The Asheville City Association of Educators (ACAE) was saddened to learn that Peyton O’Conner has resigned from the Asheville City Schools Board of Education. Peyton has been a tireless advocate for our schools. Her reasons for leaving are clear, and we must all work for a community where everyone is safe, welcomed, and respected.
Although our school board is now elected, because Ms. O’Conner was appointed, her seat will also be filled by Asheville City Council. We appreciate the commitment of council members to listen to the community for guidance on who will best serve our schools.
During the recent campaign, ACAE endorsed Jesse Warren for the board of education. Mr. Warren has been a member of our school community for decades. He has established strong relationships with students, staff, and families, and he has an inside perspective on our school district that would prove invaluable to the board. We continue to endorse Mr. Warren for the open seat on the school board.
We also recognize that Pepi Acebo received the most votes of any candidate who did not win a seat on the school board. Mr. Acebo has, for years, attended school board meetings, participated and led school PTOs, volunteered in schools, and advocated on behalf of staff and students. ACAE also believes that Mr. Acebo would be an excellent selection for the open seat on the school board.
There are certainly other members of our community who would serve honorably and well. However, it has been less than two months since an election campaign that gave the community a chance to examine the qualifications of candidates for the board, and we do not believe it necessary or advisable to open the appointment process to those who did not participate in the election process.
ACAE members look forward to working with the new school board on issues most important to staff, including a living wage for all staff, an increase in the local supplement to match other urban districts, and meaningful staff input into the selection of our next superintendent. We invite community supporters to join our work by joining us at https://www.ncae.org/community-ally.