. We have many families leaving for other educational options and high rates of state report card scores of D or F.  Our focus needs to be adequately addressing learning loss with intentionality to the following categories: remediation, English as a second language, and academically gifted.  Closing learning gaps and creating opportunities for our kids will help re-center and reunite our board’s goals. 

Beaulieu: I think we need to begin and end with respect and start dialogue with the understanding that everyone on the board wants what is best for students. I’m comfortable with the fact that I am not an expert in everything and I value and listen to the expertise of other board members and staff. I will continue to do so. The problems that our students and staff face don’t care about the D or the R next to someone’s name and neither do I. I’m proud of having been able to build relationships across the political spectrum in this environment. 

Bradford: We need monthly town hall meetings where students, parents, and taxpayers can freely express their views, and an interactive portal for students and parents to report issues. We need total transparency. We need decorum and respect. Some school board members exhibit dislike for each other, creating very contentious, lengthy and ineffective meetings. They lack self-control. Serving on the school board appears to be all about them, not all about the children. I know how to successfully maintain respectful relationships even when there are differing viewpoints. I will bring responsible leadership, coupled with a culture of excellence, to this board. 

Cromartie: The board should follow Robert’s Rules of Order protocol during all meetings and require our attorney to ensure we are abiding by them. Board members should pledge to acknowledge that while we may have different views and opinions, each person’s input is important and is available for consideration. 

Justice: We desperately need new leadership since our current leadership has become dysfunctional. We need new members who believe in accountability and transparency. I will happily work with people who support our public schools and who are willing to work with all other board members. There are currently some fine people on the board who I would like to continue working with to Improve our district. I believe that the community overall is at this point aware of why this dysfunction is occurring and will have an opportunity to vote so that they can place knowledgeable and caring people on the board who want to work together for the betterment of all our students.

Mason: I will propose common sense solutions. There are many issues where the community has common ground: student safety, academic achievement, ending the use of seclusion rooms, etc. Although heated discussions may arise on certain topics, the board must always prioritize the interests of our children first. I will encourage members to put past resentments and political animosity aside. It is imperative that our school board maintain a level of decorum that is civil and respectful. 

McLaurin-Brown: As a board member, I will listen, demonstrate civility, be transparent, follow through with my commitments, and work to build trust. Feedback is the engine of improvement and requires that all voices, especially those of students, are heard. I believe that if we continually ask ourselves if our actions are what is best for students and the district’s mission, we can successfully support our children and schools. 

Wildeboer: I have tried to be the voice of reason on the board. Recently, I made a motion that passed to have a refresher on Robert’s Rules of Order. I don’t believe that this alone will Improve the interactions of the board, but I do believe it is an important first step. I will continue to model respectful behavior for my colleagues and for the school system. I was instrumental in getting the town halls to better open communication between the board, parents and members of the community. I also try to visit every school each year to open lines of communication with another group of stakeholders, our teachers and staff. 

How should the district address learning losses caused by COVID-19? 

Barnhart: Parents and guardians should have access to the curriculum. When we empower families to be engaged with content then we are helping to eliminate barriers to supported learning at home.  I believe the curriculum website is a positive addition. Staff should be empowered to collaborate with one another. The district should incentive highly effective teachers to record videos of lessons to add to the curriculum website for families to access at home. When we collaborate with one another we are providing all the opportunities that are needed for success. Staff who may need extra support could utilize these video clips in their classroom while being able to provide individualized intervention to specific students. 

Beaulieu: It will take a collaborative effort. We need to work with our state funding partners to make sure they are aware of the growing needs. We need to make sure that our county continues its robust support of the school system as the pandemic fades to the background. We need to continue and strengthen our relationships with our community partners who provide essential wrap-around services to our students. Finally, we must maximize the time students get in front of their teachers. The challenges are enormous and it will take the entire community to ensure success. 

Bradford: This is a huge issue; we must make sure it never happens again. To begin with, we should talk about these losses and take responsibility for the decisions made. We should implement free, easily accessible, high dosage tutoring that is tied back to what is being taught in the classroom. To accelerate recovery, we must reestablish a highly supportive school environment and stronger teacher-student relationships. We should examine what happened to the approximately $98 million in federal funds New Hanover County Schools received as COVID-related relief. 

Cromartie: Summer school and after school programs need to be made accessible for all students. The board should attempt to minimize closings because of bad weather conditions. There may be an opportunity to have a longer workday for students if agreed upon by their parents. Holiday schedules should be adequate, but available for discussion if exceptional time is being lost for other reasons. Churches and nonprofits should be encouraged to offer programs for students who appear to need additional assistance in order to keep up with the pace of their lessons. 

Justice: This is a worldwide, complex problem. All students were affected by the pandemic in a variety of ways, not just through learning loss but also because of the fear and isolation created by the pandemic. We need to keep supplying a supportive and nurturing environment for our students and most importantly meet them where they are, not where they would have been if not for the pandemic. We should support them academically, socially and emotionally and have patience. There are some things in life a lot more important than test scores.  

Mason: This is an emergency. Students are two years behind academically and schools continue to push students forward when they’re not at satisfactory academic levels. Additionally, the district used a 50-100 grading scale that exacerbated learning loss. This grading policy set up kids and teachers for failure. Non-academic programs that excessively deplete our resources, such as SEL, need to be dropped. We need to go back to the basics. Children should not be guinea pics in an unproven educational experiment. If students fall behind in reading and math, they should receive tutoring, attend summer school, or be held back a year. 

McLaurin-Brown: I believe we should remember that our children are resilient and adaptable and not broken. The “learning loss” that has been reported in the media refers to a decline in test scores, but we can’t forget other losses – family members, connections to friends and teachers, and for many, financial stability at home. It’s important that we focus on building trusting student-teacher relationships, continue teaching life skills that are important for mental wellness, and adapt teaching approaches and resources in the same manner we should be doing to ensure equity within our schools.    

Wildeboer: As I previously mentioned, we need to have our teachers teach. That is what they do well. We need to have our counselors work with students who may need more emotional support. I have witnessed classrooms that spend many instructional hours teaching other subjects besides the basics of education. We need that time to catch up. 

What should be done to ensure students receive an equitable education regardless of what school they attend, race, disabilities, etc.? 

Barnhart: The district should be looking at individual school improvement plans to make district-level decisions to support schools. The most frustrating thing to see is the financials do not add up. The least funded Elementary school is Ogden Elementary, which is about $10,000 per student, versus Rachel Freeman, which is about $17,000 per student. The money we are currently spending on students is not producing academic growth results.  Ogden dropped to a “B” school, and Freeman is an “F”.  I believe we should be re-evaluating our investments to ensure growth is happening for all students. Education opportunities transcend beyond any outward attribute. Let's work with our staff and parents to invest in quality programs that help learning. 

Beaulieu: We made some gains with regards to socioeconomic diversity during the last redistricting. More needs to be done and there will be opportunities after we build two new elementary schools. We already give additional funding to certain schools based on need. However, equity is not something that can be achieved with more money or mere paper equality. That is why we have the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. I don’t have all the answers to issues surrounding equity, but I believe the first step is identifying a problem and enlisting the help of experts to fix it. 

Bradford: All children should receive an equal education regardless of their race, address, or challenges they face. I want to investigate why some schools receive more funding per student than others. From the data I have seen provided by NHCS, the schools with low socioeconomic students receive far more funding per student. I want to understand that imbalance. We must also consider our district’s racial makeup statistics: greater New Hanover County’s three largest ethnic groups are white (77.1%), black (12.8%), and about 8% Hispanic/Latino. One race holds a significant majority. The school population is primarily 59.1% white, 17.5% black, 16.7% Hispanic/Latino. 

Cromartie: The EDI Department should be fully funded, and policies and practices should be implemented to reflect what is best for each individual school to ensure all students, staff and families can be successful. There should be accommodations for those who learn differently and/or have physical issues. In each school, care should be taken that staff is aware that some students may come from differing situations and there may be a different approach to the methods of providing guidance to the educational process. Some schools may have more students who have English as a second language and may need special assistance. 

Justice: We need to develop and implement effective methods to solve this ongoing problem across our district. The methodology is out there but it will be up to our leadership, including the school board, to research and implement solutions. For example, there have been many studies on the syllabu and the most effective method for reversing the current situation is to ensure a balanced socio-economic population in our schools. This is where targeted re-districting would be useful. Also, an increase in resources and high-quality experienced teachers would go a long way to assisting in improving the educational outcomes of students attending those schools.  

Mason: Equity driven education models lack efficacy, as we saw when the superintendent and board changed the grading scale to 50-100 and then were compelled to change it back. The way to ensure that every child receives a world-class education is to adhere to sound academic instruction. We now know the teaching practices during the COVID shutdown left deep scars in our children’s development. Now is the time to discontinue experimental schooling rooted in equity, SEL and CRT. We need to return to the high standard education our parents and grandparents received. 

McLaurin-Brown: Creating an environment in which all students – regardless of background, language, race, gender, learning capability, disability or family history – can receive a high-quality education should be our highest goal. While this requires teachers to adapt their instruction approach, it also means the district needs to manage how people, equipment, and funds are provided among classrooms. We should hold all students to high expectations – but we need to support them through data-driven planning and a respect for their diverse needs.   

Wildeboer: As a former teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal, the reason I first joined the Board of Education was simple – I saw the students and parents swarming out of New Hanover County Schools and coming to my school in Topsail. I wondered why, with all the advantages that NHC schools have, economically especially, and how I could help to fix this problem. I have been fighting an uphill battle to Improve the education here in NHCS at every school but with the right support in the coming election, I can ensure we can raise the bar and Improve the education of our students. 

Why should parents believe you are the best candidate to represent their families? 

Barnhart: I am a candidate who started as an active, vocal, respectful, and questioning parent. I can take each situation that comes up as its own unique problem, and instead of yelling about it, I offer up a better solution. I am not running to serve on the board to jumpstart a political career but rather to help create the opportunities and pathways I want to see for my kids and figure out ways to incentivize, encourage, and support staff along the way. I am grateful for the people coming together to find better solutions and I intend to collaborate and implement better solutions if elected as a board member. 

Beaulieu: As a board member, the prism through which I have viewed every problem is “what is best for our students.” I was the first and lone vote to get our kids back in school. I saw the damage caused by the closure and stood strong. I worked with the commissioners to raise pay from 27th to first in the state in a single year because good pay recruits and retains high quality teachers. I promise that that prism will continue as my guide in a second term. That is how I can best represent you and your family. 

Bradford: I was trained as a teacher of children and have instructed many children and adults in a variety of curriculums. I am a mom and grandmother. My journey serving children began in 2006 when I was sworn in by the North Carolina courts as a child advocate. The court determined I was a good choice to speak for children. I’m a political outsider and small business owner bringing common sense and much-needed leadership to the school board. I have decades of real-world experience with the leadership needed to bring a culture of excellence to our county schools. 

Cromartie: I believe I am the best candidate because I was educated in the New Hanover County Schools system when it was one of the best systems in the state and I know firsthand what a great school system should look like. I am energetic, disciplined and have lived around the world in the military and have seen what exceptional teaching and learning is. As a candidate, I believe families expect that their elected school board should use taxpayer dollars to implement a topnotch system. I am the person who wants to help make this happen. 

Justice: I am a knowledgeable education professional who has worked at all levels of education, from a teacher to central office in several North Carolina districts. I also currently have children – my grandchildren who I have custody of – attending school in the district. My two oldest children attended NHCS from kindergarten to graduation. I taught in the district all during the 90s. This is my home and I will always fight for what is best for the education of all children. I believe my record over the last four years on the school board has proven that is what I will do, just as I have since first elected in 2018.

Mason: I have 17 successful years of experience as an educator, and I’m invested in this community. I’m a mother of two children that are enrolled in New Hanover County Schools. I volunteer in the school system and teach children at my church. My research over the past year has revealed many policies that continue to fail our kids and parents. All New Hanover students deserve a world-class education and are entitled to being physically safe while on school property. Parents have the right to make all medical and educational decisions for their children. 

McLaurin-Brown: I’m both a parent and an educator with over 30 years of teaching and administration experience in this district. I believe that the school board should be accessible and responsive to teachers, parents, students and the community. For each policy and decision we make, we must ask, “Is this good for all of our children?” I am running to help provide a quality education that prepares all students to become life-long learners and engaged citizens.   

Wildeboer: First, I am an experienced school board member, so there will be no learning curve. I am a parent of three New Hanover County students that all did well in schools throughout the district. I spent almost 20 years as a teacher and coached at Trask, Laney and Williston during my time with the district. I have seen the good and bad in three local counties – New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender. My wife is also a long-time educator who spent her entire career serving the students of New Hanover County. I have educated students from pre-k to early college and have always put the best education as my primary focus in all my decisions. It is all about educating our students. 

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Meet the candidates: New Hanover County Board of Education

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 21:01:37 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Community Bulletin Board for Oct. 13-19 Churchill County Parks & Recreation offers activities and classes for everyone this fall! Registration and payment for activities is all online at:
Scarecrow Factory
Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lattin Farms. Cost is $5 per scarecrow kit. Come on out and build a scarecrow with your kids or friends to get into the spirit of the season. Donations being accepted for nylon stockings and long-sleeved shirts to make the scarecrows. Call 775-423-7733 to donate.

Nevada Expeditions Adventure Series
Join us for a trip to Smith Creek and Edwards Creek on Saturday, Oct. 15 and take in historic Pony Express sites and the beauty of fall in the Desatoya Mountains. Enjoy a guided tour by NV Expeditions along with supporting materials and a trip overview prior to departure. Cost is $20 per vehicle and 4x4 vehicles with high clearance are required (no ATVs or side-by-sides). Register at

Angolan Kizomba Dance Class
This offering of Angolan Kizomba, a traditional African ballroom style of dance, is offered in a six-week class starting Oct. 18 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Barrel House (formerly the multipurpose room). Ages 18+, men and women welcome, no partner needed. Cost is $40 per person or $60 per couple. Flat bottomed shoes required.

Boots N Britches Play Days
Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and Nov. 9 at the 3C Event Complex (formerly the fairgrounds) for fall play days with timed events and games (no livestock events). Open to all ages. Sign-up on-site at 5 p.m., games begin at 5:30 p.m. Cost for registration is $3 per person with an additional fee for each age group per event ranging from $1-4. Call 775-423-7733 with any questions.

Aquatic Center Trunk or Treat
Saturday, Oct. 22 from 3-4 p.m. at the Aquatic Center on Sheckler Road. Come in costume for an afternoon of family-friendly activities. Games, hay maze, popcorn, cotton candy and prizes for best decorated trunks and costumes. Call 775-423-7091 with any questions. No charge or registration required.

COED Volleyball League
Sign up now for league play that starts October 25! Games are played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the City-County Gym at Venturacci Park. After the regular season, all teams advance to a single-elimination championship tournament. Cost is $240 per team with a limit of eight teams.

Haunted Jail-Zombie Outbreak
October 27, 28 and 29 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Old Jail, 71 N. Maine Street (District Court building). Come from 6 to 7:30 p.m. if you are faint of heart! Entry is $5. Want to volunteer for this scary spectacle? Call Parks & Rec at 775-423-7733.

Fall Dog Obedience Classes
Begin the first week in November and continue through mid-December at the Dry Gulch building at the 3C Event Complex. Puppy, beginner/intermediate and advanced classes all offered in the evenings. Dogs learn how to focus on their handler, perform basic commands and learn basic obedience skills. Owners learn respect for their pets and how to control them properly. Register online at

Fernley Republican Women
The Fernley Republican Women (FRW) will hold its next meeting at the Fernley High School, 1300 Highway 95A, on Sept. 20.
A light meal will be served at 6 p.m. and the meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.  This month’s meeting is a candidate forum with Republican candidates from Lyon County
The FRW’s Caring for America Program collects non-perishable foods for the Fernley Food Bank and the Armed Forces/Homeland Security Program collects cleaning supplies, food and personal care items, along with donations of funds, for the Veterans Guest House in Reno.
The Literacy Committee collects new and lightly used children's books for Bow Wow Books, an organization that teamed up with the Fernley library.  Bow Wow reading Dogs are non-judgmental certified therapy dogs who listen to children reading aloud.  All contributions for these important programs will be greatly appreciated.  Financial contributions can be sent to the FRW at P. O. Box 412, Fernley, NV  89408.
Fernley Republican Women is a group of women (and men as associate members) who share similar conservative values and ideals, and who are dedicated to increasing the influence and effectiveness of women in the cause of good government through political education and active political participation.
Members also include women from Churchill County.
For more information, contact Jonell Maple at  or check the FRW website

Wishing Tree applications
Applications for the 2022 Wishing Tree Program are available from Churchill County Social Services. Completed applications due back to Social Services by October 20 at 5 p.m.
The Wishing Tree Program provides gifts during the holiday season for Churchill County youth 0 to 17 years of age who meet income and residency requirements.
Applications may be picked up at Churchill County Social Services, 485 West B Street, Suite 105, in Fallon during normal business hours.
The Wishing Tree Program is possible due to the combined volunteer efforts of the CC Communications Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association, Churchill County Social Services, and community members who donate both time and gifts.
For more information, contact Melessa Walraven at 775-423-6695, extension 1280.

Wreaths Across America
To order a wreath for Fernley’s NNVMC event, go to and click on Wreaths Across America for the pdf form, or mail your donation to: Nevada Veterans Coalition; P.O. Box 415; Fernley, NV 89408.
To order for Fallon, go to The group ID is NV0063, and the location ID is NVCHCC. Roger Elliott is handing the Fallon campaign.

For those interested in COVID testing and vaccine opportunities offered by the county the schedule is posted has been posted:
Vaccines offered at Miners Road health site and the Pennington Life Center; testing only offered at Miners Road.
Anyone aged six months and older is eligible. Minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Library activities
Stop by the Churchill County Library in October to take advantage of its activities for all ages.
 “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” encourages youngsters to read age-appropriate books before entering school. Book titles are suggested and offered by library staff. Sign-ups accepted at any time.
In-person “Storytime with Ms. Jes” offered Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Wear your Halloween costume on October 26 and 27! Children’s Librarian Jeslyn MacDiarmid reads picture books to children and offers a craft to accompany most stories. Each session is recorded and posted to the library’s YouTube account for on-demand viewing at your convenience.
Reading with Rover takes place on October 13 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Children read books to dogs to Improve their reading skills and confidence to a decidedly captive audience.

Learn about 3D printing at drop-in participatory workshops on October 12 and 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. Using the library’s 3D printer, make objects, both useful and pretty, and see about this popular technology.
Virtual Reality drop-in sessions take place on Tuesdays from 3:15 to 5 p.m. All welcome to stop by!
Knitting Club meets on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. All are welcome from the beginner to advanced skilled folks.
STEAM sessions with VR are on Fridays from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Have a problem with your computer or smartphone? Head over the William N. Pennington Life Center on Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. and get answers from Technical Services Librarian Joe Salsman, an expert in all things technology!

Writer’s Group meets Tuesdays at 5 p.m. Discover what area writers are inspired by and working on and bring your own manuscript for inspiration.
Check out the Hidden Cave Virtual Reality experience by making an appointment to don the headset and see Churchill County’s Hidden Cave from a whole new perspective.

Featured artist for October is Dennis Doyle. You may have seen his work in the halls of the county administration building at 155 N. Taylor Street. Come check out his exhibit of petroglyphs from the American southwest at the library through October.
A conversation with author (and Fallon native) Dale Erquiaga, discussing his book “Three Wives’ Tale” takes place Tuesday, October 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Hours of operation
Library hours of operation are Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays and major holidays.
Call 775-423-7581 for more information on any of the activities above. The Churchill County Library is located at 553 South Maine Street in Fallon. The library website is: 

Become a chamber member
Would you or someone you know in the business community like to become more involved?
   Fallon Chamber of Commerce would like to extend its invitation to you to become a board member.
The chamber provides resources, support and education to help businesses be successful. The chamber is currently working on job training, internships and scholarship programs for up and coming youth looking to get into the business world.              The chamber understands it’s made up of small businesses wants to provide all the resources you need to run a successful business on a local, state and federal level
The chamber works hard to represent the local business community, but as a non-profit 501(c)6 organization, the chamber relies on members and board of directors to partner with us to serve businesses and our community as a whole! Many people wonder what it is the Chamber of Commerce is exactly.
By definition, a chamber of commerce is a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local Chambers work on the local level to bring the business community together to develop strong local networks, which can result in a business-to-business exchange.
In most cases, local Chambers work with their local government, such as their mayor, their city council and local representatives to develop pro-business initiatives.
 If interested please nominate yourself or someone that you think would be vital to aiding our business community.
For information, contact The Chamber 775-423-2544 or email

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 03:12:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : These States Are Voting On Marijuana And Psychedelics Legalization On Their November Ballots

Voters in five states will decide on marijuana legalization on their November ballots—and voters in one state will have the chance to enact a historic reform to legalize psychedelics possession.

As Congress continues to stall on broad drug policy reform, the wave of state-level policy changes stands to grow bigger in the midterm elections.

What’s all the more notable about this year’s votes is that four out of five states deciding on cannabis legalization are traditionally conservative—a testament to the increasingly bipartisan nature of marijuana reform. And in the lead up to Election Day, polling bodes well for most of the campaigns.

Here’s a rundown of the measures that voters will decide on this November:

Arkansas—Issue 4—Marijuana Legalization

The campaign Responsible Growth Arkansas turned in enough signatures to qualify for the ballot back in July, and the state certified those petitions later that month.

It wasn’t certain that votes for initiative would be counted even after signatures turned in by activists were certified by the state. The Board of Elections rejected the measure after determining that the ballot language was insufficient, prompting the campaign to file a lawsuit with the Arkansas Supreme Court.

After weeks of uncertainty, the court ruled in favor of the campaign in September, ensuring that votes would be counted.

According to a exact analysis, Arkansas could see nearly $1 billion in annual cannabis sales and more than $460 million in tax revenue over five years if voters approve legalization.

Here’s what the campaign’s marijuana legalization initiative would accomplish: 

Adults 21 and older could purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers.

Home cultivation would not be allowed.

The measure would make a series of changes to the state’s existing medical cannabis program that was approved by voters in 2016, including a repeal of residency requirements to qualify as a patient in the state.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division of the Department of Finance and Administration would be responsible for regulating the program and issuing cannabis business licenses.

Regulators would need to license existing medical cannabis dispensaries to also serve adult consumers, and also permit them to open another retail location for recreational marijuana sales only. A lottery system would award licenses for 40 additional adult-use retailers.

There are no provisions to expunge or seal past criminal records for marijuana or to provide specific social equity licensing opportunities for people from communities harmed by the war on drugs.

The state could impose up to a 10 percent supplemental tax on recreational cannabis sales, in addition to the existing state and local sales tax.

Tax revenue would be divided up between law enforcement (15 percent), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (10 percent) and the state drug court program (five percent). The remaining revenue would go to the state general fund.

People who own less than five percent of a marijuana businesses would no longer be subject to background checks.

The legislature could not repeal or amend the state’s medical marijuana statutes without voter approval.

Local governments could hold elections to prohibit adult-use retailers in their jurisdiction if voters approve the decision.

Individuals could now own stake in more than 18 dispensaries.

There would be advertising and packaging restrictions, including a requirement that marijuana products must be sold in tamper-resistant packages.

Dispensaries would be able to cultivate and store up to 100 seedings, instead of 50 as prescribed under the current medical cannabis law.

A poll in September found that 59 percent of likely voters in Arkansas are in favor of the ballot measure, Issue 4, with just 29 percent opposed and 13 percent undecided.

Responsible Growth Arkansas is just one of several campaigns that pursued cannabis reform through the ballot this year, though backers of competing initiatives have since acknowledged they wouldn’t be able to collect enough signatures to qualify this year.

Maryland—Question 4—Marijuana Legalization

Through an act of the legislature, Maryland voters will decide on a marijuana legalization referendum at the ballot this year.

And if voters approve the measure, that will trigger the implementation of a separate bill to set up initial regulations for the program.

Maryland elections officials recently finalized the language of the basic cannabis referendum and issued a formal summary. Here’s the text of the measure, designated as Question 4, that will go before voters:

“Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?”

Here are the details of the complementary marijuana implementation bill that would take effect if the referendum passes:

The purchase and possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis would be legal for adults.

The legislation also would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces.

Adults 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to two plants for personal use and gift cannabis without remuneration.

Past convictions for conduct made legal under the proposed law would be automatically expunged, and people currently serving time for such offenses would be eligible for resentencing.

The legislation makes it so people with convictions for possession with intent to distribute could petition the courts for expungement three years after serving out their time.

Lawmakers are expected to tackle issues related to regulated and taxed production and sales of cannabis through subsequent legislation next session if the ballot measure passes.

A majority of Maryland voters say they will support the referendum, according to a pair of exact polls. There’s also widespread support for expunging prior cannabis convictions if the reform is enacted.

Missouri—Amendment 3—Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Missouri, and the reform campaign has already overcome a key legal challenge that threatened to kick it off.

There’s been mixed polling on the Legal Missouri 2022 measure since the state certified it for the ballot, and the latest survey found that a plurality of very likely Missouri voters will support it.

The survey from Emerson College Polling and The Hill found that just under half (48 percent) of voters back Amendment 3, while 35 percent are opposed and 17 percent are unsure.

Here’s what Amendment 3 would accomplish: 

Adults 21 and older could purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis.

They could also grow up to six flowering marijuana plants, six immature plants and six clones if they obtain a registration card.

The initiative would impose a six percent tax on recreational cannabis sales and use revenue to facilitate automatic expungements for people with certain non-violent marijuana offenses on their records.

Remaining revenue would go toward veterans’ healthcare, substance misuse treatment and the state’s public defender system.

The Department of Health and Senior Services would be responsible for regulating the program and issuing licenses for cannabis businesses.

Regulators would be required to issue at least 144 microbusiness licenses through a lottery system, with priority given to low-income applicants and people who have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization.

Existing medical marijuana dispensaries would also be first in line to start serving adult consumers with dual licenses.

Regulators could create rules around advertising, but they could not be any more stringent than existing restrictions on alcohol marketing.

Public consumption, driving under the influence of cannabis and underage marijuana use would be explicitly prohibited.

A seed-to-sale tracking system would be established for the marijuana market.

Local jurisdictions would be able to opt out of permitting cannabis microbusinesses or retailers from operating in their area if voters approve the ban at the ballot.

The measure would further codify employment protections for medical cannabis patients.

Medical marijuana cards would be valid for three years at a time, instead of one. And caregivers would be able to serve double the number of patients.

The latest poll was conducted about a week after a separate firm released a survey that found 62 percent of Missouri likely voters are “certain to vote yes” on Amendment 3.

That included majorities across all political affiliations: Democrats (77 percent), independents (57 percent) and Republicans (54 percent).

Still, the Emerson/Hill poll is more encouraging for the campaign than one from Remington Research Group and Missouri Scout that found just 43 percent of likely voters favor the initiative. However, as Legal Missouri 2022 was quick to point out, the same firm behind that survey previously missed the mark when it found just slim support for a 2018 medical cannabis ballot measure that ultimately passed overwhelmingly.

Meanwhile, a group of activists recently formed a campaign—comprised of lawmakers, a former Missouri lieutenant governor, legalization supporters and the director of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity—to convince voters to oppose the initiative and compel the governor to add cannabis reform to the legislative agenda of a special session.

To that end, Rep. Ron Hicks (R) introduced a revised marijuana legalization bill in September, with the hopes that the filing will spur the governor to expand the special session to allow consideration of the emergency reform legislation as an alternative to a cannabis ballot measure.

North Dakota—Measure 2—Marijuana Legalization

New Approach ND turned in signatures for a marijuana legalization measure in July, and Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) officially certified the initiative the following month.

Here’s a breakdown of the key provisions of Measure 2:

Adults 21 and older could purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, four grams of marijuana concentrate and flower produced from up to three plants grown for personal use, as long as that cannabis is stored in the same location that the plant was cultivated.

The Department of Health and Human Services, or a different agency designated by the legislature, would be responsible for creating rules for the program and overseeing licensing for marijuana businesses.

Regulators would have until October 1, 2023 to develop rules related to security, advertising, labeling, packaging and testing standards.

The department could only license a maximum of seven cultivation facilities and 18 retailers. In an effort to mitigate the risk of having the market monopolized by large companies, the initiative stipulates that no individual or entity would be permitted to own more than one cultivation facility or four retail locations.

There would be specific child custody protections for parents who use cannabis in compliance with state law.

Employers could continue to enforce existing drug policy prohibiting marijuana use.

With respect to past criminal records, the initiative would not provide a pathway for expungements, though activists say they intend to work with the legislature on enacting separate legislation addressing that issue in 2023.

Local jurisdictions would be able to prohibit marijuana businesses from operating in their area, and cannabis companies would also be required to adhere to local zoning rules.

The state’s five percent sales tax would apply to cannabis products, but no additional tax would be imposed specifically for marijuana.

Manufacturers would need to pay a biennial $110,000 registration fee and retailers would need to pay $90,000. Those funds would support the department’s implementation and administration of the adult-use program.

The initiative does not lay out any specific use of funds collected from these fees beyond administration.

Public consumption would be prohibited.

A similar measure was introduced in the legislature in 2021. The bill from Rep. Jason Dockter (R) passed the House, but it was defeated in the full Senate after advancing out of committee there.

Polling data on marijuana reform is scarce in North Dakota, but one survey from 2018 found that just over half of residents in the state (51 percent) back legalization.

Activists in the state have recently stepped up their push to convince the electorate to support the initiative, releasing two radio ads featuring supporters and announcing grassroots “get out the vote” plans.

South Dakota—Measure 27—Marijuana Legalization

South Dakota voters approved marijuana legalization at the ballot in 2020—and they’ll have another chance to do so this November after that earlier initiative was invalidated in court.

However, a recent poll signals that public opinion has potentially shifted on the issue, with a majority of respondents opposed to the reform—though activists have questions the survey’s findings.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) cleared one major hurdle by submitting enough valid signatures to qualify the marijuana measure for the November ballot. They turned in nearly 20,000, and the secretary of state’s office confirmed in May that they met the required 16,961 signatures for ballot placement.

When legalization was on the 2020 ballot, it passed handily with 54 of the vote. But following a legal challenge led by Gov. Kristi Noem (R), the state Supreme Court ultimately invalidated the vote on procedural grounds, finding that the measure violated the state Constitution’s single subject rule.

To avoid that problem this round, the 2022 initiative omits the previous version’s provisions that dealt with taxes and regulations, leaving those decisions up to the legislature.

While activists would have preferred lawmakers to enact the policy change, that did not materialize this session. The House rejected a Senate-passed legalization bill in March, effectively leaving it up to activists to get on the ballot again.

SDBML has said that it intends to work with lawmakers on that measure while continuing to push for Measure 27.

Here’s what the campaign’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative would accomplish if approved by voters: 

The measure would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. They could also grow up to three plants for personal use.

It also lays out civil penalties for violating provisions related to issues such as public consumption or growing more plants than permitted.

Employers would specifically be allowed to continue enforcing workplace drug policy prohibiting cannabis use by workers.

State and local governments could continue to ban marijuana activities made legal under the initiative in buildings “owned, leased, or occupied” by a governmental body.

The measure does not touch on regulatory policies concerning taxing cannabis sales, licensing or equity.

A Marijuana Interim Study Committee, headed by legislative leaders, was established last year to explore cannabis policy reform, and the panel ultimately recommended that the legislature take up legalization this session. The House-defeated legislation was one of the direct products of that recommendation.

Meanwhile, one state is set to vote on a first-of-its-kind initiative to legalize possession of various psychedelics and create regulated psilocybin therapy centers for adults.

Colorado—Proposition 122—Psychedelics Legalization

The historic measure seeks to legalize possession of psychedelics like psilocybin and ibogaine for adults 21 and older and also allow “healing centers” where psilocybin can be administered for therapeutic purposes.

Two exact polls paint conflicting pictures about how voters will come down on the historic initiative.

One survey commissioned by the Yes On 122 campaign found strong support for the measure (70 percent) and another showing a plurality of voters (41 percent) opposed to the reform.

Here’s what the Natural Medicine Health Act initiative would accomplish if approved by voters: 

Possession, use, cultivation and sharing of psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT and psilocyn would be legalized for adults 21 and older, without an explicit possession limit. There would be no recreational sales component.

Under the proposal, the Department of Regulatory Agencies would be responsible for developing rules for a therapeutic psychedelics program where adults 21 and older could visit a licensed healing center to receive treatment under the guidance of a trained facilitator.

There would be a two-tiered regulatory model, where only psilocybin and psilocyn would be permitted for therapeutic use at licensed healing centers until June 2026. After that point, regulators could decide whether to also permit regulated therapeutic use of DMT, ibogaine and mescaline.

A new 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board would be responsible for making recommendations on adding substances to the program, and the Department of Regulatory Agencies could then authorize those recommended additions.

The advisory board’s membership would specifically include people who have experience with psychedelic medicine in a scientific and religious context.

People who have completed their sentence for a conviction related to an offense made legal under the act would be able to petition the courts for record sealing. If there’s no objection from the district attorney, the court would need to automatically clear that record.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) was recently asked about the prospects of enacting psychedelics reform in the state, and he acknowledged that advocates are working to accomplish that policy change at the ballot and also said he supports the idea of decriminalizing the substances.

In June, Polis signed a bill to align state statute to legalize MDMA prescriptions if and when the federal government ultimately permits such use.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

At the local level, drug policy reform will be decided on by voters in Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin next month.

Here’s an overview of those proposals:


A campaign to put legalization on the statewide ballot in Ohio this year might have fallen short, but activists have successfully put decriminalization before voters in about a half dozen cities across the state.

This year, voters will decide on decriminalization in Corning, Helena, Hemlock, Kent, Laurelville, Rushville and Shawnee. Local officials certified petitions for some of those jurisdictions before summer, with others being finalized more recently.

Voters in seven other cities approved ballot measures to decriminalize marijuana possession during last November’s election, building on a slew of previous local reforms in the state.

Prior to that election, more than 20 jurisdictions across the state had already adopted local statues effectively decriminalizing possession—some of which have been passed by voter initiatives while others were adopted by city councils in major cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

Meanwhile, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) submitted signatures to put legalization on this November’s ballot, but a court ruled in May that they would not qualify because of timing problems. However, as part of a legal settlement, the court did clear activists to take the reform back up in 2023 without having to collect signatures to prompt a legislative review again.

A pair of Ohio Democratic lawmakers separately filed a bill to legalize marijuana in April that directly mirrors the proposed initiative that activists are pursuing, but it is not expected to advance in the legislature.


At the local level, marijuana reform has moved rapidly as Texas activists have worked to enact reform in jurisdictions across the state. In May, for example, Austin voters approved marijuana decriminalization overwhelmingly.

Voters in five more Texas cities—Denton, Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen and San Marcos—will see cannabis decriminalization measures on their November ballots.

Texas has seen more modest cannabis reforms enacted statewide in exact years, including the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, but the conservative legislature has yet to meaningfully advance broad reform.

Advocates also remain disappointed that lawmakers have so far been unable to pass other incremental cannabis bills—such as a decriminalization proposal that has advanced in one chamber of the legislature only to stall in the other.

The House approved a cannabis decriminalization bill in 2019, but it did not advance in the Senate that session.

According to a poll released last month, a majority of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use.

Texas Republicans might be on the fence on legalization overall, but the state’s GOP party formalized its opposition to ending prohibition again with the adoption of a policy plank as part of its 2022 platform.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) said last month that he will work to enact criminal justice reform in the 2023 session, and he again expressed support for lowering penalties for marijuana possession.


There’s currently no statewide citizen initiative process for ballot in Wisconsin, but activists have successfully put non-binding legalization advisory questions before voters. And more than half dozen other cities and counties will weigh in on the issue this year.

Voters in the counties of Dane, Eau Claire and Milwaukee will see cannabis questions on their ballot, as will those in the municipalities of Appleton, Kenosha, Racine Stevens Point and Superior.

Some state lawmakers have filed bills to legalize cannabis for adult use—and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R) has said legalization is “likely” to happen at some point—but the legislature has so far failed to pass even more modest proposals like decriminalization or the legalization of medical cannabis.

Gov. Tony Evers (D), for his part, is asking lawmakers to give the people the right to put binding statewide citizen initiatives on the ballot—and advocates are hopeful that the move could open the door to finally letting voters decide on marijuana legalization.

While activists in several other states worked to put legalization on the ballot this year, not all proved successful.

That being said, several campaigns have taken the setbacks in stride and are aiming to put reform before voters in upcoming elections.

Next month’s election could continue the state-level legalization movement, but it should also be noted that 2022 has already marked a year where cannabis policy changes were enacted in states are ideologically distinct as Mississippi and Rhode Island.

Still, there are a handful of states that came close to ending prohibition for either recreational or medical use, only to fall short before the end of the year’s legislative session. Not every activist-led campaign ended up qualifying for the ballot by established deadlines, either, and still others faced court challenges.

There were setbacks in states like Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oklahoma this year. In some of those places, reform legislation passed through one or both chambers of the legislature only to fall short ahead of the finish line. In others, activists turned in signatures for ballot initiatives, but faced significant obstacles that prevented qualification.

White House Touts New Polling That Shows Strong Support For Biden’s Marijuana Pardons

Image element courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 00:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Decatur board discusses WSJ editorial and student achievement

National Assessment of Educational Progress scores of fourth-grade students were released by the Education Department on Sept. 1. The scores reveal the most significant drop in math and reading scores for nine-year-olds in decades.

“I have a third grader who is not at grade level in reading and math,” said board member Regan Lewis, who as an attorney has also acted as a guardian ad litem for other children who “don't have it as good as my kid,” she added. “We need to ask administration how we can help, really help.”

With people in the community reacting to the editorial, she said, now is the time to openly ask for adults to volunteer in schools, and to ask for suggestions on ways to address the learning loss from COVID-19 shutdowns and for ways to help kids who struggle.

People are also reading…

The discussion was held during the board's regular meeting Tuesday night.

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Jeff Dase, who was filling in for Superintendent Rochelle Clark, said no one is disputing the Wall Street Journal's data, which is from the 2018-19 school year. That year was prior to Dase's arrival in the district, he said, when the district lacked a curriculum and most of the programs that have since been started to address low achievement.

“I know I wouldn't be here if the numbers had not been like that,” he said. “I was hired to increase student achievement. Stop talking about problems and start advocating for solutions.”

The opinion piece, credited to the publication's editorial board, referred to “an epidemic of indifferent instruction and social promotion” in Illinois schools. The piece was based on a story by Wirepoints that ran in June, which called test results “an indictment” of Illinois education policies.

Wirepoints is an independent nonprofit that studies Illinois economics and policy. Writers Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner have both worked at the Illinois Policy Institute. According to their report and Report Card data on Decatur schools, only 2% of Black students and 16% of white students in third grade in 2019 could read at grade level. Statewide, 22% of Black third-graders and 44% of white third-graders can read at grade level, for example. 

"The data Wirepoints presents in this report represents an absolute dereliction of duty by those who run Illinois’ public schools," they wrote. "It’s not about money, it’s not about race, it’s not about curriculum and it’s not about critical race theory. It’s about a system that fails at its most basic function: to prepare Illinois children for their future."

Their report focused on Decatur, they wrote, because it is "the poster child for the education system's failures. 

Dase said he is not upset that the data has been discussed, he said, but by the publication characterizing Decatur as a failing system. It takes time to right the ship, and the district has implemented a number of initiatives that are slowly correcting that low achievement. The most important thing, he said, is that kids are making progress.

Bill Clevenger, who has only served on the board a few weeks, said businesses in the community are looking at those children as their future work force, and it's critical that the students in the early grades have a solid foundation to build on, but that depends on consistent leadership. Clark, he said, is the 17th Decatur superintendent in the 35 years he's been in the community.

The discussion was prompted first by Caring Black Men members who spoke during public participation. The group, formed 17 years ago, visits Decatur schools and meets with students to provide positive male role models. 

Founder Jeffrey Perkins, longtime member Jim Harris, and Al Williams talked about the boys they meet with regularly and how some of them don't consider grades important, and how they struggle with reading and math.

“Reading is the most important tool in their academic tool box,” Harris said. The district must allocate space, time and resources to addressing the problem early, he said.

The board also heard a presentation from Ashley Grayned, executive director of innovative programs and strategic planning, and human resources director Jason Fox, on a proposal called TeacherReady, which would pay the $5,750 tuition for long-term substitutes in the district who want to become certified teachers. The program is low-cost and takes a year or less to complete, at the candidate's own pace. With 61 teaching vacancies in Decatur, the district could make a dent in the shortage of teachers by recruiting long-term subs who have already proved their commitment to Decatur schools, and ask them to commit to teaching in the district for three years after they complete their certification.

The question board members had, however, was what recourse the district would have if those candidates did not fulfill the three-year commitment.

The board's legal counsel Brian Braun said the only option would be to sue them, and the district could only recover the cost of the TeacherReady tuition.

Fox said he has already received several emails from interested long-term substitutes and many of the district's long-term substitutes have already proved their commitment to the district by serving for, in some cases, years as subs.

The board agreed to allow Grayned and Fox to pursue a pilot version of the program, which would recruit five substitutes to begin.

In other business, Zach Shields, executive director of the Decatur Public Schools Foundation, announced that the Legacy of Learning banquet will be held on Nov. 5, honoring two alumni: Dion Brown, the chief operations officer for the National Museum of African-American Music; and Kara Demirjian-Huss, founder of DCC Marketing. The banquet will also honor a Decatur educator, who will be named in a few days once the decision-making process is complete.

Board President Andrew Taylor also reminded the community that Oct. 15 is the deadline for students to have their immunizations completed or they will be excluded from attending school until they are.

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 02:00:00 -0500 en text/html

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — August Anheuser "Gussie" Busch Jr. was a legendary yeller and pounder who didn't get past sixth grade. He led one of the largest breweries in the world, made friends with the likes of President Harry Truman and married four times.

Trudy Busch Valentine is one of his 11 children. She's bold in her own way. She's running for U.S. Senate without political experience beyond growing up in an enormous, wealthy family that was, for a memorable era, the monarchy of Cardinals Nation.

Unlike her father, Valentine is formally schooled. She's quiet, even with a microphone in her hand.

"We can't hear you!" a crowd recently yelled here at Queeny Park.

"I'll try to do better," Valentine, shuffling papers, told them from the stump.

Democratic Party loyalists quickly forgave her. They've experienced a lot of loss during Missouri's metamorphosis from blue to red. Valentine, 65, who won a packed primary, is their best chance at reclaiming a coveted seat on Nov. 8 that

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, 72, is giving up to retire.

Valentine spoke softly to the crowd, but she wore a blue sport coat and told them what they wanted to hear, believe.

"I am the woman who is going to stop Eric Schmitt from reaching the United States Senate," she said, prompting some applause.

Schmitt, 47, is expected to win the general election. As Missouri's Republican attorney general, he tapped into Donald Trump's farright base, alarming others along the way who first knew Schmitt as a moderate state senator from Glendale.

Valentine criticized Schmitt for "peddling conspiracy theories" about the 2020 election for political gain, for exploiting his law enforcement position by filing lawsuits against public school districts to deflect mask mandates.

Schmitt says he's willing to take heat fighting for what's right. To the delight of his own loyal followers, he calls Valentine "a billionaire heiress," who is trying to buy an election from the peasantry.

"Let them eat cake," goes one online jab.

In 2020, Forbes magazine pegged the entire Busch family's wealth at $17.6 billion. In campaign filings, Valentine reported net worth between $69.4 million and $219.4 million, with annual income between $4.3 million and $30.7 million. She lives in a gated $4 million mansion in Ladue, by an exclusive golf course and polo field. She owns a lot of stock, has a 1,000-acre farm near Rhineland in Montgomery County, and a one-fifth stake in Grant's Farm, the tourist attraction in south St. Louis County.

Though born into wealth, Valentine, a registered nurse, with a master's degree in pastoral studies, described herself as a lifelong learner who prays for God's guidance each day. She said her life has been defined by serving others, a trait she wants to carry into one of the highest elected offices in the land.

"America is in a great time of need and that is why I am running," she told the crowd. "Washington is broken. It is full of too many career politicians like Eric Schmitt. I am not in this for ego or power or money. I can't be bought."

The Roman Catholic mother of six vowed to fight for better access to affordable health care, primarily a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion. Though her eldest son died from an opioid overdose in 2020, she supports the legalization of marijuana, partly because it could bring added revenue streams for mental health treatment.

"I struggled with this issue a lot because addiction runs in our family, but this measure regulates marijuana so it will be a safer product," she said.

She made a plea across party lines.

"Democrats, independents, Republicans, we must stand for compassion, for truth and decency," she said. "And we must defend and protect our democracy and our country with everything we have. This race is not going to be easy. So I am going to need all of your help."

John Gray, 76, was out in the crowd of mainly white retirees at Queeny Park. He'd knocked on doors to get out the vote for Barack Obama. Asked for his main takeaway from the speech, he said Valentine needs to speak up.

"It's going to be a long hard road to beat the Republicans in Missouri," said Gray, a former airline mechanic from Kirkwood. "Right now, she's going on her name. Maybe she should give out more beer."

Like her father. In one of many publicity stunts, Gussie gave President Franklin D. Roosevelt a case of Bud when Prohibition was repealed. A wagon drawn by Clydesdales made the White House delivery.

Who is that?

Out of all the family leaders at A-B, Gussie seems the most colorful, according to the book, "Under the Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty."

In 1949, on the cusp of turning 50, he sauntered into a restaurant in Lucerne, Switzerland, and became enamored with the hostess.

"Who in the hell is that beautiful girl?" Gussie asked.

"That's my daughter," the innkeeper told him.

Gertrude Josephine "Trudy" Buholzer was just 22. Though he proposed on their first date, they wouldn't tie the knot until 1952 because Gussie was still married to his second wife, Elizabeth.

He and his new bride ended up having seven children. They were raised at Grant's Farm, which opened to tourists not long after A-B bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953. Their names are Adolphus IV, Beatrice, Peter, Trudy, Billy, Andrew and Christina.

Like relatives before and after, this branch of the Busch family generated headlines. Peter fatally shot a teenage friend at Grant's Farm in 1976. Billy bit off a man's ear outside of a tavern in 1981. Trudy was crowned queen of the Veiled Prophet Ball in 1977. Christina died several days after an automobile crash in 1974 that also killed her driver.

In a exact lengthy interview with the Post-Dispatch, Valentine recalled sitting by her sister's hospital bed as part of what motivated her to study nursing at St. Louis University. She graduated in 1980, and for a little less than a year worked on a surgery floor in Boston.

"It's important to be your own person," she said.

As adults, her siblings represent the political spectrum raging across the country. Billy, 63, who opened up his home a few years ago for a reality television series on MTV, told the Post-Dispatch that he supports Schmitt and his promise to secure the economy and southern border. Though registered to vote in Florida, Adolphus, 69, said he supports Trudy's progressive stance and desire to protect democracy.

Valentine said she wasn't aware of any other Busch previously running for office — nor working as a nurse. She said her parents supported her interest in health care. After Boston, she came back to St. Louis and worked as a volunteer nurse at the former Salvation Army Residence for Children, a home for abused and neglected babies and toddlers.

"She made quite an impression," recalled Sue Stepleton, 74, the administrator of the program then who went on to be national director of Parents as Teachers. "She was very early in her career, but I remember her being very professional."

Valentine left after three or four years to focus on her own growing family. She and John D. Valentine, a prominent lawyer, had five sons and one daughter. In 2002, when John died of cancer at 49, their children were between the ages of 6 and 18.

"It was first hard for me to navigate without my husband, and then also to grieve and make sure I was taking care of my children and their needs," Valentine said. "I did the best that I could. I had a lot of friends that helped out."

About six months into being widowed, she went back to school at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Catholic graduate school near SLU.

"I still wanted to be somebody on my own," she said. "I thought it was good that my kids saw me studying."

She said she graduated five years later. She worked as a hospice nurse for Visiting Nurse Association, a role that took her into a lot of homes throughout the St. Louis region.

"I would just get my Google maps out and go," she said. "I was definitely in North City. I was in all different communities."

She said she left hospice after about a year. She had concerns about her two older sons, and her mother, who had Alzheimer's disease. She preferred to focus on lifesaving measures. About 11 years ago, she enrolled at St. Louis Community College in Wildwood to become a licensed EMT. She said she was the oldest person in the class. She said nobody knew her background as a Busch.

She said she raised her crop of children, which includes a U.S. Marine officer and nurse practitioner, as Valentines.

Deciding to run

Valentine has been a financial contributor and facilitator of many causes. She's known for bringing groups together. She's hosted fundraisers at Grant's Farm for anything from Almost Home, a nonprofit that serves teen mothers, to Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president against Trump.

She supported the last two Democrats who lost bids for U.S. Senate in Missouri — Jason Kander and Claire McCaskill. She said she first started thinking about entering the arena herself during an online fundraiser event earlier this year with Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. They were talking about infrastructure, schools, public safety and the cost of basic necessities.

"I was like these are all the things I am interested in," she said.

Valentine said she reflected on her own life and what she wanted to do going forward.

"Serving others has been so much of what my life is about," she said. "Maybe this is the last time I can serve in a bigger way and reach more people?"

While some analysts believe Valentine was picked by the Democratic Party establishment because she was the only wellfunded candidate with name recognition, she said that's not what happened. She said she caught everyone off-guard with the idea of running, but that good friend and legendary political operative Joyce Aboussie was among the first she called.

Valentine said she told Aboussie to take the weekend to think about the idea before responding with feedback. She said Aboussie eventually had the same reaction as her children.

"Are you crazy? Why? Do you know what this will entail?" Valentine said Aboussie asked.

Aboussie told her that politics is dirty, and there's going to be so much negativity that Valentine would be a part of.

"Those things didn't worry me," Valentine said. "I know my conscience. I can look at myself in the mirror and go to bed and be OK every night because I am not hiding anything, and I am trying to do the right thing."

She said Kander and McCaskill told her to stay true to herself.

On March 28, more than a onth after the first filing day, alentine went to Jefferson City o sign up for the primary. Her husband, John Fries, was with her. "I am not the candidate," Fries said he told officials there.

Poll position

Lucas Kunce, 40, was well-positioned to win the Democratic Primary. The populist got to work early, touting progressive causes in person and through social media. He had solid funding and told a compelling personal story that started in poverty, passed through Yale and led to a career as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. Rivaling fierce campaign rhetoric from Republicans Eric Greitens and Schmitt, Kunce vowed to be like a grenade in the U.S. Senate — just pull the pin.

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 23:20:00 -0500 en text/html
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