Jennifer D. Moore will take office this summer as one of the new board members on the Orange County Schools Board of Education.
Moore has worked in the educational system for more than a decade in a variety of schools, educational levels and districts. She has worked in the public school system in North Carolina for 12 years as an exceptional children’s instructional assistant, and she said her extensive experience within the realm of education has taught her how to advocate for students.
She has also served as the vice president of the Orange County Association of Educators and currently works at Duke University, where she offers academic assistant faculty support.
Moore said her leadership within OCAE was one reason she chose to run for school board. However, she said her interest in the position ultimately stemmed from her passion for improving educational opportunities for all in Orange County.
“I have a genuine interest in seeing that every school is the best it can be,” she said. “As a school board member, I want to work in a collaborative manner with the Orange County School stakeholders. I want to ensure that quality educational programming is available for all of our students. I believe that all of our students deserve a safe and nurturing school environment.”
Moore’s campaign was endorsed by the Northern Orange Black Voters Alliance, the Orange County Association of Educators and former Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens. Stevens said Moore's professional background and her emphasis on providing quality education to all students would make her an effective board member.
“There certainly were a lot worthy people running, but I was impressed by Jennifer Moore’s professional credentials and the genuineness in which she spoke about her desire to participate on the board,” he said. “I thought she would bring some refreshing new perspective.”
He said that Moore had the unique desire and energy to make sure all students in Orange County had the best education possible. In addition, he said he was impressed by the way she interacted with the other candidates, and by her work in business, mental health and the community.
Moore said that during her time on the board she hopes to increase teacher and teacher assistant pay and student achievement. She said she also wants to focus on ensuring school safety and community engagement while prioritizing educational equity.
She said she wants to recruit and retain teachers from historically black colleges, historically women's and men's colleges, community colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions.
One of her specific goals, she said, was to renovate or replace older schools and school supplies. Additionally, she said it is a priority for her to ensure that schools in Orange County have at least the national average of school counselors per student.
“As a former public school educator I envision that every student is on a path to graduate and equipped with a solid education to lead to a successful life,” she said. “I see our community providing the resources to protect and enrich students when they are in and out of the classroom and the school board effectively pursuing financial policy, which can help provide an outstanding return on our community’s investment in our school district.”
Moore said with the future of the coronavirus pandemic unknown, she knows she is going to have to hit the ground running. As the effects of the disease evolve, she said her priority will be to provide students with the resources, internet access and information they need to be successful.
Despite the challenge, Moore said she is not discouraged.
“This is something that is very dear to my heart, as far as advocating for education,” she said. “I want to help each student the very best that I can. I want to be involved in their processes.”
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