Orange County voters elected three newcomers to the Orange County Schools Board of Education on Tuesday in a close election.
Bonnie Hauser, Jennifer D. Moore and Carrie Doyle were elected to the board, according to unofficial vote counts. Unofficial primary election results show that Hauser, Moore and Doyle each received about 17 percent of votes.
The results show that there was only a 0.38 percent margin between unofficial vote counts for Doyle and LaTarndra Strong, who said she is not planning on requesting a recount.
Incumbent Tony McKnight did not win re-election, unofficial vote counts show. Strong and Jennie McCray also failed to capture seats.
Lori Bateman was on the ballot but dropped out of the race.
Every candidate who won listed equity and closing the achievement gap as a main part of their platform.
Doyle said ending food and housing insecurity for students is one of her priorities for closing the gap.
Hauser’s platform focused on expanding year-round, STEM, career/technical education and other similar programs and advancing racial equity policy within OCS.
Moore said she plans to focus on engaging with the community in order to serve the district.
Moore, Doyle and Strong will replace current board members McKnight, Stephen Halkiotis and Matthew Roberts, whose terms are ending in June 2020. Halkiotis and Roberts did not run for re-election.
Orange County Commissioner Mark Dorosin said many student voters he talked to placed a high emphasis on inclusion, racial justice and equity.
Voters at the polls said some issues they cared about regarding this year’s local elections were improving school infrastructure and better treatment of teachers.
UNC sophomore Catherine Buchholtz said she thinks better treatment of teachers is an important issue regarding local schools.
Eugene Farrar, a voter at the Chapel Hill Public Library, said improving schools in the area is an issue that is important to him because many local schools are in disrepair.
“We need to improve our schools and the environment so that kids can at least have a nice, safe, clean school to go to,” he said.
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