Deena Hayes: Then versus Now

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Guilford College’s student newspaper The Guilfordian ran a focus piece in February, 2003 highlighting the then-campus shining star Deena Hayes. This ran right after she was elected in November, 2002 to her first term on the GCS Board of Education.

Here’s the short article…and see if you can pick out the many contradictions just dripping from the paragraphs:

 Hayes Brings Energy, Focus to Guilford Co. Board of Education

by Jacob Blom

Deena Hayes needed the School Board almost as much as the School Board needed her. Hayes, a 40 year-old CCE student, was elected to the Guilford County Board of Education in Nov., 2002. She unseated the incumbent board chairman, Calvin Boykin. And with her victory, she became the first black woman to serve on the board.

At one time, Hayes was active within the NAACP and worked in numerous civil rights organizations. Working in those organizations, where policies and ideologies are questioned all the time, has helped her to separate an argument from a person.

She has the incredible ability to make friends with people who deeply disagree with her,” said assistant professor of justice and policy studies Pat Callair.

That uncanny gift will help her in her role as an Education Board member. Young for an elected official, she feels that her youth will only assist her.
“I feel extremely energetic,” Hayes said. “I think we need to recruit more younger people. I do appreciate the older members, but sometimes it means we are set in our ways.”

Hayes refuses to let her ideas set into cement. She is prepared for any change that could help students learn better.

“She’ll be less inclined to go the usual route of test, test, job,” Callair said.
Hayes looks at those children who test poorly, or at thowe with behavioral problems, and wonders: “How do you help that child to be successful in school?”

Her curiosity will lead to creative new ways of helping students in need. It’s her desire to help those people that got her elected.
“She’s a community person,” Guilford County Commissioner Melvin “Skip” Alston said. “She’s grass roots; the people like her and she’s accessible.”

One thing that Hayes plans to address is the “huge disparity between black kids and white kids” in the classroom. Also, because of past issues with the Board of Education, Hayes feels that many parents “have checked out of the whole process.”

To those people, she gives this charge:

“To anyone who has thrown in the towel,” Hayes said, “give this board and me a chance to build a good relationship.”

E.C. 🙂


2 Responses

  1. “give this board and me a chance to build a good relationship.”

    That has to be her idea of a joke!

  2. Hey Statman, it was 2002-03…who knew that she was going to eventually become one of the most polarizing figures in all of Guilford County? And she’s so innocent-looking in the picture. Now today, looking back, it was a joke. That’s why I posted this piece.

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