By Taylor Sisk
Four more candidates have filed to fill five seats on the seven-member Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. Brian Bower, Raymond Conrad and Kris Castellano are first-time candidates, while Annetta Streater is making a bid for her third term. Streater was appointed in 2006 to complete the term of a resigning board member and wasthen elected to a full term in 2007.
Incumbents Jamezetta Bedford and Mia Burroughs and challenger James Barrett announced their intentions to run last week. Incumbent Mike Kelley has not yet announced whether heâ€™ll file for reelection.
Bower calls his campaign for the board â€œa bit of a political stunt.â€ A Ph.D. candidate in genetics and molecular biology at UNC, heâ€™s filed to run in hopes of increasing his chances of gaining residency for in-state tuition. Bower said that he needs to â€œbuild a body of evidenceâ€ to prove that heâ€™s a state resident, and that since only county residents are allowed to run for school board, his candidacy should improve his chances.
Heâ€™s said that he has no platform and that he would hate to accidentally win.
Castellano has been a Triangle resident since 1991. Sheâ€™s been involved in her three childrenâ€™s schools since 2001 and remains active as a School Improvement Team member.Â
â€œI have always been an advocate for all children to be successful, socially and academically,â€ Castellano said. â€œI have had the opportunity to work with the district office, principals, teachers, staff and other parents over the years on various programs and initiatives and feel that I bring commitment for common goals.â€
She cites the districtâ€™s listed achievement goals as her primary objectives, as well as closing the achievement gap and addressing school safety and budget issues.
Conrad has been a Chapel Hill resident for the past three years. Heâ€™s married with one grown son, has a degree in education from Drake University and was an educator in the Air Force.
â€œI felt running was a good opportunity to get involved in the community and use my experience,â€ Conrad said. He intends to better familiarize himself with the issues and prioritize his objectives as his campaign progresses.
Conrad said that an effective board member should be walking the halls of the schools: â€œOnly attending board meetings isnâ€™t my idea of being an active board member.â€
Streater is a registered dental hygienist and clinical practitioner.
â€œI made the decision to run for another term because I am still excited about the work of school district governance,â€ Streater said. She wants to continue â€œengaging with other board members as well as other community leaders to make sound decisions that can positively impact student learning, student success and student engagement.â€
She intends to continue to advocate for processes that allow the board to closely monitor its programs and services and evaluate their effectiveness, and she looks forward to working with the new superintendent as he transitions into office.Â
The filing period will close on Friday.