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Jen Mangrum Will Keynote Watauga Democratic Party County Convention on March 30

Professional educator Jen Mangrum, who is a declared candidate in 2020 for Superintendent of Public Instruction, will keynote the March 30th county convention of the Watauga Democratic Party. Her remarks will focus on the proposition “If You Don’t Do Politics, Politics Will Do You.”

The Democratic County Convention will begin with a potluck luncheon at High Noon on March 30 for delegates and guests in the lobby outside Courtroom No. 1 in the Watauga County Courthouse, with the convention program set to begin at 1 p.m.

Jen Mangrum came to prominence in North Carolina in 2017 when she announced that she would run for the NC Senate against incumbent Phil Berger, the powerful President Pro-Tem who has been a virtual dictator of conservative policies since 2013 when Republicans finally gained control of all levers of power in the state.

Berger attempted to keep Mangrum from running against him, redistricting her residence out of his senate district. When she moved in order to continue running, Berger’s allies filed a challenge against her residency. She won her case in a hearing before the State Board of Elections and went on to run a strong but ultimately losing race against Berger.

In late February, Mangrum passed the final hurdle — permission from her bosses at UNC-G — to run for Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2020 Democratic primaries. She has been a professor of elementary education at UNC-G since 2008, helping prepare young student teachers for successful careers in public education.

Mangrum spent a dozen years teaching 2nd and 3rd grade in a rural Guilford County public school, became a consultant nationally in “active learning” strategies, earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at UNC-G in 2004, and then led the establishment of the elementary education program at NC State University in Raleigh before returning to UNC-G to join the elementary education department there.

Mangrum has been particularly active in so-called STEM education — standing for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” — and co-founded the STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative (TLC) at UNC-G to share best teaching practices and encourage excellence in the teaching of science.

Business at the Democratic County Convention will include the election of executive officers for the next biennium and the consideration of a number of resolutions submitted to the convention from individual precincts.