- McDougle Elementary
Four Board of Education Members Sworn In December 7
The Board Room in Lincoln Center was packed beyond standing room only on the evening of December 7. Re-elected Board of Education member Rani Dasi and three new Board members, Vickie Feaster Fornville, Meredith Ballew and Barbara Fedders, were officially sworn-in, an evening that proved to be both solemn and festive.
Dozens of family members filled the rows, as well as numerous town and state leaders. As each member delivered the oath to Judge Joal Broun (a former Board of Education member herself!), they were surrounded by loved ones, with tears and applause.
Before the business of the Board got underway, each of the four members had a few moments to speak to the audience.
Vickie Feaster Fornville said of her swearing in, “I had the Bible that was signed by the Rev. J.R. Manley. I stand on the shoulders of him who desegregated this board. I don’t come to this space lightly and I don’t come to this space by myself. I come to this space with the voices of the many people who voted to bring me here, and the people who may not have voted to bring me here but are in the community in which I have served my entire life and will continue to do so.”
Meredith Ballew said, “I love this community. I’m a product of this school district myself, and I look forward to working hard on behalf of all our students to increase opportunities for all of our kids, and all of our families, and all of our teachers and staff. It’s a wonderful place, and I know that we can make it work for everyone.”
Barbara Fedders said, “I am just humbled to have been elected to this body – it really means a lot. I am so pleased to see so many elected officials here, because obviously this is a partnership, and we need everybody who supports public education working together. All of us, we’re only as strong as the folks who show up to these meetings and support us and who also hold us accountable, so thank you all.”
Finally Rani Dasi said, “Public education is such a high value investment in community health. When we invest in education, we enable access to healthcare, economic development and so much more. Today in North Carolina we need all hands on deck to defend public education, and I am grateful to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools voters for entrusting me to represent them in this work.”
“Today is my father’s birthday, and it’s not surprising that the universe had this swearing in fall on this date, because my family is the foundation that enables me to do this work. Eight years ago at my first swearing in, my mom was here, and while she’s not physically here with me tonight, she continues to guide me in her wisdom and empathy, and she is the reason I am here today. She dedicated her life to building others up. My deepest desire is to follow in her footsteps in showing care for humanity. To all educators and people who care about students, thank you, and may your investment be returned tenfold.”
When the remarks had all been given, there was a brief break for informal conversation– and hugs– before the work of the new Board of Education, including Mike Sharp, newly elected Chair Dr. George Griffin and new Vice-Chair Riza Jenkins, began.
Congratulations to our newly minted Board of Education, and thank you for your service!