RALEIGH — A longtime local educator has been tapped by the governor to provide teaching advice.
Recently Gov. Roy Cooper created the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee. Composed of up to 25 teachers and support personnel appointed by Cooper, the committee will advise the governor on a variety of educational issues.
One of those 25 spots is going to David Diamont, who taught for 46 years before retiring last summer. Now he’s a part-time substitute while continuing to coach the East Surry football team.
Members of the committee will advise the governor on policies and the state budget and will also serve as education ambassadors, representing the governor at designated events, maintaining communication with local boards of education and stakeholders, and sharing opportunities for the governor to support teachers, according to a statement from Cooper’s office.
“Teachers and school support staff will bring critical knowledge, skills and experience to our ongoing conversations about improving North Carolina’s education system,” Gov. Cooper said. “The Teacher Advisory Committee will give insight into how we can show educators the respect they deserve and be instrumental in helping North Carolina become a Top Ten Most Educated State by 2025.”
Gov. Cooper also released a back-to-school video for teachers last week.
“Thank you for the energy and care you put into teaching,” he says to teachers in the video. “Thank you for igniting that spark of learning in your students. I’m grateful to you for answering the call to teach.”
Serving on the committee combines two careers for Diamont. Not only did he have a long career in public schools, he said, “I spent 20 years in politics,” serving in the state legislature.
Diamont became interested in political science as a young man in 1974. He went on to spend 10 two-year terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives. In 1989, Diamont was named chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, giving him a deep understanding of the state budget process.
Diamont said that at one point when he was in office, he was the only educator actively teaching in a classroom in the General Assembly.
The educator has much to offer from the point of view of teaching, politics, law (he started college as a law major) and history.
A recurring joke the past couple of years, Diamont said, is “It’s easy to teach U.S. history – I’ve lived half of it.”
Want to talk about the Kennedy assassination? He remembers it. The Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, the Watergate scandal or Iran Contra? He remembers those, too.
At the Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting earlier this year, Diamont said he knew Roy Cooper years ago when the future governor was a young politician. It seems the governor remembered him, too.
Gov. Cooper appointed three others from this region of the state as well:
Keana Triplett is the 2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and teaches English at Ashe County High School.
Denise McCoy is a parent involvement coordinator for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Brad Rhew teaches science and math at Cook Literacy Model School in Forsyth County.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.