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Sunday October 2nd

New board member Deon Temne hopes to address diversity in CHCCS

Deon Temne was elected to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education in November. Photo courtesy of Deon Temne.
Buy Photos Deon Temne was elected to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education in November. Photo courtesy of Deon Temne.

The newly elected Deon Temne wants to bring a diverse perspective to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board Of Education.

On Nov. 5, Temne along with Ashton Powell and Jillian La Serna were elected to serve their first terms on the Board. Returning member Rani Dasi was also chosen to serve another term on the board.

Temne said he prides himself on putting others first and wants to bring that energy to his position on the board. When the results of the election came in, he had more important things to pay attention to.

“I was actually cooking dinner for my kids,” Temne said. 

Deon’s background in volunteering displays a long-standing commitment to serving those who need help most. He serves as a mentor for the National Urban League, an organization that is committed to eliminating racial segregation and discrimination and helping African Americans participate in all aspects of life.

“A victory for me is if we can actually get the masses to understand that our curriculum is doing the most injustice to our minority students,” Temne said. “And also understand that we create all these segmented groups of kids and honestly the bar should be set at a certain level for all students and start teaching to that level for all students.”

Temne places a high level of urgency around supporting all students equally. He said he thinks that we may not be approaching education in the most effective way right now. 

“What we do is create this segregation of, this little group is more special than that little group which is more special than that group,” Temne said. “If we have one set curriculum for everyone, we’ll pull up all the children to the higher level for the whole district.”

The Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis found the second-largest racial achievement gap in the United States belongs to the Chapel-Hill Carrboro school district, out of the cities studied. 

Temne is ready to bring change to Chapel Hill and Carrboro and is excited to be working with the other newcomers to the board.

“I’m actually looking forward to working with all the members of the school board, but especially Jillian and Ashton. We had a bunch of talks during the whole campaign season. And we had some of the same ideas," Temne said. "We came at it from different directions, but for the most part we had the same ideas."

He has a lot of hope for the future. According to his website, Temne said he thinks with those alongside him, they can "bring more equity to our schools."

“We bring a lot of uniqueness to the Board itself and of course I’m excited about the election and I’m excited about the results," Temne said. "I’m excited to work with the rest of the board."

Deon said he is ready for the challenge of turning the tide of the achievement gap. With his new role on the Board, he considers this a next step of serving the public.

“Honestly, all kids are brilliant, but all kids need help,” Temne said.

This story is the final story in a series featuring the newly elected members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. Read more about new board members Jillian La Serna and Ashton Powell.


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