School system officials briefed the prospective applicants on the issues facing the school board and the realities of becoming a public official.
Michelle Brownstein vacated the seat in early January after resigning from the board. Her seat will be filled by an appointment process. She could not be reached for comment by press time.
“We are in the middle in a lot of long-range efforts,” said James Barrett, chairperson of the CHCCS Board of Education. “A new person is one of seven but they will have a voice in shaping how we take on these issues.”
Barrett also touched on the heavy responsibility attached to the position.
“The most challenging part of when I first joined was the closed session. We handle personnel and students, so people’s jobs and people’s kids,” Barrett said.
Joal Hall Broun, who ran for the seat in the 2015 General Election and lost, has already applied for the vacated seat and intends to pursue the position again.
“I’m still interested in providing my point of view and life experience. It’s only been a few months,” Broun said.
Broun formerly served on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen for 12 years and stepped down in 2011.
“There needs to be a culture shift. Let’s not just pat ourselves on the back for what we have accomplished, Broun said.
She said if she is appointed to the board she will prioritize reducing the achievement gap.
“Every student deserves a first-class education,” Broun said.
This sentiment was echoed by other prospective applicants.
Many of the people who expressed interest in applying were educators who are not employees of the school district.
“I want to have educators involved with these issues because we face these issues firsthand,” Ashton Powell, an instructor at the North Carolina School of Math and Science in Durham, said.
Hector Rosario served 12 years as a tenured full professor at the University of Puerto Rico at the Mayagüez Campus and began teaching at the School of Math and Science this calendar year.
“I want to better establish myself in the community and offer what I can best offer, which is nurturing talent through education opportunities,” Rosario said.
Applications for the position are due Feb. 5 to the Superintendent’s office.
The new appointee will be sworn in on March 3.