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School board candidate Vickie Feaster Fornville reflects on her career, CHCCS policy

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Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education candidate Vickie Feaster Fornville stands in front of Carrboro Elementary School, which she attended as a child, on Tuesday Oct. 24, 2023.

Editor's note: This story is part of a series on Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Board of Education candidates. The Daily Tar Heel is not endorsing any CHCCS school board candidates.

Vickie Feaster Fornville, a retired probation parole officer and special projects coordinator for Orange County, wants to bring a local voice back to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Feaster Fornville said she filed for the school board race with her mother and youngest daughter beside her. Her youngest daughter currently attends Chapel Hill High School, and her oldest graduated in 2020.

Feaster Fornville also graduated from CHHS, attending six schools in the district growing up. After attending college at UNC Wilmington, she moved back to Orange County to begin training to be a probation parole officer, where she supervised local high school students on probation.

Natasha Adams, an assistant public defender in Orange County, said she met Feaster Fornville in the court system and has known her for 19 years.

"She genuinely cared about the individual, and it was never about, ‘This person being on my caseload,'" she said. "It was about, 'What can I do in the capacity that I have right now to help provide all services that I can to put that person in a better position.'"

Feaster Fornville said she also was assigned to Orange County’s first specialty mental health court, Community Resource Court, where she worked with people with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use.

"The best part of my job was people successfully completing probation and being able to have better outcomes than they would have had had they not had the opportunity for probation," she said. 

Chris Wallace, the associate executive director at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, said he met Feaster Fornville when she signed her daughter up to be part of the Communiversity Youth Program, an enrichment program for students in the community operated out of Sonja Hayes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Wallace was the executive director of the program for almost 11 years.

"Her voice and her thoughts about education and particularly her unique ways of better supporting students was one of the reasons why we adjusted some of our programming structure to ensure that we added things such as a service component," he said.

Feaster Fornville said as a parent, she was happy with how CHCCS handled communication and safety during the two active shooter situations on UNC’s campus this fall.

"The district pushed out communication, our kids were in a secure lockdown, which nobody, nobody in and nobody out, and we could trust that we were getting good information ongoing," she said. 

She said she is in support of the district’s adoption of its 2027 Strategic Plan, and that she thinks the district can be more intentional and breathe more life into the words of the plan.

The plan’s mission is to create a safe and joyful learning environment for students and collaborate with families to establish a community where students and staff members feel affirmed and respected.

Feaster Fornville said she would like to see the district further address student insecurity. She said some students are teased about food insecurity, and that she would support the district offering free breakfast and lunch for all students.

"I think our district needs to do a better job pushing policies and practices that allow our students to show up as their authentic self every day and meet them to help elevate them to the best people that they can become," she said.

She said there is not enough movement to address the racial achievement gap within CHCCS because the district lacks collective community engagement for improvement.

The district needs to team up with the greater community, the University and local municipalities to push forward different paths of achievement for students, she said.

"That's vocational training, or different avenues for things outside of going straight to college, after high school, and even different ways to get to college and the different opportunities so that when we start meeting those people and making sure that Black and brown [students] are engaged in that as well," she said. 

Feaster Fornville said she will continue to serve the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area regardless of if she wins a school board seat.

"I am just as committed now as I was before I ever ran," she said. "I've been committed to home my entire life. This is home and this is what I know. And this is where I want to be."

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@Lucymarques_

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com


Lucy Marques

Lucy Marques is a 2023-24 assistant city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She was previously a city & state senior writer. Lucy is a junior pursuing a double major in political science and Hispanic literatures and cultures.

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