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Meet the 2016 North Carolina Fellows
James Bartow, Deputy Register II, Orange County Register of Deeds Office
James Bartow is an attorney from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He graduated from Guilford College before attaining a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While in Law School James worked on numerous pro bono wills projects applying his legal knowledge of Estate planning to help low income clients in Eastern North Carolina attain advanced care directives and end of life documents. James has worked or interned for numerous public and non-profit organizations, including Legal Aid of North Carolina, the High Point District Attorney’s Office, and the Orange County Register of Deeds Office. He also serves on a number of volunteer boards and organizations, including the Town of Chapel Hill’s Board of Adjustment and the Orange County Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee. His educational background and his work experiences have given him a breadth of policy and practical experience with local government policy, tax and land use law, criminal justice and public service law. Bartow’s publications include an op-ed in the News and Observer about the limitations on policy making by municipal corporations in North Carolina as a result of their relationship with the state government and developers. James has also worked on both local and statewide political campaigns. He has a proven track record of political organizing, getting strong results in the field by reaching out to new voters and volunteers and building coalitions. James began to work in politics in 2008, doing constituent services as an intern with Emily Thornberry, a Member of the British Parliament. After returning to the States, James began working with the Orange County Democratic Party. As paid field staff for the 2014 Kay Hagan Senate campaign in Orange County, he managed between 50-70 Hillsborough and Mebane area volunteers per month for various projects including canvassing, phone banking, and voter outreach. Recently he served as an advisor to a successful Chapel Hill town council candidate in one of the most competitive town council races in recent history. He currently serves as a precinct coach, helping to organize seven Orange County precincts. In the spring of 2015, he was elected by delegates of the Orange County Democratic Party to serve as a representative of the county party on the North Carolina Democratic Party State Executive Committee.
Terry Brown, Jr, Litigation Attorney, Horack Talley Pharr & Lowndes
Terry Brown Jr. is a litigation attorney at Horack Talley Pharr and Lowndes. As a life long North Carolinian, Terry has experienced all the variety the Tar Heel State has to offer-from being born and raised in the All-American City, Fayetteville, to working as a field organizer in the dusty back roads of Halifax County, to finally making his home in the Queen City, Terry is North Carolina through and through. Terry attended UNC Charlotte where he studied Political Science and Campbell Law School. Terry was an active member of the Campbell Law community serving as the Black Law Students Association President, a National Champion mock trial advocate and The 2015 David R. Teddy Innovative Student Leader of the Year. He has worked for Congressman Mel Watt, State Senator Angela Bryant and numerous political campaigns in the state of North Carolina. Terry is a proud product of North Carolina’s public schools and as the child of two educators; education is one of his biggest passions. Terry values the importance of giving back and is actively involved in both the Legal Aid North Carolina and Mecklenburg County Bar Pro Bono projects. In addition he is actively engaged in community service with the Beta Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a member of the Urban League. In his spare time Terry is a fan of all things Charlotte Sports.
Anne is a recent graduate of Elon University School of Law and the University of South Carolina. She is active in the Democratic Party as the Vice President of the Guilford County Young Democrats and the YDNC Women's Caucus Chair. She previously interned with the Forsyth and Durham County District Attorney's Office, the North Carolina Department of Justice, and Hagan for U.S. Senate. Anne is passionate about public service and advocacy particularly in the fields of reproductive rights, domestic violence, and criminal justice.
Kendall Fowler, Rental Sales Representative, Penske Truck Leasing
Kendall Fowler is an NLC North Carolina Fellow currently living in Raleigh. Originally from Wilmington, NC he decided to stay in town after graduating from Laney High School and attend UNC Wilmington, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science. Following his love for political campaigns, he decided to apply to the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, earning his Master's degree in Political Management.
Andrew Franklin, Director of Communications and Financial Education Coordinator,
Community Empowerment Fund
Andrew is a 2015 Duke University graduate in Political Science. He is the Director of Communications and Financial Education Coordinator for the Community Empowerment Fund, a Durham/Chapel Hill nonprofit that works with people experiencing poverty and homelessness to help them achieve financial stability and independence. Andrew previously worked as the press intern in the Vice President's Office at The White House, a policy intern for the Democratic National Committee, and a communications intern for Obama for America at campaign headquarters in Chicago. He is interested in the intersection of faith and politics, and plans to pursue graduate study in theology and law.
Elisabeth Jones, Field Organizer, Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic
Elisabeth Jones is the Western North Carolina field organizer for Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic. Based in Asheville, NC, she develops relationships with local activists, volunteers, and supporters, engaging them in educational and electoral activity. This includes legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission of advancing and defending reproductive freedom for all. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with a Bachelors degrees in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. While in college, she was a Moxie feminist scholar, served as Vice President of her all-female a cappella group, and participated numerous political campaigns on campus. Always an advocate for equality and inclusive justice, Elisabeth is also passionate about working with people who have special needs. A Raleigh native, she served as the head counselor for the Alexander Family YMCA’s inclusion-based summer camp program for children with special needs. She has experience working on local political campaigns, and is particularly passionate about education policy, reproductive justice, and participatory democracy.
Sara Margolis proudly hails from Chapel Hill, NC, where she grew up almost literally in Rameses' backyard. After graduating from Chapel Hill High School in 2012, Sara headed to Washington, DC to continue her studies. She will be graduating from Georgetown University in May 2016 with a BA in Government and Education, likely with honors; keep your fingers crossed! Sara has been active on campus as an executive board member of the campus’ College Democrats chapter, a cabinet member in the Student Association, a Student Governor to the Alumni Board of Governors, a member of a campus dance company, and a campus tour guide. She has also interned with Senator Hagan, Congressman Price, the White House Office of Scheduling and Advance, and the Office of the Secretary within the Department of Education. After graduation Sara hopes to impact K-12 education policy and attend law school a few years down the road. Throughout her career, she hopes to further progressive values, specifically in North Carolina. In her free time, Sara enjoys running; she completed her first marathon just a few months ago!
Jess Miller, Education Consultant/Coach, Jess K Miller EDU
Jessica (Jess) K. Miller is currently an Education Consultant and Coach. She specializes in STEM Instruction, Balanced Literacy, Teacher Observation/Coaching structures, and general best practices for urban, Title I educational settings. Jess has presented professional development for school staffs up to 100+ in addition to presenting at state and regional conferences, and was recently published in the ASCD Express, a leading online publication for school administrators and curriculum specialists. Jess’ vision for educational equity has evolved over her ten years in the education reform movement. After receiving her Bachelor’s from Furman University, Jess joined Teach for America’s Baltimore ’05 corps. In her second year of teaching she developed a system that aligned curriculum, instruction and assessments so that data was meaningful and accessible to both her and her students, empowering them to take control of their own education. While in Baltimore she earned an MAT in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University. In Charlotte, Jess continued her work for attaining educational equity by joining the Sugar Creek Charter School team where she led her students to academic gains in Science that significantly surpassed state averages, particularly for economically disadvantaged students. In 2012, her students’ scores earned a nomination for NC Science Teachers Assoc. District 6 Outstanding Science Teacher Award, and in 2013, Jess was selected as an ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA) Exemplary. Jess is also passionate about developing new teachers, and has worked as a school director and adviser at new teacher pre-service training programs. In 2012-2013, Jess led a turnaround of the 21st CCLC Program at SCCS, resulting in it being called a "model program" in the state. In 2014-2015, Jess worked in a partnership between SCCS and the UNC-Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative to create a comprehensive K-8 STEM curriculum for the school to implement. Jess has also earned her MBA and MPA degrees and is currently working towards her NC School Administrator's License. After growing up in New York, Jess attended Furman University in Greenville, SC where she played soccer, became a member and officer in Kappa Kappa Gamma and participated in many other school activities. She graduated in 2005 with a degree in Political Science and History. Jess has called Charlotte home since 2009, and her husband (Avery) of 9 years is a native of the Upstate of South Carolina. Jess even worked at Carowinds the summer she was 15 years old!
Justin Phillips, History Teacher, Mooresville Graded School District
Justin Phillips is from Concord, NC and recently finished his Masters in History Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he graduated with honors. In his current capacity, he teaches 8th grade U.S and North Carolina history at Mooresville Middle School in the city of Mooresville. Teaching young 8th graders U.S and North Carolina History has given Justin a sense of urgency about our nation and future generations. Justin enjoys teaching about the origin of the Constitution and its relevance since inception. Before he became an educator, he worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Concord, North Carolina mentoring young individuals and taking part in the sports programs as a referee. Justin has a range of issues that he is passionate about, particularly to ensure that education becomes a heightened priority on the state and federal levels. Justin wants to advocate for sound, rigorous standards for students, accountability and for teachers to be afforded a comfortable salary, where they do not need to work multiple jobs to make ends meat. He is excited about what the future holds and hopes to run for school board, city or state office very soon.
John Verdejo, Administrative Assistant, City of Raleigh
John Verdejo has dedicated himself to those issues especially important to young adults and people of color. Over the years he has volunteered in a number of campaigns, currently stands as a member of the North Carolina Democratic Party State Executive Committee, and has held top leadership positions in local, state, and national organizations. As President of the Wake County Young Democrats, he co-founded the Hispanic American Democrats of North Carolina along with helping to lead the charge in passing a resolution, opposing Amendment One, which “makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.” John was also a member of the Democratic National Committee and was selected to the DNC Host Committee in Charlotte 2012. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Political Leadership, a Truman National Security Project partner, and a board member of Upward South. In addition, he is a member of the Juvenile Minority Sensitivity Training Advisory Committee of the North Carolina Justice Academy. Born in the Bronx, NY, he attended North Carolina State University for Political Science with a concentration in International Affairs. John works for the City of Raleigh, and calls Raleigh home, together with his fiancée and their young son.
Dave Wils, Teacher, Guilford County Schools
Dave is an 8th grade social studies teacher by trade, which is one of many reasons he is so dedicated to progressive leadership. He believes that a strong environment for education, which includes better funding for teacher salaries and resources, is essential to moving the state forward. In addition to teaching, Dave also serves as President of the Young Democrats of Guilford County as well as on the Commission on Human Relations for the City of Greensboro. He lives in Greensboro with his wife, Amanda.