Q&A with School Board Candidates – Part 1

Published 5:09 pm Monday, April 18, 2022

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Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond. We gave candidates two weeks to email their answers back.

School Board


Anthony Graves
Melvin B. Poole
Robin B. Whittaker
John Wright

District 1
Dustin Lisk
Meghan Almond

1. Tell us a little about your background. Do you currently or have you ever had any children in the school system?

Anthony Graves

Graves: I have lived in Stanly County for the past 22 years. For over half of that time, I was a resident of Oakboro and volunteered as a firefighter and EMT with Oakboro Fire Department. Since 2013, my wife and I have lived in Endy.
I have spent my entire professional career in tech, focused on software and hardware solutions for the manufacturing industry. In addition to owning and operating numerous successful small businesses, I’m currently an executive with a Fortune 500 company.

I grew up in Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, where I spent summers fishing and crabbing, and winters cheering on the Washington Redskins (North Carolina’s original football team!). Since I could walk, my family spent our summer vacations on the Outer Banks (Nags Head).
My wife and I don’t have any children, but nearly every one of our friends has at least one child currently enrolled in one of Stanly County’s public schools.

Melvin Poole

Poole: Retired military officer with service in Vietnam and Iraq. Graduate from UNCC with additional Human Development & Learning course work at Pfeiffer. Married to Janice Kaye Poole for 49 years. Previous member of the Stanly County School Board for 22-plus years. Resident of Red Cross and currently serving on the Town Council. Two sons that attended K-12 years in the public system. Both graduated near the top of their respective classes.

Whittaker: I am a Stanly County native; my husband and I live in Endy Community. I am graduate of West Stanly High School and Stanly Community College. My children are Stanly County Schools graduates, and I currently have two granddaughters in Stanly County Schools and one that will be attending in the near future.

Robin Whittaker

I have 15 years of experience as a former SCS employee serving as a financial secretary. I have 10 years of previous school board experience having served on the Stanly County School Board from 1994-2000 and then again from 2006-2010. I am presently employed in a neighboring school system utilizing my financial background and have been so for the last four and a half years.
As you can see, I have much of my life invested in Stanly County and Stanly County Schools.

John Wright

Wright: I am a PC tech by trade, as well as a small podcast streamer. I have twin 10-year-old grandsons, Aiden and Jayden, go to school here in Stanly County.
It was when Aiden back in 2020, when he said, if Biden wins, we will lose our freedoms. All I can think of saying to him at the time was, your job is to be a kid. Let me handle the adult stuff. Believe me the fire was lit to do whatever I could to protect not only my grandchildren, but the kids of Stanly County.

Lisk: I am originally from Albemarle and currently live in Stanfield with my wife, Courtney, and children, Hank and Lucy. Hank enters kindergarten in August 2022, and Lucy enters in August 2023.

Dustin Lisk

I attended New London Elementary School through eighth grade, then graduated from Albemarle High School in 1998. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from UNC-Charlotte, a professional designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst from the Yale School of Management, and hold the professional designation of Charted Retirement Planning Consultant.

I will finish a Master of Business Administration degree from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in early 2023.

I began my career in wealth management as an intern for Merrill Lynch during college. I currently serve as vice president of Wealth Management with Raymond James. Courtney served as a math teacher for six years at Albemarle High School. She served the last eight years at Forest Hills High School as a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal.

In my free time, I enjoy anything outdoors, particularly golfing, hunting, fishing and hiking. I am board chair for Live Again Ministries in Locust, and a member, past president and board chair of the Rotary Club of West Stanly.

Almond: My name is Meghan Almond and I’m currently running for the District 1 School Board seat.

Meghan Almond

I come from a military family so traveling was a must. Thankfully, my parents saw fit to settle in Stanly County in 1994 where I was enrolled at Stanfield Elementary School. I went on to graduate from WSHS in 2002, married my high school sweetheart in 2006 and started our little family in 2009. Our three sons are now 12 (Caleb), 10 (Ethan) and 3 (Silas).

During this timeframe I became a licensed cosmetologist and later a preschool teacher for a local private school. With our growing family, my husband and I decided it was best for me to transition into the role of homemaker which has been a blessing in itself.

Caleb and Ethan are currently enrolled at Oakboro Stem with some of the best teachers around!