Q&A With School Board Candidates – Part 3

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, April 20, 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

3. Why do you think you are the most qualified candidate for the position?

Anthony Graves

Graves: School Board members do not operate independently. The board operates as a body, and can only operate effectively when there is a consensus.

I am a problem solver with a clear track record of being able to work with the current board, even during times of significant disagreement, in a professional and positive manner. I have always treated board members with respect and tried to work in a spirit of openness, honesty and collaboration. In that regard, I believe I have earned the respect of my fellow board members.

My ability to understand complex issues and business challenges and develop intelligent solutions, without bias or hidden agendas, and work effectively with the board and school administration, is a capability I’m hoping voters agree qualifies me for a second term on the School Board.

Melvin Poole

Poole: With 22-plus years of experience and thorough knowledge of system operations, none of the other candidates can come close to my qualifications.
I certainly did not resign from the board when the going got tough and participated in all regular and special called meetings for 22-plus years with a single exceptiom for health reasons. I have proved I am committed to going the extra mile.

Whittaker: I bring with me a unique perspective on public schools and our school system. I have witnessed Stanly County Schools from every viewpoint: student, parent, employee, grandparent and board member; no other candidate brings that to the table.

Robin Whittaker

These opportunities have given me the ability to see first-hand the struggles we endure, the shortfalls that we encounter and the challenges that our school systems face daily. I believe that everyone benefits from effective public schools.

From the students we serve, to the businesses who recruit our graduates, to the taxpayers who benefit when our students enter our local workforce and then can give back to our community. We all have an investment in the success of our public schools.

I will use my experience and perspective to generate ideas and support initiatives for the benefit of students and staff. I am aware of what it takes to be a great board member.

I will listen to all sides, make sound decisions, love our students and be an advocate for them, embrace new ideas, be flexible when needed and most importantly stand up for public education.

John Wright

Wright: I feel I’m most qualified because not only do I have a horse in this race, my grandkids are going to school here, but I’m also not afraid to call out nonsense when I see it.

With my small podcast stream, I am always doing research on current events as well as news that affect not only the nation but our county as well. Doing this also keeps me in the know of what is happening in our state that will affect Stanly County.

When I see something big, I will bring it to the people of this country’s attention. We need someone not afraid to stand up and speak out. Someone not afraid to keep the parents informed.

The more the parents know, the more they can do what is best for the kids of our county. Someone that will take the time needed to listen to the concerns of the parents, students as well as teachers of this county and see what can be done to ease their concerns.

Dustin Lisk

Lisk: I am a proven leader with a long track record of success. My education, business experience, financial expertise and long history of community and board service prepared me to add tremendous value to our school system.

I am accustomed to group work. I can disagree with other viewpoints yet work towards common solutions in the best interests of our students.

I grew up in Stanly County and lived here most of my life. I come from a modest background. I understand the needs of our people. I love our county. I want to see us move forward together.

I want to give back to the schools what the schools gave me, hope and opportunity for a brighter future.

I have a vested interest in our school system. I have one child starting school this August and another child starting the following August. I want to ensure my kids and your kids have the best opportunities to succeed.

The Stanly County Republican Party had many great people to appoint to this role last fall.

The GOP chose me by an overwhelming majority. I am your conservative voice. Help me make our schools the best in NC.

Meghan Almond

Almond: As a qualified candidate, I have put in the research and time it takes to know exactly what is going on in our school system. For the past seven years I have had a front row seat in my children’s education. I have attended School Board meetings with issues that have plagued the community.

As an elected official, it would be my duty to establish educational goals and values that reflect and uphold our Constitution.

For close to a year, I have stood alongside other parents in the community voicing concerns over basic rights taken away from parents and students. I am qualified because I have the courage and knowledge to stand up for what is right when tyranny tries to invade!