Local Politics

Little Change on Wake School Board

Posted October 9, 2007 8:54 p.m. EDT
Updated October 9, 2007 10:52 p.m. EDT

— Despite public outcry over the way the Wake County school system has handled enrollment growth in recent years, the school board that takes office in the coming weeks will feature little change.

Incumbent school board member Beverley Clark won one of only two contested races Tuesday, and former teacher and principal Kevin Hill and school volunteer Martha LaVance will face a November runoff in the other.

Clark grabbed 64 percent of the vote to retain her District 6 seat on the board, representing north Raleigh. Sean O'Brien finished second, with 26 percent of the vote, followed by Ed Armogida and John Zal, with 6 and 4 percent, respectively.

Hill, who worked in Wake County schools for 30 years before moving to North Carolina State University last year, grabbed 46 percent of the vote for the District 3 seat in northwest Wake County that had been held by Carol Parker. Parker didn't seek re-election.

LaVance, a retired attorney and businesswoman, finished with 30 percent of the vote in District 3, forcing the runoff. Alfreda Wilson, the third person in the race, wound up with 23 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, school board Chairwoman Rosa Gill ran unopposed for her District 4 seat representing east Raleigh, and board member Ron Margiotta faced no opposition in District 8 in southwest Wake County.

Anne McLaurin, the wife of Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, ran unopposed in District 5, which represents south-central Raleigh and won the seat formerly held by Susan Parry. Parry didn't seek re-election.

To deal with surging enrollments, the school district has adopted an extensive building program, which entailed massive reassignments to fill new schools. The district this fall converted 22 elementary and middle schools from traditional calendars to year-round schedules to create extra seats for students. Both moves angered hundreds of parents and brought calls for change.