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Wake County school board member dies suddenly at age 65

Posted November 16

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— Zora Felton, a former teacher and member of the Wake County school board who was reelected last week, has died unexpectedly at age 65.

Felton graduated from Sanderson High School and returned to teach in 1973. She taught Social Studies at the school for 10 years before taking a 14 year break from teaching to raise her three children.

Felton returned to teaching full time in 1998 at Leesville Road High School and retired in 2013. That same year, she chose to run for a seat on the Wake County school board to continue to work for students and educators.

“This is a difficult loss for Zora Felton’s family, our schools and our community,” said school board chair Tom Benton. “Zora’s insights from her years of teaching and her unwavering classroom perspective helped keep all of us on the school board focused on the issues that matter most to students, teachers and parents. Zora has been a friend and colleague since we began our teaching careers at Sanderson in the 70s. She will be greatly missed.”

Benton started his own teaching career alongside Felton.

"She and I were both Social Studies teachers when we first came out of college and worked together in the early 70s at Sanderson for 6 of 7 years," he said.

Felton had been reelected to represent District 7 on the school board for a second term last week after running unopposed. She did not attend a school board meeting held Tuesday evening.

“Zora Felton never lost her focus on what mattered most,” Superintendent Jim Merrill said. “This is a difficult day for all of us. We have lost a friend and colleague who dedicated her career to our school system.”

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