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Three newcomers, one incumbent elected to CHCCS Board of Education

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The CHCCS Lincoln Center, located off of S Merritt Mill Road, pictured on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Rani Dasi, Barbara Fedders, Meredith Ballew and Vickie Feaster Fornville were elected to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Dasi, the race's frontrunner, won 20.13 percent of the vote and won 11,628 votes total. Fedders was close behind, winning 19.20 percent of the vote, with 11,089 votes total. Ballew and Feaster Fornville won 11.39 and 9.33 percent of the vote, respectively.

Dasi has been on the CHCCS board since 2015 and currently serves as board chair. She was also chair from 2017-18 and vice chair from 2016-17.  

“I'm just proud to that the priorities that I've communicated have resonated with the community and they've come out to support my candidacy again,” she said.

According to Dasi's campaign website, her top priorities are recruiting and retaining experienced teachers, focusing resources to areas of need and improving school facilities. She is also board chair of the Walking Classroom, a nonprofit that encourages teachers to combine exercise with instruction. 

Dasi was endorsed by INDY Week, Equality NC, Anderson-Thorpe-Battle Breakfast Club, and North Carolina Asian Americans Together.

Fedders, an associate professor at the UNC School of Law and director of the Youth Justice Clinic, has lived in the district since 2008. According to her campaign website, Fedders' priorities include retaining a diverse and dedicated staff, eliminating opportunity gaps in the district and providing high-quality research-based instruction. 

She was endorsed by Equality NC, Indy Week and Carrboro mayor Damon Seils. 

Ballew has experience in nonprofit leadership, was Parent–teacher association president for two years and served as a member on the Special Needs Advisory Council in her children’s previous school district. 

Ballew said part of her motivation for running was to advocate on behalf of students with learning disabilities and use her experience to give back to the district she was a student in. 

“The district gave me a lot, and I'm looking forward to giving back,” she said.  

Ballew was endorsed by Equality NC, Moms Demand Action, Chapel Hill mayor Pam Hemminger and District Attorney Jeff Neiman.

Chapel Hill native Feaster Fornville is a retired Orange County probation parole officer and special projects coordinator. She wants to hold the school board accountable to the CHCCS 2027 Strategic Plan: Think (and Act) Differently, prioritize teacher and student well-being and close the racial achievement gap in CHCCS schools. 

She said that she wants to engage parents in a civic-minded way and create a community within the school system. 

Feaster Fornville said she is ready to get started on work for the school board and meet with the other board newcomers. She added that she is grateful for everyone that made the race as non-competitive as possible. 

"I didn't want to be involved in anything contentious with the politics, I wanted to keep it with about trying to do the work and stay student-centered." she said, "And I think we accomplished that."

Incumbents Deon Temne and Ashton Powell were not re-elected to the school board. 

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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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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