Shinica Thomas cites her many years of being involved in her children's schools and her passion for helping students learn with why she should be appointed to the District 1 seat on the Wake County school board.
In Thomas' application, she writes that she understands firsthand the need for family involvement having served for the past 10 years in school PTAs and booster groups for her two teenage sons. She's now the parent representative for Heritage High School on the District 1 Board Advisory Council.
"To say that I have a vested interest in this school system is putting it mildly," Thomas, 39, a Democrat from Wake Forest, writes. "It is important to me that community members are engaged in strong relationships and meaningful opportunities in our school system to help foster its success."
Thomas also writes that "I understand the achievement gap that we currently face in Wake County and know that it will take extra resources to be competitive and increase student achievement county wide."
"I often take time to mentor and guide young people in my community, because I have seen what opportunity and exposure can do for a a young person," she writes. "Just as I set high standards for my sons, I set those same expectations for the students of Wake County. As a member of the Board, I would welcome the opportunity to participate in the policymaking function and help foster ideas and initiatives to accomplish continued success of the students in our school system."
Thomas works in the human resources department at Wake Technical Community College. She writes that her HR experience has taught her haw to deal with people of various backgrounds and beliefs, allowing her to step into the board vacancy.
Thomas also calls herself a "strategic thinker" who is "not afraid to make tough decisions." She also writes that "I have the rare ability to see the big picture goal and detailed steps to get there."
"These are exciting times and this is an extraordinary opportunity that calls for an exceptional person," Thomas writes. "I believe that I am that exceptional person."
Among her reference letters is one from state Rep. Rosa Gill, who points back to her experience as a former Wake school board member to recommend Thomas.
"Having served on the Wake County Board for ten years, I am aware of the some of the challenges the Board currently faces," Gill writes. "Mrs. Thomas has the knowledge, commitment, time, desire, dedication and the interest in being an active advocate for the educational success of all children. She is a strategic thinker, a team player and a collaborative decision maker, basing her decisions on facts and data."
Gill is one of two state legislators and two former school board members to write references for the District 1 applicants. Former school board member Linda Johnson wrote a letter backing Tom Benton and state Rep. Darren Jackson wrote a letter backing Don Mial.