As the daughter of two teachers, Lori Goins Clark knew early on how important a good, quality education was in succeeding in life. Growing up, Lori attended schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system, graduating from West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, NC, then attending UNC Chapel Hill, graduating with a BA in music and a Spanish Language minor. Throughout her high school and college years, Lori not only focused on her academics, but she was active in sports, service clubs and musical theatre, becoming a well-rounded student. Lori is a long-time member of Calvary Baptist Church and has worked in youth choir, women’s worship and missions ministries. Professionally, she has worked in sales for an IBM partner company, Gateway, Chick-fil-a and Beautycounter. But no role in her life has been more important than that of wife to Dale and mom to son Cameron, 14. In fact, Cameron’s entering kindergarten got Lori to thinking about running for the WSFC school board, another important role to Lori.
Involvement Changes Things
“My parents, as educators, instilled in me an appreciation for teaching and education. My mother also served on the school board for many years, and she had begun to consider who could fill her seat. Much of my life, I have volunteered in some capacity, and I saw this job as a natural progression from those activities. With my son Cameron in the local school system, having come through the same area schools myself, and after doing some substitute teaching, the conviction to run for the board became clear. As a mom today, I feel like I share many common values with other parents in our district. I parent, I work on my marriage, I self-evaluate in all of my roles, I do day-to-day life, I work, I attend church, have a strong faith and struggle trying to figure out dinner at the last minute, too! I live in ‘REAL-ville,’ and I use that shared-value lens to help me as I think through board policies and issues. We should all care about our district’s success. because 90% of students across the country will attend public schools. As I seek re-election to a second term in District 2 for the WSFC school board, my focus continues to be on keeping school choice, local control versus state or federal, and teacher compensation,” said Lori. In her fourth year of serving, being on the school board has brought many blessings and even more appreciation for those who work in the system.
“Since my first days on the school board, we try to end the week with ‘Fun Fridays,’ which are school visits, and it’s the best part of the job! I witness learning happening in real-time and meet teachers who understand their mission and impact. I am one voice of nine on the board. Keeping those kids first and having a ‘seek first to understand’ attitude both help me to stay focused on goals and addressing issues,” Lori commented. Those issues include teacher shortage and pay, preparing students for life following school and supporting neighborhood schools and our Choice plan.
Teachers Do Much More Than Teach
“The teacher shortage is a major issue. I believe society doesn’t value the profession and we don’t pay them enough. We ask them to do much more than teach. One way to remedy this is to increase pay for new and veteran teachers. This school board has made increasing our local teacher supplement a priority issue. Society depends upon the schools to help ready a young person to be a contributing, tax-paying citizen upon graduation or after college. Many learn skills for employment in college, but others can go the skilled-trade route. The more pathways we offer while students are in our district, the better!” stated Lori. Beyond teacher pay and preparing students, Lori believes in giving parents school options.
“I want to ensure our district keeps the CHOICE PLAN, which gives parents school options and increases their involvement. Our district has been a model for the state and continues to satisfy the large majority of our district families. Ninety percent of U.S. students will attend public schools! That means that local Board of Education races are vitally important. If, while on the Board I help maintain the choice plan, show a balanced budget, keep moving schools off the state ‘low-performing’ list, increase our local teacher pay, and contribute to a positive portrayal of public education, I will have done my job well,” commented Lori.
For more information on Lori Clark, visit www.goinsclark.com. Election Day is November 6th!