Rally Speakers


Justin Parmenter is a public school teacher and parent at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte and a fellow with Hope Street Group’s NC Teacher Voice Network. He believes that robust arts and physical education departments as well as reasonable class sizes at 4th and 5th grade  are essential for our elementary school students.  Read his recent Op Ed in the N&O


John deVille is a history and philosophy teacher from Macon County, a past winner of the NCAE political activism award, and a public education advocate for over twenty years.

Jennifer Mangrum

Jennifer Mangrum is a native North Carolinian and a product of public education. Jen believes public education is the bulwark of our democracy and that our current General Assembly needs to be held accountable for their failed decision-making and lack of investment in our schools and the future of North Carolina. jenmangrumfornc.com

Esteban Garcia Velez

Esteban was born and raised in Mexico until 1993 when he and his parents migrated to the US to live the American Dream. He is a personal banker and recently started his first semester of college at the age of 40. Esteban is a single father to his seven year old son, Milo. Milo’s mom, Sarah, passed away four years ago due to breast cancer. She was a teacher and a talented ballet dancer. Milo has inherited his mom’s passion for the arts and truly enjoys his art and music classes. Esteban and Milo live in Yadkin County.

Tamika Walker Kelley

Tamika Walker Kelly is an 11th year public school Elementary Music Teacher in Fayetteville, NC. As a teacher and parent, she believes that the arts are essential for all students. She believes that having reasonable class sizes or the arts isn’t a choice schools or parents have to make.



Michelle Burton has been  a public school library media specialist for 23 years in the state of North Carolina (Alamance, Durham and Wake counties)  She believes all students deserve a high quality, well-rounded education and art, music, P.E. and school libraries staffed by highly educated professionals is apart of every child having a sound basic education. This class size law is putting this in jeopardy.

Faisal Khan

Faisal is the founder of the Carolina Peace Center (CPC). CPC is a grassroots non-profit organization based in North Carolina which works to develop and organize a strong collaboration between all communities, both within our state and across the nation. Through his work as a community organizer, Faisal has organized many events such as town hall meetings including vigils and has cultivated community engagement regarding political and social


Susan Book is a public school advocate and autism mom. She writes a blog called therewillbepoop.com and is working on several other writing projects as well. Susan is secretary of the Reedy Creek Elementary PTA, an advocacy chair and works with the Wake County PTA Special Education Inclusion Committee. She is an active organizer with Save Our Schools NC.