The Pulse

Gov. Roy Cooper nominates two to serve on State Board of Education

By: - May 5, 2023 5:30 pm

NC General Assembly. (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

Gov. Roy Cooper has nominated former state representative Linda Cooper-Suggs and businessman John M. Blackburn to fill seats on the State Board of Education.

The governor’s nominations must be approved by the General Assembly. Board members serve eight-year terms.

Linda Cooper-Suggs

Cooper-Suggs, a Democrat from Wilson County, would replace Amy White as the board’s District 3 representative, which is the state’s North Central Education Region. The region covers 16 counties including Durham, Johnston, Wilson and Wake.

White announced during the state board’s monthly meeting on Thursday that she is leaving the board. The board’s June meeting will be her last, she said.

“While I could continue to serve in this position until Gov. [Roy] Cooper’s newest appointee is confirmed by both houses of the General Assembly, I have decided to announce today my retirement of service to the board to refocus my passion, energy, my time on the Christian ministry that I lead, Community of Hope Ministries,” White said.

Cooper-Suggs was chosen to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Jean Farmer-Butterfield in July 2020. She won election to the office the following November but lost two years later to Republican Ken Fontenot.

John Blackburn

Cooper nominated Blackburn to represent the Northwest 7th District. Watauga, Caldwell, Burke and Catawba are among the 12 counties in the district.

Blackburn was appointed to the board to complete an unexpired term in March 2022 and is now being nominated for a full term.

Blackburn was the president and general manager of Linville Resorts Inc. He is the chair of the Linville Foundation and the Linville Volunteer Fire Department Trust.

He recently served on the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.