Education Section Update

Kris CaudleBy Kris Caudle

The Education Section has been busy in April! On April 7, the Education Section held its final Regular Meeting of the year in Raleigh at Tharrington Smith LLP, and its Annual Meeting at Whiskey Kitchen. On April 8, the Education Section also held its annual CLE program at the Bar Center. Thanks to everyone who helped make these events a success, especially our CLE Committee co-chairs Collins Saint, Maura O’Keefe, Keir Morton-Manley, Rebecca Williams, and Grace Pennerat.

New Officers & Council Members

At this year’s annual meeting, the Education Section Council voted to approve the following section members for service on the Education Section Council.

Incoming Secretary – Rachel Nicholas, Associate at Poyner Spruill LLP

Rachel previously held the position of Treasurer for the Education Section. Rachel assists public school systems throughout the state. She focuses her practice exclusively on education law. Before pursuing a legal career, Rachel taught second grade in Rocky Mount, North Carolina through Teach For America. She is a member of the North Carolina Council of School Attorneys, the National Council of School Attorneys, and the Education Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Rachel graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. in Political Science. She received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Incoming Treasurer – Collins Saint, Associate at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Collins is an active member of the bar and the Education Section. She advises and litigates on behalf of public and private educational institutions and school boards on an array of education law issues, including special education and disability issues, civil rights laws, and tort claims. She also represents businesses in a variety of industries to resolve disputes, litigating in state and federal court when necessary. Collins has a particular focus on diversity and civil rights issues, including issues related to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and religion.

2025 Council Members

Q. Shanté Martin – Of Counsel at Cranfill Sumner LLP

Chris Lott – Deputy General Counsel at Duke University

Chris Campbell – Partner at Campbell Shatley PLLC

Keir Morton-Manley – Assistant University Legal Counsel, NC Central University

Evan Lee  –Attorney, Waldrep, Wall, Babcock & Bailey, PLLC

2022 Ann Majestic Award Recipient

The Education Section is proud to announce Jonathan Blumberg as this year’s recipient of the Ann Majestic Award. Jonathan has devoted his career to representing public school boards in North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in philosophy in 1982 and a law degree, with honors, in 1986. He served two years as a law clerk for Judge Eugene Gordon in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina before joining the education law practice at Tharrington Smith in 1988.

In his 34 years of service in public school law, Jonathan has served as the Board attorney for the Edgecombe, Lenoir and Orange County boards of education, and he currently serves as the lead Board attorney for the largest school district in the state, the Wake County Public Schools. Jonathan’s particular expertise in school personnel issues is recognized and respected by his colleagues within the firm and across the state. He regularly advises the human resources departments of many school systems, as well as presenting on personnel topics to school administrators, board members and other school law attorneys.