July 31, 2008

Laukaitis Joins Cabarrus School Board Race

By Justin Vick, Independent Tribune, Concord, N.C.

Jul. 30--Longtime child care advocate Anne Laukaitis is running for the Cabarrus County Board of Education, making this year's school board ballot the largest in the last decade.

Laukaitis, 68, said her interests in public education include the high school dropout rate, early remediation for children with learning disabilities and early education.

She will retire at the end of September as executive director of the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children, a nonprofit that administers the Smart Start and More at Four early education programs.

Laukaitis served on the organizing committee that formed Communities in Schools of Cabarrus County, which partnered with Cabarrus County Schools last year to open a Performance Learning Center. The non-traditional school gives at-risk students opportunities to complete credits through an online-based curriculum.

She's also served as board chair of Communities in Schools of Cabarrus County for the last seven years, and is also on the board of the Academic Learning Center.

Laukaitis joins a school board race consisting of 12 other candidates, making this year's school board ballot the largest in 10 years.

Others running include incumbents Holly Blackwelder, Cindy Fertenbaugh and Wayne Williams, as well as challengers Lew Davidson, David Harrison, Mike Helms, Anna Hood, Blake Kiger, Wilma Means, Dr. Jan van Ravesteyn, Philip Stephens and Robert Tizon.

Five of seven school board seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election, with the fifth-place finisher earning the two remaining years of Liz Poole's term.

Residents have until Friday to apply for the school board ballot. The process involves filling out paperwork and paying a $5 filing fee to the county elections office at 53 Corban Ave. S.E., Concord. The office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Details: 704-920-2860 or www.co.cabarrus.nc.us/elections

--Contact Justin Vick: 704-789-9138


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