Another joins Durham school board race

Feb. 19, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

The race for the Durham Public Schools Board of Education District 3 seat got a little more crowded this week when veteran educator Deborah Bryson filed her candidacy.

Bryson, the longtime head of school at Bryson Christian Montessori School, became the third person to file for election to the seat currently held by Nancy Cox. Cox is not seeking re-election.

Bryson joins Lisa Gordon Stella, an attorney and mediator who works as the in-school truancy court director at the Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center, and Matt Sears, director for school services at North Carolina New Schools (NCNS) and a former Durham educator, in vying for the seat.

In an email to The Herald-Sun, Bryson said that, if elected, she would collaborate with school administrators, teachers, parents, children and the community.  

She said her goals include attracting great teachers, administrators and support personnel to provide strong academics.

Bryson also said she would help children become critical thinkers, advance their math, reading and writing skills and reduce suspensions and expulsions and racial disparities in punishment.

Four of the seven school board seats are up for grabs in the May 6 school board election.

The filing period ends at noon on Feb. 28.

So far, all of the competitive activity has been in districts 1 and 3. 

District 1 also has three candidates including incumbent Omega Curtis Parker, a retired DPS media coordinator, who has held the seat since 2006.

She is challenged by Thomas Poole, a retired Title 1 instructor and community activist who last worked at Research Triangle Charter School, and Michael Lee, a product manager for global data services at Credit Suisse.

Only incumbent Natalie Beyer, a volunteer board member for Public Schools First NC, a statewide nonpartisan organization focused on education issues, and a founding member of Parents Across America, a national grassroots education advocacy organization, has filed for election to the District 4 seat she has held since 2010.

And with only eight filing days left – the Board of Elections office is closed on weekends – no one has yet to step forward in District 2.

The seat is currently held by Fredrick Davis, who has said he will not seek re-election.