Candidates for Buncombe County Board of Education, 2018 general election voter guide

Editor’s note: All of the candidates for Buncombe County Board of Education are running in different districts and are unopposed. They are not running against one another. For the sake of concise organization Xpress is listing them together. All voters in Buncombe County School Districts will see all the candidates on their ballots.


Pat Bryant

Occupation: Realtor with Beverly-Hanks & Associates
Previous candidacy or offices held: Erwin representative, Buncombe County Board of Education. (2006-present)
Key endorsements: Buncombe County Association of Educators

Why are you seeking another term on the board of education?

I have enjoyed my service time over the past 12 years, and feel that my experience and passion for schools and children have not wavered and this allows me an opportunity to serve this community. I also want to continue to advocate for and support the good work done on a daily basis in our traditional public schools while also advocating for increased resources so we can offer the greatest opportunities possible for our students in Buncombe County Schools

What aspect of Buncombe County Schools most needs improvement? And how will you address that?

I believe we need to add more support personnel and programming in our schools to assist in the growing issues that children bring into schools on a daily basis. Additional mental health support is needed so we can meet students where they are and work to help them grow and learn so they have the greatest opportunities for success. I will continue working with local legislators in Raleigh and county commissioners to raise awareness and money so that we invest wisely and appropriately in these areas.


Cindy McMahon

Occupation: Senior consultant, WNC Nonprofit Pathwa
Previous candidacy or offices held: Reynolds representative, Buncombe County Board of Education (2014-present)
Key endorsements: Buncombe County Association of Educators

Why are you seeking another term on the board of education?

I love Buncombe County Schools! I believe that public schools are vital for a thriving Buncombe County, and it has been my honor to serve our students and teachers for the past four years. Both my children attended Reynolds District schools from kindergarten through graduation. With all that the schools have given to our own family and community, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue offering my time, commitment, leadership and advocacy on behalf of Buncombe County Schools.

What aspect of Buncombe County Schools most needs improvement? And how will you address that?

Buncombe County has one of the strongest school systems in North Carolina and beyond, and there is always room for improvement. While our primary responsibility is teaching, mental health issues can make learning difficult; addressing these concerns helps keep our schools safer. I will work with other school board members and school staff to advocate for services and funding for additional mental and behavioral health specialists in all schools.


Max Queen

Occupation: Vice president Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (retired)
Previous candidacy or offices held: Enka representative, Buncombe County Board of Education
Key endorsements: Buncombe County Association of Educators, K. Ray and Glenda Bailey, Dr. Roger and Anita Metcalf, Rev. Dennis Thurman

Why are you seeking another term on the board of education?

During my first term, I participated in N.C. School Board training aimed at educating school board members of trends, data, policy and legal issues impacting our schools. That training and experience have made me a better representative for my community and the children and youths I serve. There is ongoing work being done and new challenges on the horizon. I am committed to working to solve these issues and making our Buncombe County Schools a model for others to follow.

What aspect of Buncombe County Schools most needs improvement? And how will you address that?

Personnel and school safety require constant improvement. Retention and recruitment of professional certified personnel require compensation commensurate with the national average. To enhance school safety, more counselors, mental health professionals and school resource officers are needed in conjunction with building improvements. I communicate with state and local lawmakers, providing them information for informed budget decisions. I also encourage teachers and staff to pursue grants. Serve on the Campus Safety Committee to conduct systemwide assessments of our schools and direct changes.

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