Bio for 10/30 PTA Council/NAACP/SNAC forum

James Barrett; (919) 593-0592;

Child of the District

* Attended Seawell, Phillips, and Chapel Hill High in the 36 years I’ve lived here; married to a UNC grad

* Two children—middle and high school

* Many years as rec basketball/baseball coach

* IBM manager with 20 years of experience leading software projects

* Wife is current and past PTA Council secretary (no involvement in this candidate forum)

School Board Experience

* Two years on board (elected to fill unexpired term)

* Have been liaison to the SITs at Rashkis, Scroggs, Glenwood, Estes Hills, Culbreth, to the Special Needs Advisory Committee, the Technology Advisory Committee, the Gifted Program Advisory Council, Communities in Schools of Orange County, and on the board’s policy committee

* Served on the board’s policy committee.

*Bring strong math abilities to the board to focus on budget/data analysis

*Strong tech understanding—focus on tech purchases only as they improve instruction

Social Justice Advocate

* Founding member, Justice United, on strategy and education committees—multi-faith group bringing meaningful change through government advocacy

* Founding member, Organizing Against Racism Alliance

* Member, NAACP, PAGE, Orange County Democratic Party, Orange County Democratic Women

* Member, Holy Trinity Lutheran, served on council; been both youth group member and high school youth leader

Bringing 36 years of living Chapel Hill’s values, two years on the board with a sharp focus on growth for every student and social justice concerns, and a deep understanding of the financial issues we confront.

Focus for 2nd term

* Growth for every child: well more than a year’s worth of learning progress for our students who are behind, and at least a year’s worth for our students who are on-track or ahead

* Fix the issues of disparity in discipline in our schools

* Fix the issues of inconsistency in instruction across our schools

* Ensure, as we confront exceptionally difficult budget times, that we are being as creative and careful with our finances as possible

District’s Long-Range Plan

We have a great long-range plan in place; we must focus on the follow-through. It’s not a flashy campaign slogan, but this is the hard work to come in the next few years.

And we must get communication right. This is a long-term issue, and will never be perfect—but parents in this small of a district should not feel as lost and frustrated as so many do.

This is a good district to be a student in. But we can be even better and I want another term to be a part of making that happen.


* See strong need to be as available and transparent a board member as possible

* Contact me any time with concerns/questions

* Website lists all my donors

* Use website, social media ( to reach out to constituents. Even in a district as small as ours, parents can feel lost in the system—but I’ll do whatever I can to listen and point you in the right direction


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