Elisabeth Motsinger

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Elisabeth Motsinger
Elisabeth Motsinger.jpg
Board member, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
November 2018
Years in position 9
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2006
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sWinston-Salem State University
Master'sWake Forest University
ProfessionPhysician assistant
Office website
Campaign website
Elisabeth Motsinger campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Elisabeth Motsinger is an at-large member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education in North Carolina. She first won election to the board in 2006. Motsinger and fellow Democratic candidates Katherine Fansler and German D. Garcia faced three Republican candidates in the general election on November 4, 2014. Elisabeth Motsinger won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Motsinger was a 2012 Democratic candidate for the U.S. House to represent the 5th Congressional District of North Carolina.[1] Motsinger defeated Bruce G. Peller in the Democratic primary on May 8, 2012.[2] Motsinger was defeated by Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx on November 6, 2012.[3]


Motsinger completed her undergraduate degree from Winston-Salem State University. She earned a master's degree in bioethics from Wake Forest University. Motsinger is a physician assistant at Salem Center in Winston-Salem. She and her husband, John, have three kids currently attending district schools.[4][5]



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


Elisabeth Motsinger advanced from the May 6, 2014, Democratic primary against Katherine Fansler, German D. Garcia, Donald Dunn and Suzanne Carroll. Motsinger, Fansler and Garcia faced Republican candidates Mark Johnson, John M. Davenport Jr. and Robert Barr in the November 4, 2014, general election.


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
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, At-Large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElisabeth Motsinger Incumbent 33% 11,233
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKatherine Fansler 22.2% 7,561
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGerman D. Garcia 17.7% 6,038
     Democratic Suzanne Carroll 14.5% 4,918
     Democratic Donald Dunn 12.6% 4,278
Total Votes 34,028
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections, " 05/06/2014 OFFICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS - FORSYTH," May 13, 2014


Motsinger reported $199.00 in contributions and $99.00 in expenditures to the Forsyth County Board of Elections, leaving her campaign with $100.00 on hand as of April 30, 2014.[6]


Motsinger received the endorsement of the Winston-Salem Journal for the primary and the general election.[7][8]


See also: North Carolina's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012

Motsinger ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent North Carolina's 5th District. Motsinger won the nomination on the Democratic ticket after defeating Bruce G. Peller in the primary.[2]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in North Carolina in 2012 as one of the states that could have determined whether Democrats retook the House or Republicans held their majority in 2013.[9] North Carolina was rated 8th on the list.[9][10]

U.S. House, North Carolina District 5 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Elisabeth Motsinger 42.5% 148,252
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngVirginia Foxx Incumbent 57.5% 200,945
Total Votes 349,197
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
North Carolina's 5th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngElisabeth Motsinger 69.7% 38,512
Bruce G. Peller 30.3% 16,716
Total Votes 55,228

Campaign finance

Above is a breakdown of funds for the 2012 election, according to source.

Motsinger lost the United States House of Representatives election in 2012. During that election cycle, Motsinger's campaign committee raised a total of $133,268 and spent $130,813.[11]


Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJeannie Metcalf 21.2% 43,279
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDonny Lambeth 19.9% 40,681
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngElisabeth Motsinger 16.3% 33,215
     Nonpartisan Robert Barr 16.2% 32,996
     Nonpartisan Lori Goins Clark 16.1% 32,922
     Nonpartisan Nancy P. Sherill 9.8% 20,056
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 915
Total Votes 204,064
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Official Results," November 19, 2010

Campaign themes


Motsinger provided the following answers to questions from the Forsyth Education Partnership:

Why do you want to serve on the Board of Education?

 I believe it is essential that we educate our children for their future and not our past. Our kids will need to be at ease with using technology, in thinking critically and creatively, and in learning with and from, a diverse population. I have been committed to finding ways for these  ways of learning and thinking into our schools.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

What do you think is the most serious challenge to education in North Carolina and Forsyth County?

I think we are struggling with how to ensure that our schools are preparing our kids for the world they live in rather than the one we experienced as children. The models need to be different. For example, memorization once was one of the most important abilities, but with the access ability of data available from the internet it is much more important to be able to discern how accurate the information is that you are referencing than trying to memorize specific bits of data. Another example, is the way work is approached, instead of sitting alone at a desk and doing your own work exclusively, our kids need to know how to work together with others.  

There are things from our past that do need to continue, however. All kids need time for recess, for time to play, to be read to, to learn to read, write and do math.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

If you were asked to do an elevator speech 'selling' WSFCS, what would you say?

Our schools educate a diverse population of students and prepare them for life. We believe all children matter and have the capacity to live successful lives. We have amazing employees who care deeply about children and work hard to provide them with the best education possible.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

With a high rate of teacher turnover in many WS/FC schools, what do you think the district can do to attract high quality teachers and keep them?

We need to pay them fairly, provide them with top notch professional development and treat them as the professionals they are. We also need to include them in decision making in every area possible.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

Do you think North Carolina and Forsyth County have competitive teacher pay? Would you do anything to change our rank at 46th in the U.S., and if so, what?

No, we do not! The General Assembly is failing our students but the current pay scale. The recent tax cuts primarily benefitted [sic] the upper middle class and wealthy. We should be leaders in the nation and not in the tail end of teacher pay. We also should reinstate the teaching fellows program and reinstate advanced degree teacher pay.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

While some schools and student groups perform very well within the WS/FC school system, there are striking gaps between White students and minority students and between economically disadvantaged students and those who grow up with access to more resources. Why do you think this is the case and what do you propose the district do differently to better serve these students?

This is a complicated issue and will need several leverage points to change. Having some schools exclusively high poverty creates pockets where children really are not exposed to other possibilities. The suspension rates for insubordination, an offense that is highly subjective, often leads to huge discrepancies in student discipline. Making sure that school is welcoming and fun is important.  Poverty hurts people in so many ways! Poverty causes chronic stress in a way that makes learning particularly difficult. I believe as a society we must look at the structural roots of poverty including increasing the minimum wage to a living wage, ensuring all people adequate health care and nutritious food, and ensuring there is a way back into society for all those who have made a mistake so they are not per mantle marginalized.[12]

—Forsyth Education Partnership's Voter Guide for Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, (2014)[5]

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.[13] Forsyth County Schools is the fourth-largest school district in North Carolina, serving 53,340 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[14]


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.[13]

Racial Demographics, 2012[13]
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[15]
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 rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[16][17]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Ashe Mountain Times, "Second Democrat confirms run for US 5th District," accessed February 27, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Primary Election Results," accessed May 9, 2012.
  3. Politico, "2012 Election Map, North Carolina," accessed November 7, 2012
  4. Facebook, "Elisabeth Motsinger for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board," accessed April 30, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Forsyth Education Partnership, "Winston‐Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education Voter Guide," 2014
  6. Forsyth County Board of Elections, "Local Campaign Report: Board of Education," accessed April 29, 2014
  7. Winston-Salem Journal, "Editorial: 2014 endorsements in school board primaries," April 22, 2014
  8. The Winston-Salem Journal, "Endorsements 2014: WS/Forsyth school board races," October 21, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Washington Post, "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012," accessed April 25, 2012
  10. North Carolina State Board of Elections, "2012 Primary Results," accessed July 19, 2012
  11. Open Secrets, " 2012 Election Cycle," accessed April 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 United States Census Bureau, "Forsyth County, North Carolina," accessed April 29, 2014
  14. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 29, 2014
  15. North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Election Results," accessed April 29, 2014
  16. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  17. 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. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.