Elect 2012: Berry files for Kannapolis board of education seat

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 20, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
KANNAPOLIS — Dianne Berry is the first newcomer to file for a seat on the Board of Education for the Kannapolis City school district.
A graduate of A.L. Brown High School, Berry has deep ties to the school system. Both of her sons, Nathan and Matt, also attended school there.
During their time in school, Berry said she served 18 connective years as a Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) officer.
“Because I was so in tune to what was happening in the school system at the time, and because of my level of parent involvement, I had the ability to make a difference for the schools and for the children through my volunteer work,” she said.
Berry said that sparked a passion that later led to her employment as the clerk to the school board and administrative assistant to the superintendent from 1993 through 1998.
Now that Berry’s grandson, Ethan Berry, is preparing to enter kindergarten at Jackson Park Elementary this fall, she’s looking to get involved.
“I recently realized that I would like the opportunity once again to offer my time, abilities and experience to making a difference to another generation of children, by becoming a member of he Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education,” she said.
The Kannapolis school board is made up of four Cabarrus County seats and one Rowan spot.
Berry is vying for one of two open Cabarrus slots on the board. Incumbents Charles Mitchell and Doris Buchanan currently hold those seats. Both are seeking re-election.
If elected, Berry said one of her top priorities will be teacher retention and recognition.
“We need to find ways to acknowledge and invest in the talented teachers and administrators so that they stay in the system,” she said. “We need to make sure we are recognizing their effort at the board level.”
Berry is also an advocate for acknowledging the accomplishments of students who aren’t necessarily bound for a four-year college. She would like to ensure they are guided to find other interests and vocations to pursue.
“That’s a passion of mine,” she said. “Just because a student is not four-year college bound doesn’t mean they don’t have options.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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Dianne Berry
Age: 57
Address: 532 China Grove Road, Kannapolis
Phone number: 704-699-4800
Email: dpberry1@carolina.rr.com
Occupation: Clerk to the board and human resources for Cabarrus Health Alliance 
Education: Graduate of King’s College
Previous elected office: None 
Community involvement: Member of the city of Kannapolis’ board of adjustment, previously served as a Parent-Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) officer for 18 years in Kannapolis City Schools 
Family: Husband, Cecil Berry Jr.; sons, Nathan and Matt; daughter-in-laws Rachael and Ashley; and four grandchildren