Ballot set for Durham school board races

Beyer runs unopposed May 6
Feb. 28, 2014 @ 02:50 PM

The field of candidates in the Durham Public Schools District 2 school board race swelled to five by noon Friday, deadline for filing.

Meanwhile, that deadline passed without a challenger for District 4 incumbent Natalie Beyer. She runs unopposed for the seat she first won in 2010.

Fredrick Davis, the incumbent in District 2, announced months ago that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Last week, no one had filed for that seat.

Now, a handful of contenders are on the ballot for May 6.

The final two to enter the fray are DeWarren Langley and Jimmy Doster.

Langley, 29, is a legal analyst with an extensive track record of community service involving youth. Doster, 22, is a recent college graduate who works as a cashier at Whole Foods.

Langley sees his run for District 2 as another way to serve youth in the area.

“It’s an extension of service,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to serve youth in a greater capacity.”

His top priority, he said, would be to make sure that students get an “innovative and quality education” that prepares them for work or college. He wants to eliminate disparities in achievement and discipline. He also wants to make sure the district has competent, qualified and satisfied teachers.

Further, as the district searches for a new superintendent, it’s important to find a leader who was worked in a city with similar demographics, Langley said.

“The new superintendent needs to be qualified to continue to help our district move in the right direction in terms of student achievement, graduation rates and overall preparation of our students,” Langley said.

The other three candidates for District 2 are Donald Hughes, an online-advertising strategist and community activist; Sendolo Diaminah, a community organizer with People Durham; and Terrence Scarborough, assistant director of licensure for UNC General Administration.

Four candidates have filed for election to the District 3 school board seat held by Nancy Cox, who is not seeking reelection.

The District 3 candidates include Steven Gatlin, a history teacher at Voyager Academy charter school; Deborah Bryson, the longtime head of school at Bryson Christian Montessori School; 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 and a former Durham educator.

Three candidates also are on the ballot for the District 1 race, including incumbent Omega Curtis Parker.

The other two are 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.