Elaine Padgett is parent, businesswoman, community leader and long-time resident of Forsyth County. Elaine's three children attend or have attended Forsyth County Schools through-out their academic careers. Elaine has been involved in the education of her children and has been a leader and volunteer in many school and community organizations. As a businesswoman, Elaine co-founded, built and sold two successful global technology businesses.
Elaine Padgett is running for the Board of Education because she is passionate about the public school system and believes that the success of our community is based upon the success of the public education system. There are many current issues that pose a threat to public education. These include the possibility of losing national AP accreditation, teacher and support staff shortages, book bans, censorship of history and societal issue discussions (HB1084) and national movements to privatize and commercialize our public education system.
Elaine has met with teachers and support staff from the Forsyth County schools who are leaving the school system in large numbers, either for other jobs or other careers. The reasons that they give for leaving include: lack of wage growth, micromanaging, aggressive and confrontational parents and lack of support from administration. Elaine will fight to protect our public education system and will advocate for our teachers and support staff for wages and benefits and to create a working environment where the staff feels supported.
19 years ago, Elaine moved to Forsyth County because of the great school system. What impressed Elaine most at that time was the amazing level of support that parents gave to the educators and how collaboration between parents and educators resulted in the continued excellence of the Forsyth County school system. However, this level of support has been eroding over these last few years, largely due to the stresses related to the pandemic, but also as a result of national movements that have aimed to villainize educators and media specialists as part of the ongoing culture wars over CRT (Critical Race Theory), SEL (Social, Emotional Learning) and book bans. Over the past year, the board of education meetings have become politicized media events. Elaine believes that all parents should have a say in their child’s education and parent involvement is a critical component of a student’s education. However, when making decisions that will affect all students, the community must come together in a civil discussion where all voices in this very diverse community that we live in are heard and respected. These discussions need to bring parents, educational professionals and students together for the common goals of maximizing the success of our students and making sure that all of our students feel safe and supported.