Responses to Orange County Democratic Party questionnaire

Part 1

Name – James Barrett

Age – 43

Education – BS in Math and Computer Science from College of William and Mary

Occupation – Software Engineering Manager

Website –

Other contact info – 919-593-0592


Part 2

What relevant background/experience do you have that would be helpful for voters to know?

Having lived in Chapel Hill since 1977, as a proud graduate of Seawell, Phillips, and Chapel Hill High, I have a deep understanding of our community and the values we share about education. I also bring 20 years of business management experience to looking at the issues facing our educational system in a different way.  Prior to being elected to the board in 2011, I was a founding member of Orange County Justice United, where I heard the stories of the school system’s parents and students who most need the board to address social justice issues.  In the two years I have been on the board, I have learned so much about the specifics of bringing about change. I’m pleased with the working relationships I have developed with parents, staff, the superintendent, and fellow board members to actually see through the changes we know are needed in our schools to meet the ideals we have for educating every student, every day.


Part 3

Why are you running for this office?

Two years is barely enough time to learn the ropes of this new position, much less to have accomplished everything I want to see our district improve on.  I look forward to another term to ensure that we stay headed in the right direction, and see through these great ideas to fruition.

What specific things would you like to accomplish?

I want to see the 28 strategies of our new long-range plan ( implemented across the district.  These are the changes needed to improve instruction, eliminate achievement gaps, have great teachers in place for every class, and ensure that 100% of our students are learning and growing every day.

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