Larry Pendry

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Larry Pendry
Larry Pendry.png
Former candidate for
Board member, Wilkes County School Board, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 6, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolNorth Wilkes High School
Associate'sWilkes Community College
Bachelor'sAppalachian State University
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Service branchNorth Carolina National Guard
Campaign website
Larry Pendry campaign logo
Larry Pendry was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Wilkes County school board in North Carolina. He was defeated in the general election on May 6, 2014.


Pendry was born and raised in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He graduated from North Wilkes High School in 1968. He attended Wilkes Community College for two years before earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Appalachian State University in 1972. Pendry spent 30 years in the United States Army and North Carolina National Guard. He also worked for 4 years at the Homeland Security Branch of North Carolina Emergency Management. Pendry is a member of the Wilkes County Board of Social Services and is a member of the Wilkes County Local Emergency Preparedness Committee. He is married and has two children.[1]



See also: Wilkes County Schools elections (2014)


Larry Pendry challenged incumbents Sharron N. Huffman and Randall Holbrook as well as Matt Ledford for an at-large seat in the general election on May 6, 2014.


Pendry was defeated by incumbents Sharron N. Huffman and Randall Holbrook.

Wilkes County Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRandall Holbrook Incumbent 29.3% 3,905
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSharron N. Huffman Incumbent 29.2% 3,899
     Nonpartisan Larry Pendry 22% 2,931
     Nonpartisan Matt Ledford 19% 2,539
     Nonpartisan Maria Barringer (Write-In) 0.5% 67
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0% 0
Total Votes 13,341
Source: North Carolina Board of Elections, "05/06/2014 OFFICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS - WILKES," accessed June 3, 2014


Pendry did not report any campaign contributions or expenditures to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.[2]


Pendry did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

Campaign themes


Pendry's campaign website listed his themes for 2014:

I’m running for Wilkes County Board of Education because I have major concerns about the current state of education in our county.

Top challenges facing the Wilkes County education system

1. Failure to represent students, teachers, and the larger community

Members of our Board of Education are elected to represent the PUBLIC on issues affecting the education of our children. The recent history of our Board of Education has failed to represent all the public stakeholders in our educational system and its central role in shaping the future of Wilkes County.

2. Inadequate focus on public funding

We are facing the critical reality that funding for our schools has been severely impacted by the state legislature’s failure to restore funds cut during the 2008-09 recession. Recently, the state enacted yet another series of tax cuts that will cost us more that $2.4 billion over the next five years. With this future facing us, it is essential that the Board of Education pay much more attention to the funds being spent on the education of our children. I believe that the Board of Education should be more transparent and share how public funds are being spent to ensure that we are investing appropriately in our future.

Public investment in Wilkes County schools is currently $80 Million, $75M of which comes from taxpayer dollars:

  • $57M from the state - down $4.29 Million since 2008
  • $7M from the federal government
  • $11M from Wilkes County taxpayers

Funding cuts have cost Wilkes County over 100 jobs including:

  • 51 teacher assistants
  • 35 certified teachers
  • 15 central office positions
  • 3 media assistants

3. Lack of trust and respect for our teachers

The decline of public funding for our schools have undercut the primary role of professional teachers in our classrooms. There is no better group to influence decisions than our teachers.

I want professional teachers to be a part of the team, rather than making them feel as if they are simply employees. I want the Wilkes Board of Education to adopt a resolution opposing the law which forces school systems to encourage 25% of our teachers to give up tenure. (To see what other Boards have done on this issue, go here.) Tenure, such as it is, simply means that those who get beyond a four-year probationary period are guaranteed a hearing if facing dismissal. This plan is a bad deal for teachers. It is a "divide and conquer" approach by which rewarding only a selective few fails to recognize the contributions of all teachers. This policy creates a competitive climate that undermines a culture of collaboration and shared responsibility that is necessary for effective schools. It is not good for public education; it is in violation of the NC Constitution; and it is a bad plan for our children. [3]

—Larry Pendry's campaign website, (2014), [4]

About the district

See also: Wilkes County Schools, North Carolina
Wilkes County Schools is located in Wilkes County, North Carolina
Wilkes County Schools is located in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Wilkes County is home to 69,208 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5] Wilkes County Schools is the 36th-largest school district in North Carolina, serving 10,374 students during the 2010-2011 school year.[6]


Wilkes County underperformed in comparison to the rest of North Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 12.1% of Wilkes County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 26.8% for North Carolina as a whole. The median household income in Wilkes County was $32,009 compared to $46,450 for the state of North Carolina. The poverty rate in Wilkes County was 22.4% compared to 16.8% for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race Wilkes County (%) North Carolina (%)
White 93.6 71.9
Black or African American 4.4 22.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 1.5
Asian 0.4 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 0.2 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 5.7 8.7

2013 Party Affiliation[7]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 21,321 51.3
Democratic 11,137 26.8
Libertarian 96 0.2
No Party 8,988 21.6

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

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