Chapel Hill Herald pre-filing questions 6/18/13

From Jamica Ashley:

  • Will you be seeking re-election? If so, why?

Yes, I am seeking re-election. It has been a real honor and joy to serve on the board for the last two years, and I would like a full term on the board to continue to make progress on such issues as closing our achievement gaps and making sure ALL students grow, and seeing the long-range plan start to be implemented.  CHCCS is a great district to be in, but we also have potential to be even better with the direction we’re headed.

  • What advice would you give to someone who is considering running for one of the three seats?

I’d tell people who want to run to do their homework first–so many issues come before the board.  When I knew I wanted to run for the board two years  ago, to give back to the schools I grew up in, I began nearly a year before the election going to every school board meeting and some county commissioners meetings to fully understand the issues.  I also sat down with many current and former board members (and other elected officials too) to learn as much as possible about expectations and good practices for governance.  This has allowed me to have a more competent voice on the board than if I had only run based on a single issue or even my resume of accomplishments.  This is a highly intelligent, highly opinionated community, and if you don’t know the issues inside and out, voters will let you know that they notice.

  • What was your motivation for wanting to be a member of the board of education?

I grew up in Chapel Hill, attending Seawell, Phillips, and Chapel Hill High–back when it was the only high school. I loved growing up here and got a great education from CHCCS, but there has always been much our schools can continue to improve. I worked through Justice United as a representative of my church to effect change for social justice, but realized that I could do even more as an elected official, and really wanted to give back to the schools that gave so much to me.  I bring a unique mix of deep understanding of our community, with business leadership and management experience, and commitment to social justice that I hope voters will recognize is useful in bringing needed change to our schools, while still focused on our shared values.

Any additional comments are definitely welcome

I am truly excited about the long-range plan that is being put together for our district.  It is focused on exactly the right things to make CHCCS better and better — improving instruction in every classroom, a mix of technologies to meet the demands of reaching a diverse population, aligning monetary incentives with out district goals.  I look forward to the dashboard that will be used to measure progress on these goals we share and allow the board to see the right level of data to make decisions from.   And I look forward to being on the board again to continue to push for improved engagement with the public on issues and solutions to the challenges we face. 

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