Up & Coming Weekly

October 20, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1301017

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Page 10 of 24

10 UCW OCTOBER 21-27, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Aragues running as write-in candidate for school board by CHRISTINA M. ARAGUES My name is Christina M. Aragues, a single mother of three and Army veteran who is currently running as a write-in candidate for Cumberland County School Board District 3 in North Carolina. I came to Fayetteville in 2010 for assignment to Fort Bragg and made this my home. I have a varied and unique background that I can draw from to help our community. I am the daughter of a retired public school teacher. I worked for special programs in California teaching math, essay writing and SAT skills in disadvan- taged schools. I was an EMT in the Air Force and then an officer in the active duty Army. I have planned and helped build training areas in Romania and Bulgaria. I have worked as a project manager for a major bank developing diverse technological solutions for its customers. Developing multiple con- tingency plans is my expertise. When I first learned of the lack of solutions for returning to school whether in-person, in a hybrid man- ner or remotely, I was appalled. I could not understand how the board had not worked with experts in the community to find solutions. We are not the only ones in the world, country or state facing these challeng- ing decisions. We need more diversity among our school board. We need parents with diverse backgrounds who will seek to communicate and listen to all in the community. e school board's mismanage- ment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was the final straw that convinced me to enter the race. As an Army officer, I was taught to think about and plan for second- and third-order effects. is approach is clearly lacking with the current school board's response to COVID-19 and I will point out why. First, the current school board voted to keep schools closed and continue with online education. ey decided this without listening to the plan that Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly had worked hard to create. Sadly, there are currently over 10,000 children in our county who have not logged onto the training and 7,000 special needs children. With each passing day, these kids fall further and further behind. e gap is greatly increasing between the privileged and underprivileged children. Had the school board planned for second and third-order effects they would have ensured that no child was left behind. is leads me to my next point: the current school board members do not have children who attend school. In essence, they do not have a dog in the fight. It is easier to dictate closings, openings and school schedules when it doesn't impact you at all. What was the impact of the school closings on single parents or dual-military parents? e school closings added an additional expense of up to $600 per month per kid for parents and single parents who already have tight budgets. Parents need a voice. Lastly, if the school board failed to plan and adjust for COVID-19 , can we really expect them to handle the next pandemic or crisis that will arise? Are they planning for the reintroduction of children back into the school system? How many kids will get left behind under the current leadership? Since I've been in North Carolina my cur- rent district has dropped from 47% to low 30s% in test scores. We cannot let our children suffer anymore. e time for change is now. As a last-minute write-in candidate, getting the word out is especially dif- ficult. Our current board member is running unopposed on the ballot. Un- less someone hears my name, she is the only choice. When elected, I plan to ensure that Cumberland County Schools are doing the right thing for all students. For more information visit www. facebook.com/christinaaragues1/ ELECTION 2020 CHRISTINA M. ARAGUES, School Board District 3 candidate. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Holmes running for District 44 House of Representatives by HEATHER S. HOLMES My name is Heather S. Holmes and I am your Republican candidate run- ning for the House of Representatives District 44. I am a single mom and have a 12-year-old son. I am a Christian and a member of First Baptist Church in Raeford. I'm acting youth leader at my church and the VBS director as well as a member of the choir and handbell choir. I have humble roots. My maternal grandfather was a WWII veteran and coal miner in West Virginia. My pater- nal grandfather had only a 4th grade education, but as an entrepreneur taught my parents the values of hard work, perseverance, pride of self and country and instilled not only those but my Christian values in me and my younger sister. Professionally, I'm a government contractor and I work to provide commercial products to federal and military customers with the Defense Logistics Agency. I want to be the one to represent you in Raleigh by introducing new leg- islation to protect our children from pedophiles and sexual abuse. ere needs to be stricter laws and harsher punishment for those who rob the innocence of others. I will be the voice for those silenced. I believe in school choice. As a full- time working mom who homeschools and I believe as parents, you have the right to choose how to educate your child. As the daughter of military veterans and law enforcement veterans, I have seen first-hand the impact of war and both abroad and local to our com- munity. Our military and law enforce- ment (both active and veteran) are mistreated, neglected and forgotten when it comes to their mental health. I will work with them, medical and naturopathic doctors to provide safe and alternative treatments for those who suffer with PTSD, depression and anxiety and other mental illness. ey have given so much and don't ask for anything in return. I am card carrying member of the NRA and North Carolina Grassroots and will vote to protect North Carolin- ians' right to keep and bear arms. As a Christian, I believe that all life is sacred. I am a strong pro-life advocate and will fight for the lives of unborn children. e coronavirus has hit our state pretty hard and the restrictions that were initially put in place for safety have now become about control. North Carolina needs to reopen busi- nesses and get back to normal life in a safe way. Small business owners especially are struggling with the shut- down and it has and still is affecting their way of life. It's important to bal- ance the needs of the economy with the concern's citizens have for their health. I will work with the governor and other legislators and medical officials to reopen our state and bring back our thriving economy. North Carolina has made significant improvements in education funding and teacher pay and we are com- mitted to continuing improvement. Democrats and Governor Cooper voted against every teacher pay raise because they said they weren't good enough. Not only do we need more teachers, we need better education, vouchers for parents wanting to use other op- tions for their children's education as well as more materials and funding for the arts. I won't play politics. I will do what- ever I can to improve educational outcomes for students and help retain teachers. I will not make promises I cannot keep but I will work very hard for the citizens of Cumberland County to not only make our county better, but also our state. I hope you will vote for me to be your House of Representative for District 44. Heather S. Holmes Christina M. Aragues HEATHER S. HOLMES, NC District 44 House of Representatives candidate. COM- MENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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