The Hunt Institute Announces Second Cohort of Hunt State Policy Fellows  

May 23, 2022

The Hunt Institute Announces Second Cohort of Hunt State Policy Fellows  

Innovative Program Develops Education Expertise of Local Policymakers 


For Immediate Release: May 23, 2022

Media Contact: Michele Jordan


Cary, NC. – The Hunt Institute is pleased to announce its second cohort of the Hunt State Policy Fellows program. The Fellows program aims to provide a bipartisan group of future education policymakers and aspiring state and local elected officials in North Carolina with the resources, space, and expertise needed to develop thoughtful positions on a variety of education policy issues.  


To do so, The Institute has gathered leaders from across the state including county commissioners, school board members, mayors, city councilors, and other community leaders. 


“The Hunt Institute thrives when connecting policymakers to the resources needed to serve students, and our inaugural cohort of Hunt State Policy Fellows demonstrated the importance of this work at a local level,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “We are excited to welcome our newest cohort of Fellows and to witness the changes they make in their communities to positively impact students, teachers, staff, and families.” 


From May through September, Fellows will meet for three sessions, with each session focusing on a different piece of the education pipeline. The cohort met for their first meeting yesterday, May 22nd, and will wrap up their discussion on early childhood today, May 23rd 


“I look forward to meeting and working with other leaders in the state over the next few months,” said Wendy Horne, Davie County School Board Vice-Chair. “The opportunity to hear how others are addressing issues, but also understand what they consider to be our most pressing needs and challenges, is something I am excited about.” 


“This is a great opportunity to connect in a bipartisan setting and develop a strong foundation to support and improve our education system,” said Jonathan Melton, Raleigh City Councilmember. “I’m looking forward to building relationships with fellow leaders and learning from resource experts on these important topics.” 


Each meeting will take place over two days and offer Fellows the opportunity to learn, engage in constructive dialogue, and build relationships with one another and with policy experts across the state. In so doing, Fellows will grow their capacity to advocate for North Carolina’s students.  


“The Hunt State Policy Fellows program is a natural extension of the work The Hunt Institute does so well with senior state level elected officials, said Interim Board Chair Sam Houston. “With each new cohort, I look forward to seeing how their time as a Hunt State Policy Fellow influences the policymakers they will become.” 


The 2022 Hunt State Policy Fellows include: 

  • Yolanda Adams, Family Resource Coordinator, Watauga County 
  • Preston Blakely, Mayor, Town of Fletcher 
  • Tariq Bokhari, Charlotte City Councilmember, Charlotte 
  • Jane Campbell, Davidson Town Commissioner & Mayor Pro Tempe, Davidson 
  • Vanessa Cherry, Washington County School Board Member, Washington 
  • Kevin Daniels, Director of External Engagement, North Carolina Community College System, Beaufort 
  • Gabriel Esparza, Trustee, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte  
  • Barbara Foushee, Town of Carrboro Councilmember, Carrboro 
  • Hayes Griggs, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions Office of the Governor, Raleigh 
  • Deena Hayes-Greene, Guildford County School Board Chairperson, Greensboro 
  • Wendy Horne, Davie County School Board Vice-Chair, Advance 
  • Karen Howard, Chatham County Commissioner, Chapel Hill 
  • Christy Jones, Davidson County School Board Member, Davidson 
  • Meghan Jordan, Franklin County School Board Member, Wake Forest 
  • Jonathan Melton, Raleigh City Councilmember, Raleigh 
  • Pedro Morey, Waxhaw Town Commissioner, Waxhaw 
  • Geneva Riddick-Faulkner, Northampton County Commissioner, Rich Square 
  • Joshua Roten, Ashe County Board of Education Member, Jefferson 
  • Ann Schneider, Mayor, Town of Oak Ridge 
  • Lynda Sossamon, Mayor, Town of Sylva,  
  • Owen Thomas, Lumberton City Councilmember, Lumberton 
  • Pamela Tyler Thompson, Alamance County Commissioner, Burlington 
  • Woody White, Attorney, Woody White Law Firm PLLC, Former New Hanover County Commissioner, Wrightsville Beach 


About The Hunt Institute 

The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since its establishment in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit: 





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