Candidate filing for the 2024 general election in Forsyth County began last week. Four people with ties to public education filed together on Thursday.
One of the candidates is Ronda Mays, a school social worker in Stokes County. She used to work in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and was the president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators.
Now she’s running as a Democrat for North Carolina Senate in District 31.
“I am just very passionate about public education, about voting rights, about housing, and about medical coverage and mental health treatment and availability," Mays said. "Because those are issues that really eat at me because I can't stand to see people not have a quality education. Our children deserve that because they are our future.”
Also running for the same Senate seat, but as a Republican, is Dana Caudill Jones, a former Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board member. She’s currently on the board of the district’s new education foundation.
In the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners race, there are even more candidates with ties to public schools. Marsie West, Kendall Fields, and Valerie Brockenbrough are running as a slate of Democrats for District B.
West has worked on public school budgets. Fields is a teacher at Parkland Magnet High School in Winston-Salem. And Brockenbrough is a local public education advocate, who says there needs to be more investment in schools.
“The state is underfunding our schools. And I think the county needs to step up, and really look at the needs of the school and meet those needs," Brockenbrough said. "ESSER funds are going away, we have to recover from COVID, with the learning losses. And even though the county is giving a lot of money, it's the majority of the budget, our schools need more.”
Six Republican candidates are running for Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in District B as well.
Candidate filing ends on Friday, December 15, at noon.
Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.