New faces appear poised to take over Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board

CHARLOTTE — Voters were ready for change as they hit the polls to pick their next representatives on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Board of Education.

Only one incumbent will hold onto their seat as three other board members seeking reelection were rebuked by voters, according to unofficial ballot totals.

CMS board members Rhonda Cheek, Carol Sawyer and Sean Strain will not be returning to their respective roles. Thelma Byers-Bailey, the representative for District 2, is the lone incumbent leading with nearly all the precincts reporting.

Former CMS teacher Melissa Easley bested Cheek by nearly 4,000 votes in the five-candidate contest for District 1.

“I wish Ms. Easley all the best in her service to District 1 and have already reached out to her to offer my help during the transition,” Cheek said in a concession posted to her Facebook.

Stephanie Sneed, an attorney and former chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte Mecklenburg, received more than 3,000 votes than Sawyer to be the next representative for District 4.

CMS parent Summer Nunn had the largest win of all over an incumbent in District 6. She beat Strain by more than 6,000 votes.

“I congratulate the new Board on their election to serve the youth of Mecklenburg County,” Strain said in a concession. “May it be the mission-focused, student-centric, deliberative Board our youth, district and staff desperately need to transform into the system our community needs and deserves.”

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Newcomers faced off in the races for CMS’ two other Board seats.

Lisa Cline was ahead of Trent Merchant by nearly 3,000 votes in District 5. In the race for District 3, Gregory “Dee” Rankin toppled Steven Rushing with more than 70% of the vote.

The new board will be tasked with picking the district’s next superintendent.

CMS’ at-large positions will be up for election in 2023.

(WATCH BELOW: National report card shows decline in CMS students’ reading, math levels)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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