I was born in Texas, left US when I was 5. Lived in Latin America until college. Panama, Honduras Colombia and Dominican Republic. After college I joined the Army. Was stationed in Italy and Germany. Primary with the 82nd Airborne. Met my wife Kim in the Army. Both left the Army as Captains. Have lived in Wisconsin, Florida and North Carolina. We have 5 children, 4 are adopted. We have been married 35 years and have lived in NC for 15 years.
My first priority is to listen to the parents whose children are being taught in the public school system in Chatham County. When a school board places their own beliefs above that of the parents then that school board ceases to be effective.
My Second priority is to improve the basic education levels of reading comprehension, math and science for all students. Currently only half of the high school graduates in Chatham County are able to perform reading comprehension and math at grade level. The 1997 NC Supreme Court ruling in Leandro v. State of North held that the state constitutional language guarantees students the opportunity to receive a sound basic education-this is not happening.
We should have aggressive goals for grade level completion of 85% or higher. In addition, we need to develop trade-based training for those not focused on college. An education plan needs to be in place to begin training in skilled trades while still in high school.
The Third Priority is to understand how we are failing our young people, which is evident in high levels of teenage suicide (100K a year), drug overdoses (100K a year), and school violence (evidenced in increase of school shootings). I will lead a motion for training to assist our teachers in recognizing mental health disorders so a treatment program can be initiated through licensed mental healthcare professionals. Teachers need to know there is help available and inform parents on how to utilize it.