Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

Public School Forum of North Carolina elects new board members and advisory board members

The following is a press release from the Public School Forum of North Carolina

At its June 2019 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina elected several new Directors and At-Large Advisors for two-year terms that officially began July 1, 2019.

“We’re excited to welcome so many accomplished individuals with diverse perspectives to our Board of Directors and Advisory Board,” said Keith Poston, President & Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “We also look forward to an extended term with our Board Chair, Tom Williams, who will continue to guide our efforts to advance high quality educational practices and policies that prepare our citizens for rewarding careers and lifelong success.”

The Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Board of Directors extended Williams’ two-year term into three years, effective July 1, 2019. Williams, who became Board Chair at the Forum’s annual meeting in 2018, will serve the remainder of a three-year term that will expire June 30, 2021.

This year’s new Board Members and Advisors, who are serving two-year terms, include dynamic leaders from the education, media, legal, medical, and business sectors.


  • Tom Williams, Chairman (term to continue through June 30, 2021)
  • Doug Sprecher, First Citizens Bank, Secretary/Treasurer (term continues through June 30, 2021)
  • Michael Priddy, Immediate Past Chair (term continues through June 30, 2021)
  • Keith Poston, President and Executive Director

Board of Directors

New Board Members

  • Dr. Shirley Carraway, Retired Educator
  • Yesenia L. Polanco-Galdamez, Polanco Law
  • Melody Robinson, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices
  • Darryl Webb Sr., Golden Corral
  • Mekeisha Williams, Duke University and Health System

Current Board Members elected to new two-year terms:

  • Costa Panagos, IQVIA
  • Cyndi Soter O’Neill, ChildTrust Foundation-Investors Management Corporation
  • Steve Stephenson, Ward and Smith, P.A.
  • Willis “Bill” Whichard, Tillman, Hinkle & Whichard PLLC
  • Saundra Wall Williams, Vision Building Institute for Women

Public School Forum Advisory Board

New Forum At-Large Advisors

  • Marina Aleman, Que Pasa Media Network
  • Dr. Catherine Edmonds, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools System
  • Erin Swanson, Edgecombe County Public Schools
  • Graham Lewis, Schneider Electric
  • Bill McNeal, Wake County Public School System

Current Forum At-Large Advisors elected to new two-year terms:

  • Bruce Beasley, The Beasley Group
  • Chris Bell, Region President, SunTrust Bank
  • Evelyn Bulluck, NCSBA, Nash/Rocky Mount Public Schools
  • Sue Burgess, Retired Superintendent, Dare County Schools
  • J.B. Buxton, Education Innovations Group
  • Alisa Chapman, Education Policy Consultant
  • Jeni Corn, RTI International
  • Dick Daugherty, Retired Senior Executive, IBM
  • Bob Eaves, Business Owner, Investor
  • Lou Fabrizio, Fabrizio Education Consulting
  • Jayne Fleener, College of Education at NC State
  • Patti Gillenwater, President & CEO, Elinvar
  • Jessica Holmes, Wake County Board of Commissioners
  • Scott Penland, Retired Superintendent, Clay County Schools
  • Jim Phillips, Partner at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard
  • Philip Price, Retired Chief Financial Officer, NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Shirley Prince, NC PAPA
  • Gladys Robinson, NC Senate
  • Blount Williams, Chairman & CEO, Alfred Williams & Company

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.