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Mark Johnson (North Carolina)

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Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson (North Carolina).jpg
Board member, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
J.D.University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Office website
Campaign website
Mark Johnson campaign logo
Mark Johnson is a Republican incumbent for an at-large seat on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education in North Carolina. He ran against fellow Republican candidates John M. Davenport Jr. and Robert Barr and three Democratic candidates for three available seats in the general election on November 4, 2014. Mark Johnson won the general election on November 4, 2014.


Johnson earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He runs a legal practice that specializes in business law. Johnson previously worked as a teacher with West Charlotte High School. He serves as a chair for Young Leaders United and as a board member for the Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development Board. Johnson and his wife, Rachel, have one young child.[1]



See also: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools elections (2014)


Mark Johnson and fellow Republican candidates John M. Davenport Jr. and Robert Barr faced one another and Democratic candidates Elisabeth Motsinger, Katherine Fansler and German D. Garcia in the general election on November 4, 2014.


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElisabeth Motsinger Incumbent 18.4% 52,582
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRobert Barr 17.1% 48,789
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Johnson 16.9% 48,418
     Democratic Katherine Fansler 16.8% 48,115
     Republican John M. Davenport Jr. Incumbent 16.5% 47,125
     Democratic German D. Garcia 14.2% 40,636
Total Votes 285,665
Source: North Carolina Board of Elections, "2014 General Election Results," accessed December 30, 2014


Johnson had not reported any contributions or expenditures to the Forsyth County Board of Elections as of April 30, 2014.


Johnson had not received any official endorsements as of April 30, 2014.

Campaign themes


Johnson listed his themes for the 2014 campaign on his campaign website:

Mark commits to working tirelessly in the best interests of teachers, students, and the community to address the challenges facing our school system. One can already measure his passion and hard work: as a teacher at West Charlotte High School, one of the most challenging teaching environments in the state, and now as a volunteer and board member with the United Way and the Crosby Scholars.

On the Board of Education, Mark will do the “heavy lifting” necessary and work with the superintendent, teachers, parents, and the community to make sure their needs are heard. Below are Mark’s top priorities, for which he has plans to proactively address:

Goal: Improve Early Childhood Literacy –

Our teachers work very hard and successfully aid most students to advance one grade level each year. Unfortunately, some students enter the school system one or two grade levels behind. As a result, even though the majority of teachers do their jobs effectively, we have students who do not read at a 3rd grade level by the time they reach the 3rd grade. (Research shows that students who do not read at grade level by the 3rd grade are much less likely to be successful during the rest of their K-12 years.) Working with teachers (and being careful not to create any inefficient burdens on them), we can take steps to place more focus on early childhood literacy in the classroom. Working with the community, we can take steps to place more focus on pre-kindergarten educational opportunities and parent outreach programs.

Goal: Reduce the Achievement Gap –

We live in the United States, a nation (unlike any before it) that offers the opportunity for people, regardless of their background, to work hard and achieve great things. Mark’s grandfather was raised in New Orleans East and did not graduate high school. After he served in the armed forces, he set out to provide a better future for his children and their children by selling insurance door to door across the Southeast. Through his countless nights away from his family and long hours on the road, he earned enough income to ensure that his family would have the educational opportunities he did not.

Every student, regardless of background, should have the opportunity to work hard, obtain an excellent education, and be successful post K-12 in a field best matching his or her needs and potential. Truly providing this opportunity to every student in our school system will have ripple effects throughout our community: from lower crime rates to attracting more employers to Forsyth County.

Goal: Address Common Core –

The rushed implementation by the state of the Common Core standards created a heavy burden on students, parents, and teachers. Whether North Carolina continues with the Common Core standards is a decision in the hands of our state representatives. While Mark supports higher expectations for our students, new standards cannot be successfully implemented without adequate preparation, effective professional development for teachers, the support of teachers and parents, and local control. If the General Assembly decides to withdraw from Common Core, the school system must be prepared to aid teachers with the next set of standards (and avoid a repeat of Common Core’s implementation) as well as give close attention to how best prepare students for nationally standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, which will be adjusted to align with Common Core. If the General Assembly does not withdraw from Common Core, the school system must take every action possible to assist teachers, through the sharing of best practices and effective professional development opportunities, with its implementation.

Goal: Retain and Attract Teachers by Working with Them and in Their Interests -

Those in charge of the school system must never forget where learning occurs: between the teacher and the student. Many current factors are damaging teacher morale, which jeopardizes the success of our students. Mark knows first-hand the difficulties of teaching while dealing with the policies set forth by a school system and the state. Teachers are the most valuable resource in the school system, and Mark will proactively work to improve teacher morale and attract teachers to Forsyth County. Importantly, Mark will always seek teacher input regarding key actions of the school board and the plans to address his goals.

Goal: Continue the Recent Successes of the School System -

Great things are happening in Forsyth County. With the hard work of teachers and administrators, and the help of community partnerships, the graduation rate has increased over 10% in the past several years. Certain schools in Forsyth County have been ranked among the best in the nation! Our magnet school program offers opportunities for many students to excel. Mark will make sure theses successes continue and expand.[2]

—Mark Johnson's campaign website, (2014), [3]

About the district

See also: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, North Carolina
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is located in Forsyth County, North Carolina
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is located in Winston-Salem, the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina. According to the United States Census Bureau, Forsyth County is home to 361,220 residents.[4] Forsyth County Schools is the fourth-largest school district in North Carolina, serving 53,340 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[5]


Forsyth County outperformed the rest of North Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 31.6 percent of Forsyth County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.8 percent for North Carolina as a whole. The median household income in Forsyth County was $45,809 compared to $46,450 for the state of North Carolina. The poverty rate in Forsyth County was 17.6 percent compared to 16.8 percent for the entire state.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2012[4]
Race Forsyth County (%) North Carolina (%)
White 68.0 71.9
Black or African American 27.1 22.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 2.1 2.5
Two or More Races 2.0 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 12.4 8.7

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[6]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 53.0 45.8
2008 54.8 44.3
2004 45.5 54.1
2000 43.0 56.0

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.[7]

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