Truitt announces members of new Parent Advisory Committee

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt (Image from YouTube)
  • The 48 members of a new Parent Advisory Committee have been announced.
  • The purpose of the panel is to “elevate the voice of parents in students’ education” and to gather recommendations and feedback.
  • Democrats have criticized the panel for having too many parents from schools of choice, even though two-thirds of the members are parents from traditional public schools.

Catherine Truitt, North Carolina’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced the 48 members of a new Parent Advisory Committee on Tuesday, June 14.

The names were drawn from 3,000 applicants who responded to Truitt’s announcement earlier this year about the new committee. The purpose of the panel is to “elevate the voice of parents in students’ education” and to gather recommendations and feedback. Each member will serve a two-year term beginning this fall.

The commission includes six parents or guardians from each of the state’s eight educational regions, including two traditional public school parents, one public charter school parent, one homeschool parent, one private-school parent, and one at-large public-school parent from the largest county in each region.

“This commission is a consistent and routine way to ensure we are addressing challenges and improving outcomes for all of North Carolina’s students using feedback from those who know students best,” said Truitt in a statement. “I know they will come prepared to represent their unique students, who hail from all different backgrounds, by providing their insights, experiences, and perspectives on various aspects of K-12 education and student well-being.”

Each regional sub-group will meet monthly to prepare for quarterly meetings with all 48 members present.

In March, Democrats on the N.C. State Board of Education criticized Truitt for including too many parents from schools of choice — charters, private, and home schools. She countered that two-thirds of the panel is represented by parents of children from traditional public schools, and that public education leaders need to listen to parents with students attending schools of choice.

“I’m about protecting and improving outcomes for students in our public schools — absolutely, 100% — but if we’re going to be the first choice for families, then we need to understand why some families are choosing not to send their kids to us,” said Truitt in an interview with Carolina Journal for the Extreme Injustice podcast series.

“It would be difficult to find a state superintendent that has done more to engage parents than Catherine Truitt,” said Dr. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation. “The Parent Advisory Committee is a perfect example of Truitt’s rejection of the popular command-and-control leadership model in favor of a superintendency based on dialogue and collaboration with diverse groups of stakeholders.”

“Even the Biden administration agrees that communities need to increase parental engagement in education,” Stoops added. “The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the launch of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council. Like the Parent Advisory Committee, the National Parents and Families Engagement Council will include parents with children in district, charter, private, and home schools.”

Members of the Committee

North Central Region  

  1. Delon Fletcher – traditional public at-large 
  2. Preeti Vidwans – traditional public 
  3. Daniel Riley – traditional public 
  4. Tamara Adams – public charter   
  5. Delicia Hare – private 
  6. Natascha Alvarado – homeschool 

Northeast Region  

  1. Diane Taylor – traditional public at-large 
  2. Dawn Price – traditional public 
  3. Sonya Askew-Williams – traditional public 
  4. Beatriz “Betty” Ward – public charter 
  5. April Edwards – private  
  6. Mary Syrrist – homeschool 

Piedmont-Triad Region   

  1. Treena Jackson – traditional public at-large 
  2. Dwayne Young – traditional public  
  3. Lillian Adams – traditional public 
  4. Jessica Hofstetter – public charter  
  5. Neely Turlington – private  
  6. Dan Stephens – homeschool   

Southwest Region 

  1. Yolanda Price – traditional public at-large 
  2. Maria Cristina Sanchez – traditional public 
  3. Theresa Knight – traditional public  
  4. Nazila Alimohammadi – public charter  
  5. Rebecca Dies – private  
  6. Larina Pierce – homeschool  

Southeast Region 

  1. Yvonne Eason – traditional public at-large 
  2. Grelynn Bradley – traditional public  
  3. Lindsey Lee Miller – traditional public  
  4. Jessica Lopez – public charter  
  5. Charlonda Brown – private 
  6. Meganne Smith – homeschool  

Western Region

  1. Lydia Flanders – traditional public at-large 
  2. Dawn Steed – traditional public  
  3. Clark Glenn, Jr. – traditional public 
  4. Shawn Wright – public charter   
  5. Susan Osborne – private  
  6. Amber Black – homeschool  

Northwest Region  

  1. Kirsten Maynard – traditional public at-large  
  2. Kelley Wilson – traditional public  
  3. Kelsey W. Adams – traditional public  
  4. Shanna S. Wall – public charter  
  5. Maria S. Ballard – private  
  6. Jessica Frierson – homeschool  

Sandhills Region

  1. Ar-Nita Davis – traditional public, at-large   
  2. Samantha L. Oxendine – traditional public 
  3. Marie Smith – traditional public  
  4. Yvette Bell – public charter 
  5. Victor Allen – private 
  6. John Miner – homeschool