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12 candidates file for Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board seats

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    CMS school board filings

    District 1: Rhonda Lennon (incumbent), Christine Mast

    District 2: Thelma Byers-Bailey, Richard A. McElrath, Sr. (incumbent)

    District 3: Joyce Waddell (incumbent).

    District 4: Tom Tate (incumbent), Queen Elizabeth Thompson

    District 5: Eric Davis (incumbent), Edward Donaldson

    District 6: Paul Bailey, Bolyn McClung, Doug Wrona



Twelve candidates, including seven newcomers, will vie for six district seats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, as candidate filing closed at noon Friday.

All but one of the current district school board members are running for re-election, and five of six seats are contested. Four candidates filed close to the deadline Friday.

The district school board members serve four-year terms and join the three at-large members who were elected in 2011 on the nine-member board.

District 1 incumbent Rhonda Lennon is challenged by newcomer Christine Mast.

Lennon, a Huntersville parent of a current CMS student and two graduates, has served on the board since 2009. Mast, a Huntersville parent of two CMS students, has been an active voice in recent school system issues.

Current District 2 representative Richard McElrath filed for re-election Friday and will face newcomer Thelma Byers-Bailey.

McElrath, of Charlotte, was elected to the board in 2009. He worked in CMS for more than 35 years teaching math, shop and drama, and coaching. Byers-Bailey, a Charlotte native and president of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Association, has served as an after-school math tutor for students at Walter G. Byers School, which is named after her father.

District 3 incumbent Joyce Waddell runs unopposed. The Charlotte resident spent 21 years as a CMS teacher and administrator and has served on the school board since 2009.

In District 4, newcomer Queen Elizabeth Thompson will compete for the seat against CMS’ longest-serving board member, incumbent Tom Tate.

Tate was elected to the school board in 2005 and served as vice chairman from 2009 to 2011. He lives in Charlotte and is the pastor of Plaza Presbyterian Church. Thompson, of Charlotte, could not be reached Friday.District 5 features a race between incumbent Eric Davis and newcomer Edward Donaldson.

Davis, of Charlotte, has served on the board since 2009, including as chairman from 2009 to 2011. Donaldson, a Charlotte home inspector, joined the race late Friday. His wife is a former CMS teacher, and his oldest child will enter the school system this year.

A race between three newcomers will decide the District 6 board member. Paul Bailey, Bolyn McClung and Doug Wrona are running for the seat. Current District 6 representative Amelia Stinson-Wesley will not run.

Bailey is mayor pro tem of Matthews and works for Duke Energy. His children are CMS graduates.

McClung, a Pineville resident who works for a Charlotte printing company, filed close to the deadline Friday. His grandchildren are CMS students, and he has been active in CMS issues in recent years, including serving on a panel to question the three finalists for superintendent in 2012.

Wrona, of Charlotte, also filed close to Friday’s deadline. He has worked in schools for nine years as a teacher and as a Title I tutor in high-poverty schools. He has two children currently enrolled in CMS.

School board members oversee the nation’s 17th-largest school district. Among the topics to be dealt with by current and future school board members are school hours and bus schedules.

The election is Nov. 5.

Ellis: 704-358-5298
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