Nash school board member named to Hunt Fellows program | The Enterprise
The Enterprise

Nash school board member named to Hunt Fellows program

Posted on June 7, 2021

Local news



A Nash County Board of Education member has been selected to participate in the Hunt State Policy Fellows Program’s inaugural cohort.

LaShawnda Washington of Rocky Mount will join several other elected officials and educators across the state in the innovative program meant to develop education-focused future policymakers.

“The Hunt State Policy Fellows program perfectly aligns with the Hunt Institute’s mission to help policymakers navigate an ever-changing education landscape and prepare them to work across the aisle to improve outcomes for all of North Carolina’s students. I look forward to working with this group of young leaders to build champions of education,” said former Gov. Jim Hunt of Wilson County, the Hunt Institute’s board chairman.

The program aims to provide a bipartisan group of future education policymakers and aspiring state and local elected officials in North Carolina with the resources, space and expertise needed to develop thoughtful positions on a variety of education policy issues. To do so, the institute gathered leaders from across the state including county commissioners, school board members, mayors, city councilors, advocates and other community leaders.

From July through November, participants will meet for three sessions discussing North Carolina’s education governance and key policy issues across the continuum from birth to the workforce. These sessions will take place over two days and offer ways for fellows to engage in constructive dialogue around leadership in the public policy landscape, building consensus across parties and navigating competing agendas.

During each meeting, participants will hear from leading practitioners, elected officials and state and national resource experts to build their capacity to be informed advocates for North Carolina’s students, said Javaid Siddiqi, the institute’s president and chief executive officer.

“Creating a pipeline of informed education leaders, beginning at the municipal and county levels, continuing through the North Carolina General Assembly and on to state and national elected office, will ensure that North Carolina continues to have strong voices for education in policymaking positions,” Siddiqi said. “The Hunt State Policy Fellows is a natural extension of our Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows model, working with officials earlier on in their careers to ensure education remains a consistent focus throughout their time in the policymaking space.”  

Members of the 2021 Hunt State Policy Fellows inaugural cohort are:

• Miles Atkins, mayor, Mooresville.

• Sherry Butler, Catawba County commissioner, Newton.

• Hannah Chan, founder, N.C. Asian American Coalition, Cary.

• Newell Clark, mayor, Lexington.

• Rani Dasi, Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board member, Chapel Hill.

• Amanda Edwards, Buncombe County commissioner, Weaverville.

• Larken Egleston, Charlotte City Council member, Charlotte.

• Franklin Gomez Flores, Chatham County commissioner, Pittsboro.

• Tim Foster, Onslow County commission vice chair, Jacksonville.

• Holly Grimsley, Cabarrus County school board chair, Concord.

• Kate Groat, director of corporate philanthropy, Live Oak Bank, Wilmington.

• Sharon Harker, Beaufort town commissioner, Beaufort.

• Deena Hayes-Greene, Guilford County school board chair, Greensboro.

• Deb Hays, New Hanover County commissioner, Wilmington.

• Tai Huynh, Chapel Hill Town Council member, Chapel Hill.

• Mark Jerrell, Mecklenburg County commissioner, Charlotte.

• Monika Johnson-Hostler, Wake County school board member, Thomasville.

• Matt Liles, special deputy attorney general, N.C. Department of Justice, Raleigh.

• Christopher Marsicano, assistant professor of educational studies and public policy, Davidson College, Davidson.

• Todd McNeill, Ashe County commission chair, Grassy Creek.

• Pedro Morey, Waxhaw town commissioner, Waxhaw.

• Clark Riemer, chief of staff for state Rep. Jason Saine, Raleigh.

• Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, Mecklenburg County commissioner, Charlotte.

• Zeb Smathers, mayor, Canton.

• Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem chief of police, Winston-Salem.

• Catherine Whiteford, chair, N.C. Federation of Young Republicans, Concord.

• Carol Worley, Clinton city school board vice chair, Clinton.

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