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'If not myself, then who': Honoria Middough runs for teacher representation on CHCCS board

Photo courtesy of Honor Middough

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

Honoria Middough said she laughed at the idea of running for the CHCCS Board of Education when two of her friends first asked her if she would run.

"Then I slept on it, and I said, 'If not myself, then who,'" she said.

She said she realized if no one stood up from the community to run, there was a possibility that people who do not have CHCCS' best interest could gain seats on the school board.

According to her campaign website, Middough's platform includes advocating for the schools that the community deserves. Her website also says she supports the core values of the CHCCS 2022-27 Strategic Plan

“I believe that there should be active educators on a school board. It only makes sense," Middough said.  "And so I believe that that's what differentiates me from other candidates who are currently running for school board."

Middough is the mother of a CHCCS graduate and has over a decade of experience as an English as a second language teacher in Durham Public Schools. She has also been a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators since 2014 and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in 2018.

While the NCAE does not endorse candidates in the school board race, Brian Link, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Association of Educators, said Middough's performance at a recent debate showed that she is a strong candidate.

“Obviously, teacher voice in education is extremely important, and as someone who is a current educator, and an educator of color, she would bring valuable insight to our board about what the needs of students and her fellow educators are,” Link said.

Middough said she wants to promote opportunities for students that they may not be aware of, such as the ways middle school students can earn math and English I high school credit.

Many CHCCS students do not know about this opportunity, and she wants middle school students to realize that they can advocate for themselves, she said.

Jen Painter, Middough's colleague, said Middough's work as an educator has made her more measured and thoughtful. Painter and Middough work at different schools in Durham County, but both are ESL teachers and have collaborated for years on leadership decisions in their ESL departments.

“I think she has a really good equity lens because of that work," Painter said. "She sees what students need in the classroom, but also other needs they have for transportation, school lunch, parent contacts, different things like that." 

In addition to her years as an educator, Middough said being a parent of a CHCCS graduate has made her more aware of both positive and negative aspects of the district. 

“I just wonder if my daughter didn't have a teacher in the house — think about all of those other folks who don't have educators as parents, and I wonder what they missed," Middough said. "So I feel bad for our students. Especially our Black and brown students who sometimes get left behind in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district.”

@DTHCityState |

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