Letters to the Editor

12/01 Your letters: Matt Sears

Fighting for what is best

Last weekend, I emailed friends my intention to run for re-election to the Durham school board this spring. I promised that they and the Durham community could count on me to act consistently in a second term:

1. Challenging the DPS status quo by pressing for evidence-based policies and quality evaluations of programs and personnel.

2. Demanding an open, competitive, national talent search, as DPS saw 42 applications for the superintendent position. Dr. Pascal Mubenga began his work Monday.

3. Cultivating partnerships with school-based and teacher-based groups, such as the Durham Association of Educators.

4. Making the connection between strong community and neighborhood schools.

5. Fighting for what is best for Durham’s students, including repelling a state takeover of Lakewood and Glenn Elementary Schools this fall.

I am proud of the work I and the current school board have done. In my 3.5 years on the board, we have put back our teachers’ due process rights that were stripped by the state, increased budget transparency, and pushed for high-impact decision-making including developing and implementing a new Student Code of Conduct that emphasizes students remaining in school and a new principal salary structure that will attract and retain some of the highest quality school leaders in our state.

My roots in education are wide and deep, making my lens on DPS’ work sharp and focused. With a Masters of Arts in Teaching from UNC, I taught math for seven years at Hillside and Hillside New Tech high schools, being named Durham’s Teacher of the Year in 2008. I then supported teachers and principals across North Carolina as director of school services at NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning. And I currently serve talented and gifted students from Durham and across the country as the director of educational programs at the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP).

My wife and I are proud public schools parents and are fortunate to have three children (ages 7, 4 and 2), two of whom are enrolled in Durham Public Schools at Lakewood Elementary and DPS’ new pre-K center, the Whitted School.

Matt Sears

Durham

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