New Wake school board to be sworn in

November 30, 2009 9:17:09 PM PST
The Wake County school board overhaul will be official after four new board members are sworn in Tuesday.The new members have promised major changes to the district, but an outgoing member has a word of warning for them.

"Once they start making decisions, those e-mails come and there are many sides," District 7 member Patti Head said.

She spent the last eight years on the Wake County School Board.

"For me personally, it became more than a full time job," she said.

Head and three others will say goodbye to their elected seats on Tuesday.

Four new members will join five others to represent a school district which has seen rapid growth and plenty of controversy over the last decade.

"When you grow by 40,000 students, 37 schools in the last eight years, reassignment is a reality," Head said.

A reality, Head warns the new members will have to deal with starting on day one.

The newly elected members have already pledged to reverse a busing policy that ensures Wake County schools are economically diverse.

But Head cautions the new board from jumping to quick decisions, pointing out sometimes there are many sides to the issues.

"Balance the human resources, financial resources and the reality of what you have to deal with," Head said.

While serving as the board's chair and vice chair, Head says she quickly learned there's no way to make every parent happy.

"You're dealing with their children and their money," Head said. "You can't make one decision in isolation."

Even now as Head prepares to say goodbye, she says she still wrestles with certain issues that new board members will be forced to tackle.

"How do you define neighborhood, do we want to do away with options for parents," Head said. "I know that they're going to be eager, excited they have an awesome responsibility to do things, but I hope they'll bring those pieces of the puzzle ? together."

The swearing in ceremony begins at 3 p.m. The regular board meeting will begin immediately following the reception around 5 p.m. A public comment section of the meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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