8 Apply For Vacant School Board Seat

Eight people have applied for a vacant seat on the Johnston County School Board.  The vacancy was created by the retirement of School Board Chairman Larry Strickland who won a seat in the NC House in November.

Three of the eight applicants ran unsuccessfully for the school board in 2016.

The include former school board candidates Crystal Kimpson Roberts, Jeff Jennings and Todd Sutton. Others who have applied include: Danny Creech, Francisco Ibarra, Greg Evans, Katherine Tamer, and Summer Michelle Capps.

Roberts is the owner of Mountaintop Productions. She is also the former Public Information Officer for Johnston County Schools from 2000 to 2008.

School Board Chairman Mike Wooten (center) discusses the replacement process for a vacancy on the board with Vice Chairman Dorothy Johnson (left) and Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow (right) on Dec. 13th. Eight candidates have applied for the position. A special meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 3rd to select one of the 8 candidates. JoCoReport.com Photo

In a letter to the school board, Jennings, an employee of the NC Department of Agriculture, said he learned a lot during his campaign and his professional background in agriculture and a 28 year career in marketing, and as a PTA president, would help him offer solutions and help accomplish goals as a member of the board.

Todd Sutton of Stancil’s Chapel is originally from Henderson but has been a county resident for 20 years. Sutton said he has been involved in the school system in various capacities since 2008 and is currently on the Advisory Council at Glendale Kenly Elementary and President of the North Johnston Panther Club. Sutton is a territory manager for Zylera Pharmaceuticals.

Ibarra, a former Johnston County Schools employee from 2009 to August 2016, attended Smithfield Selma High and Wake Technical Community College.  He said it was important for JCS to have a safe learning environment and share ideas to make the school system even better. Ibarra, who also speaks Spanish and Portuguese, said he would also reach out to the Hispanic community.

In a letter to the school board,  Greg Evans, who ran for the school board in 2008, is a Senior Director for Engineering Cloud Operations with Dell Technologies. With over 30 years of professional and budget management experience, and the father of a child in Johnston County schools, and the husband to an educator who worked as a teacher for 10 years in the local public school system, Evans said, “I have nothing personally to gain if selected for the board other than the continued reward of helping Johnston County Schools achieve the mission to foster a flame for learning within each child that will last a lifetime.”

Katherine Tamer of Smithfield is a member of the Smithfield Appearance Commission and a graduate student at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.  She also graduated from Catawba College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She was also a civics teacher in Charlotte from 2010 to 2015. “My experience as a teacher will provide valuable insight in choosing policies for the county,” Tamer wrote in her application letter. “As a resident of Smithfield I could provide a unique perspective since there is not currently a member from Smithfield on the current board.”

Summer Michelle Capps, who holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Criminal Justice from UNC Pembroke, served in the US Army in 2012 and 2013.  She is currently an assistant store manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement. “I have always been entrusted by my peers to be a leader and have worked towards giving back to my community by serving the public,” Capps wrote in her application letter. “There have been very few board members at or below the age of 30, let alone in the 25-30 year old range. Our community deserves a fresh perspective that could potentially help shape and construct creative ideas.”

The Johnston County School Board will meet in special session on Tuesday, January 3rd at 5:00pm to discuss the applicants and name a replacement.  The newly appointed board member will fill out the unexpired term of Strickland through November 2017.