Wake County Schools

Hill, Sutton take reins as new Wake school board convenes

Posted December 6, 2011

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— Three newly elected Wake County school board members were sworn in to office Tuesday afternoon, shifting the balance of power on the board to a 5-4 Democratic-backed majority.

Their first order of business was to choose new leaders, voting in Kevin Hill and Keith Sutton, who both won re-election in October, as board chairman and vice chair. Susan Evans, Christine Kushner and Jim Martin took their seats at the board table for the first time.

Hill previously served as board chairman before he was replaced in 2009 by Ron Margiotta, who lost his re-election bid in October to Evans.

"I am looking forward to working with all eight other board members to move us along," Hill said.

Sutton replaces John Tedesco, who was appointed by his colleagues to the vice chair post in June.

Debra Goldman preceded him.

Wake school board swears in new members, chooses new leaders New Wake school board members sworn in, leaders chosen

In October, Hill and Sutton were the only school board members to vote against a student assignment plan proposed by Superintendent Tony Tata that prioritizes proximity and parental choice and does away with a decade-long policy of busing to achieve socioeconomic diversity.

Despite their opposition to the proposal, which passed by a 7-2 vote, the new board majority pledged to make no immediate, drastic changes.

"Democracy is about hard work, listening to everyone (and) doing the work before making the decisions," Martin said.

Kushner agreed.

"Bringing us together, as a board of nine, I think, is going to be important delving into the work," she said.

Tedesco said that action can bring the board together, even though the 5-4 majority has switched from Republican to Democratic.

"We are welcoming a new opportunity to move forward," he said. "We will see."

As new members took their seats, former chairman Margiotta said goodbye. He introduced Evans, exchanged some hugs with colleagues and then headed out the door. It was an emotional moment, Tedesco said.

"We are a little bit sad to lose some friends and colleagues," he said. 

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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 8, 2011

    The system of socio-economic diversity (race) based busing never was intended to help the poor minorities from southeast Raleigh.

    It was designed to spread the poor minorities all over Wake County so that we had no failing schools.

    Once the poor minorities got bused to the suburbs they received no special help. They were invisible in the class rooms.

    With high number of poor minorities that drop out of Wake County schools every year and never graduate from high school with the current system of socio-economic diversity (race) based busing, let's give Tata's neighborhood schools plan a chance.

    It can't make things worse for the poor minorities who the school system is currently failing based on the dropout rates.

  • Shamrock Dec 8, 2011

    "" voted one of the most desirable places to live "

    Isn't it fascinating what backroom deals and payola can do! This system is far from award winning" YouMakeItSoEasy

    You are clueless. What system? The schools? They are talking about the positive attributes that make an area desirable. It includes everything from the school, to the price of housing, job opportunities, cultural events, etc.

  • Screw WrAl Dec 7, 2011

    " voted one of the most desirable places to live "

    Isn't it fascinating what backroom deals and payola can do! This system is far from award winning and any awards they get are bought and paid for by them and their supporters. Grow up and smell reality. Over 50% of black males do not graduate. That was the case under your old board as well.

    Where's the award for that?

  • rescuefan Dec 7, 2011

    "What a shame. Back to control of Dems that have been destroying the school system for decades. On the bright side, perhaps the legislature will step up and fund vouchers for people to get their kids into private schools.
    whatelseisnew"

    It's interesting that you claim that they were destroying our school system, yet we had an award winning school system and Raleigh was voted one of the most desirable places to live when the old board (under Hill) was in place. And then Margiotti and Tedesco came in and made our school system a laughing stock. The only good thing they did was to bring on Tata.

  • rescuefan Dec 7, 2011

    "I cannot wait until they try to put the old system back in place and we contact the USDA and tell them about it. Federal probe & prosecution.
    vraptor"

    Where do you people keep getting the idea that the board wants to go back to the old system. I keep hearing people state that over and over, but I haven't seen one of the new majority even hint at wanting to do that. Are you all just trying to fan some flames or making suppositions based on the fact you can't stand that the old majority got themselves voted off?

  • vraptor Dec 7, 2011

    I cannot wait until they try to put the old system back in place and we contact the USDA and tell them about it. Federal probe & prosecution.

  • Shamrock Dec 7, 2011

    " That's the least of my concerns. My concerns are what your anointed ones are going to do to my family and all the others in the county with their left-wing-we-can't-do-it any other way ideology."

    You keep on then. Let us know how it turns out for you.

  • Mean Old Mom Dec 7, 2011

    Go private or go home. I guess people want the status quo.

  • Screw WrAl Dec 7, 2011

    "If you really cared, you would hope the board can work together."
    HA! That's the least of my concerns. My concerns are what your anointed ones are going to do to my family and all the others in the county with their left-wing-we-can't-do-it any other way ideology. I assure you it's going to be a good ride.

    Especially as the tax and pay for it issues arrive in the next 3 months.

  • Shamrock Dec 7, 2011

    "I cant wait for the chaos to begin!! LOL!!"
    renkengrl

    "renkengrl thank you. thank you for giving me hope."
    YouMakeItSoEasy

    How does that help the board or the children succeed? If you really cared, you would hope the board can work together.

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