On Friday, August 24, dozens of Wake County Schools staff/faculty members, parents, and news crews gathered in the bus lot of Leesville Road High School. The purpose of this gathering was a Red4Ed(NC) press conference to discuss education reform in North Carolina.
Spearheaded by Angela Scioli, a teacher at Leesville, the event addressed the many issues surrounding the North Carolina public education system as publicly as possible. This deceptively small press conference garnered no small amount of attention, however. Slated to attend were North Carolina senator Jay Chaudhuri and Representatives Cynthia Ball and Rosa Gill until they were unexpectedly called into session.
Despite the absence of these officials, the conference went off without a hitch. With several local news crews armed with cameras and microphones filming, Scioli introduced and thanked those in attendance, made her opening remarks regarding Red4Ed’s purpose and goals, and vacated the lectern for four other Wake County teachers to speak.
Amongst these four speakers was Leesville’s own Monica Wilkerson, who voiced her previously existing pride for being a teacher in the great state of North Carolina and the unfortunately fall from grace that our state’s education system has undergone. “I no longer felt comfortable stating my profession,” said Wilkerson. “Would I receive disdain, a lecture, or the most now common response, pity.” This sad state of affairs is one that Wilkerson captured all to well in the span of a single sentence.
The dozen of educators standing in the background amplified the words of each speaker; the ideas resonating with each thoughtful face gave every word a sense of weight, and every speaker an immense sense of purpose and duty.
Greg Ford, Wake County Commissioner for District Six, could also be found amongst the crowd of teachers behind the lectern. As a member of the community, father of a student at Leesville Road High, and former Wake County administrator, Ford had every inclination to help fight for education reform in any way he could. “I’ve been supporting Red4Ed since the beginning,” said Ford. “We’ll keep fighting until we get the respect that we know all educators deserve, so that children can get the teachers that they need.”
Red4Ed NC and its members continue to forge ahead on their mission for education reform in North Carolina and will not be satisfied until they are able to create suitable changes. While this particular press conference appears to be a success, we have to wait to see what the future holds for Red4Ed and those who benefit from its work.