Wake school board picks education consultant for empty board seat :: WRAL.com

Soon he will be an education consultant who is the newest member of the Wake County Board of Education.

The school board voted 7 to 1, by written ballot, on Friday to appoint Craston Artis II to fill the empty District 4 board seat through the November election.

He is scheduled to be sworn in at the January 18 Board Meeting at 1:30pm, before the Board begins its working session at 2:30pm prior to the regular Board meeting.

Artis is a consultant at Artis Consulting, focusing on educational and economic projects. He also recently started working in educational technology.

The council interviewed him and three other candidates publicly on Friday afternoon before the vote. A fifth candidate withdrew his application prior to the interview.

On Friday, Artes told the board of directors that he wanted to focus on equity efforts to improve academic performance, help more diverse people graduate from teaching programs, help the district hire these teachers, and ensure the district’s infrastructure is well maintained.

In his application, Artes wrote that he wanted to work on equitable education delivery, external partnerships, funding, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

Artis isn’t entirely new to the area; He was a founding member of the Community Equity Leadership Team that advises the district on equity issues.

Artis’ interview was the first of the day, at 1pm. The board limited interviews by one hour and voted shortly after 5 p.m.

District 4 extends from downtown Raleigh to the west, the western edge of Knightdale to the east, State Highway 401 to the north, and just past I-40 to the south.

Other nominees were Juvenile Justice Educational Adviser Michael T. Williams, retired Director of Information Technology Michael T. Farmer, and current District Education Assistant Daniel Lamar Grant King.

Lonnie Charles Ervin II, who had recently been an administrator at the district’s alternative high school, withdrew his application.

Since the Board voted by written ballot, how each Board member voted was hidden.

Board members asked each candidate the same set of questions. They have taken care of the district board’s strategic plan, magnet schools, student assignment, and community relations and leadership, among other things.

All four candidates provided a common answer to questions about magnet schools and student recruitment: Magnet schools are good, neighborhood schools are important, and the district should avoid sending students on long bus trips.

Artes, whose son teaches Magnet School, supports transportation but said the area should consider shortening bus trips by identifying academies or schools with additional offerings closer to more people.

“While we must continue to use magnet schools and buses as tools…there may be some ways we can start geographically connecting different regions,” Artis said.

Moving away from neighborhood schools, Williams said, can send parents the message that their neighborhood school isn’t good enough. Grant King said parents need consistency, not to place their children in different schools.

During his interview, Williams said he wanted to make schools meet high expectations and provide every school with everything it needs so that the district is not tempted to send students away from any schools. He also said he wanted to enhance the academically and intellectually gifted presentations in the classroom, encourage work with students without prejudice, and use Chapter One funds to get more parents involved, perhaps by providing transportation for them to attend school meetings.

Farmer, in his interview, said he wants to use the data to track students over time and better assess why certain trends occur.

He cited data that most students are not ready to go to university, but noted that the data doesn’t explain why this happens.

“It tells me what’s going on, but to answer the question of why it requires a deep analysis of the data,” he said.

Farmer said his background may not include much work in education, but he believes he has complementary skills to the rest of the board.

Grant-King emphasized the call to employees to ensure they have what they need to do their jobs well. He also said the district needs to offer more vocational and technical education and work with community colleges to give students more work experience before graduating from high school.

Previously:

A retired Director of Information Technology, three youth-oriented education or corporate executives and a current education assistant have each applied to the Wake County Public System, to be the most recent representative of the Wake County Board of Education.

The board will interview the candidates on Friday and then vote on the candidates.

Anyone who receives at least five votes will represent part of downtown, eastern Raleigh, and parts of eastern Wake County.

Interviews and voting will be conducted publicly. Interviews begin Friday at 1 p.m. at the school system’s headquarters in Cary and can also be watched live on the district’s YouTube page.

One of the five candidates will hold the District 4 board seat until the November elections. Former Board Chairman Keith Sutton has left his seat after more than 12 years to become the Warren County Schools Superintendent.

District 4 extends from downtown Raleigh to the west, the western edge of Knightdale to the east, State Highway 401 to the north, and just past I-40 to the south.

The nominees, in alphabetical order, are Craston Artes III, Lonnie Charles Ervin II, Michael T. Farmer, Daniel Lamar Grant King, and Michael T. Williams.

Each candidate submits a resume, letter of interest and letters of recommendation:

  • Craston Artis II: Artis is a consultant at Artis Consulting, focusing on educational and economic projects. In his application, Artes wrote that he wanted to work on equitable education delivery, external partnerships, funding, teaching and learning, and community engagement. Artis wouldn’t be entirely new to the region; He was a founding member of the Community Equity Leadership Team that advises the district on equity issues.
  • Lonnie Charles Ervin II: Ervin is CEO of E. Fusion Solutions, which works to support at-risk youth. Irvin was the Career Development Coordinator and Special Population Coordinator at Mary E. Phillips High School, the area’s alternative high school, until December. Ervin says he wants to work with companies to meet workforce needs, and community partnerships to ensure student needs are met, and to build and retain a diverse and adequate staff. Prior to working with the district, Irvin spent 14 years as a computer and business teacher at Longview Middle School.
  • Michael T. Farmer: Farmer is a retired Director of Information Technology. He worked for 21 years in the North Carolina Department of Transportation before retiring in 2020. Farmer stated in his application that he wanted to develop a more individualized way to track and review student progress, form outside partnerships, and use data to track how well the district was doing. Improve results.
  • Daniel Lamar Grant King: Grant-King has been a teaching assistant in the district for the past two and a half academic years — since graduating from Garner High School in June 2019. Grant-King says he wants schools to collaborate with staff and harness staff’s unique skills in planning, supporting learning Innovative regardless of student location, strategic integration of digital resources and emerging technologies.
  • Michael T. Williams: Williams has been an education consultant in student transition for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety since 2016. He is also the co-founder and CEO of DocWmsOne Education Services. Prior to starting the company in 2020, Williams was a special education teacher at Durham Public Schools for two years and associate principal at Carter Community Charter School for one year in Durham.

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