PA-PAC Questionnaire for Durham Public School
Board of Education 2014
Candidate Name: Thomas Poole__________________________ _______
Address: 809 E. Ellerbee Street, Durham, NC 27704 ______________________
E-mail address: email@example.com ______________________________
Phone: 919-229-1151 ___________________________________________________
1. Why do you want to serve on the Durham Public School Board of Education?
To install a sense of Leadership and Guidance with a Purpose. To provide a collaboration
with Students, Parents, and the Community without formalities. To make sure the Board is
articulate in presenting it’s mission, accomplishments, and goals. Plus, to actually engage
input and support from the Community. This will enhance the perception of DPS Board.
What is the role of a board member?
1. To serve it’s Constituents!
2. Provide proper Fiduciary oversight!
3. Establish adequate resources to carry out the Mission!
4. Integrity and Standards
5. Strengthen the current programs and services.
6. Vision for Sustainability.
7. To affirm that the Superintendent has the moral and professional support he or she will
need to carry out the Duties of the Office. Plus, access their performance to further the
goals of DPS.
2. The board will be involved in the hiring of a new superintendent. What should the
search process look like?
1. It should not be by hiring a Consulting Firm! This is total Improper Fiduciary
2. DPS has a Human Resource (HR) Dept. Director that should work with 2 designated
Board Members (duties of Board Members) to work on the search.
3. Recruit first from within. DPS has an Outstanding Deputy Superintendent, Education
Professionals, and Principals with M.A’s. and Ph.D’s in Educational Leadership with
Experience within DPS.
4. Within Durham County, NC is Duke University Liberal Arts School and NC Central
University Dept. of Education. Both School’s have Deans, Departments Heads, and
Educational Professional Leaders with Outstanding Qualifications to run a Public School
5. If by some Odd or Inappropriate reason no one is selected from the above – HR will
advertise thru the internet, newspapers, and other media venues.
What qualities should the successful candidate possess?
1. A solid educational leadership background.
2. Solid communicational skills.
3. Must love working with Children and Youths with a Child First Attitude.
4. Honored to be the Face of DPS.
5. Character with a Champion’s personality for the Students, Parents, and the Community.
6. Must be able to assemble an Executive Staff to improve Student Achievement, diminish
the gap between high and low performing Students, and establish strong community outreach.
7. Must demonstrate knowing the value of Teachers and Teacher Assistants!
3. How should teachers and administrators be evaluated?
By the NC State Board of Education Approved - NC DPI Teacher’s Evaluation Manual &
Process and Superintendent, Central Office Administrators & Non-Instructional Staff
Manual & Process
Are the current state standards effective?
Yes. As stated by NC DPI, (“The intended purpose of the evaluation instruments is to assess
performance in relation to the standards and to serve as a development model for individual growth and development
for the practitioner. The Race to the Top Professional Development Leads can provide free training on the evaluation
processes, including the most recent actions by the State Board of Education.”
“The intended purpose of the North Carolina Superintendent Evaluation Process is to assess superintendents in
relation to research-based strategies that have been proven to be effective. For purposes of the policy, central office
staff includes Deputy, Assistant, and Associate Superintendents”), I agree. (I read the manuals.)
4. How should students be assessed?
Hopefully, by a Standardized Non-bias Test.
What role should standardized tests play in evaluating students?
Measuring the Student’s ability to achieve at his or hers grade level. This will determine
how the Teacher will proceed with Students at, above, or below grade level. The test should be
administered at one month into the school year, middle, and end of the school year.
5. In spite of the introduction of magnet schools, it appears that Durham Public
Schools have become increasingly segregated by socioeconomic status and race.
What are your thoughts on this situation?
1. Neighborhoods in Durham, NC are diverse and segregated by race and status quo.
2. Parents select the options of a lottery school verses neighborhood school required by the
DPS’s school districts boundaries map. (This is similar to the option of a Charter School
choice for Parents.)
3. Parents look at how DPS Board is geared more to pushing the Magnets instead of all the
schools in their care.
6. Does DPS need to make changes to its school suspension policy? Yes.
If so, what changes would you work for as a Board Member?
The School Board will instruct the Superintendent to have the 3 School entities of High
School Principals, Middle School Principals, and Elementary School Principals to
separately hash out an agreement on a School-wide suspension policy for their respected
entity. The Superintendent will then present the 3 proposals to the Board for Approval.
Then the Board will issue their results for Policy and Procedure to be implemented as
“Stated by the DPS Board”.
7. What is your opinion about the Charter School movement?
It is here. Let us work with any or all educational entities to strengthen our Children.
8. What is your opinion about school vouchers?
Since some of the taxpayers are Parents and they choose this program, it is their rights.
9. As a board member how would you lead the decisions addressing the needs of the
students who are at risk for low achievement and dropping out?
Let us be clear – this is an Upper to Lower Class problem! This is where Community
programs and services must take part. DPS must have a bridge that is firm in
Neighborhoods, Churches, and Family entities, and non – family entities. Examples: Parks
& Recreation, Domestic Abuse Shelters, Women & Children Shelters, Garden Clubs, Elks,
Masons, Shrines, Foundations, Mentoring, Wellness, Service and Social organizations
The Parents, Principals, and Teachers are in the fight. Let’s get others in the fight.
10. Why do you think that parents choose to take their children out of the public schools
in Durham or don’t choose them at all?
Due to the lack of leadership, guidance, and vision of the current School Board. Parents do
not see or hear any signs of a Children come first environment.
How would you address this issue?
1. I would never state to the Parents and the Community, “DPS is limited in Funds.”
2. As a Board Member, I would work on establishing endowments that would guarantee the
academics, arts and humanities, athletics, cultural development, science, and technology
programs are sustained.
11. If you could do three things to improve Durham Public Schools, what would they
1. Increase the interaction between students and programs from different DPS schools, magnets,
charters, home schools, and the higher learning institutions. By using The Arts, Science, and
Technology areas where all the learning entities can establish Clubs to compete County wide in
Events that can be sponsored by other resources. This is something that I will do “Personally” as
your Board Member!
2. Establishing a DPS Board Newsletter for All Schools that has upcoming policies changes,
decisions to be made, and the other items available for Students, Principals, and Teachers.
3. I will actually “first hand” visit the classrooms (at random) to access the correct positive support and
proper resources needed by the Teachers to assist the Students. Example: Resources needed for
modification and differentiation of the curriculum to assist certain students.
12. Please describe your educational background, noting any degrees and honors you
have earned. (skip if resume included)
13. Do you have children? Where do they or did they attend school?
Yes. I am the Father of 5 Sons.
Where do they or did they attend school?
Four Sons have graduated from Hillside High School and one is currently
attending W. G. Pearson Middle Magnet School.
14. Please describe your adult employment history (skip if resume included)
THOMAS M. POOLE
809 E. Ellerbee Street, Durham, North Carolina 27704
B.S. Degree, Geography: North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, May, 1978.
Minor, Public Administration
Highlights of Qualifications
Non-Profit Governance & Management (Rules, Roles, & Responsibilities) – NC Central Univ. Law School,
Durham, NC: (Completed) October 2012 - June 2013
CDBG Workshop - City of Durham, NC, December, 2009, 2010, and 2011
Unified Development Ordinances Workshop - Durham, NC, spring 2006
ICE (Institute of Community Economics) - Greensboro, NC, Certified: February, 2006
HUD Land Trustee - Greensboro, NC - Regional Office, Certified: February, 2006
HUD Grant writer - (Greensboro, NC - Regional Office), Certified: June, 2005
NC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: May 18, 2005
U. S. Economic Development Workshop - Elon College, Elon, NC, May 05, 2005
Co-Facilitator of District 1 (PAC-1) 2004-2006
Co-wrote the PAC 1: Resolution Establishing a Job Creation, Retention, Investment and Tax Incentive
Policy for District 1, June 28, 2006. Resolution became an Amendment to the City of Durham's Targeted
Community Development Areas Ordinance.
Facilitated the recruitment of Duke University Health Systems, Durham, NC to place a Wellness Center in
the Holton Career and Resource Center, Durham, NC.
Boards and Committees
Environmental Affairs Board / City & County of Durham, NC, 11/2010 (Secretary) 06/2013 - 06/2015
Capital Programs Advisory Committee / City of Durham, NC, 2006-2009
District Design Review Team (Planning) / City of Durham, NC, 2006-2007
Heart of the Matter Agency, LLC January 2005 – December 2013
809 E. Ellerbee Street, Durham, NC 27704-4519
Duties: Consultant - Project Manager (Community Development)
Current Community Projects
1. Women’s House of Hope, 715 Hopkins Street, Durham, NC (919)682-3029 c/o: New Greater Zion Wall
Church, P.O. Box 25002, Durham, NC 27702, (919) 682-3029 January 2009 - May 2013
Wrote several grants (some awarded) and performed other administrative Consultant Services.
2. Scheme Leader for the NECD Livability Multi-Function Green Space Scheme collaboration with the
City of Durham, NC's Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, sponsored by Partnership for
Sustainable Communities. May 2010 – December 2013
NAACP Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), 2007 to 2012
NAACP, Durham Branch
315 E. Chapel Hill Street, Suite 206, (P.O. Box 3312), Durham, NC 27702 - 919-682-4930
Position: Chairman (Volunteer)
Duties: Sustaining year round Youth Programs at Holton Career and Resource Center in Durham, NC.
Partners Against Crime (PAC -1) 2005 - 2007
District 1 Police Sub-Station, Durham, NC - 919-560-4281
Duties: To promote collaboration among police officers, Durham residents, and city and county
government officials to find sustainable solutions to community crime problems and quality of life issues.
Managed the allocated funds of the U.S. Department of Justice (JAG) Grant and matching City of
Durham, NC for Neighborhood Projects.
THOMAS M. POOLE 2
National Heritage Academies
Research Triangle Charter Academy Campus 2005 - 2009
2418 Ellis Road, Durham, NC 27703 - 919-957-7108
Position: Title I - Instructor
Duties: To assist the students with comprehension through phoneme awareness, phonics, reading
cohesiveness and handwriting. Also, basic math computations are taught.
Sales & Service Manager at Merchant’s Tire and Auto Centers
Hillsborough Rd., Durham, NC - Millbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC
Department Manager (Automotive) - Wal-Mart, Roxboro Rd., Durham, NC
U. S. Postal Service
U.S. Navy (Intelligence)
Mary Ann E. Black, Associate Vice President - Community Affairs
Duke University Health System, DUMC 3701, Durham, NC 27710, 919-668-3792
Kevin S. Dick - Director - Office of Economic and Workforce Development – City of Durham, NC
Durham, NC 27701 – (919) 560-4965 ext. 11219
Reginald J. Johnson, Esq. – Director of Department of Community Development,
City of Durham, NC - 807 E. Main Street, Building 2, Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 (919) 560-4570
Constance Stancil – Director – Department of Neighborhood Improvement Services, City of Durham, NC
807 E. Main Street, Building 2, Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 (919) 560-1647 ext. 11247
Rhonda Parker – Director – Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Durham, NC, 101 City Hall
Plaza, Durham, NC 27701 (919) 560-4355
Michael D. Page, Chairman-Durham County Commissioners, Durham County Government, 200 E. Main
Street, Durham,NC 27701 (919) 949-4022, FAX: (919) 484-8425