Alamance-Burlington Board of Education

  • The Alamance-Burlington Board of Education is the local governing body of the Alamance Burlington School System. The seven members have been elected by Alamance County citizens.

    The school board sets policy for the school system, which is then administered by the superintendent and staff. The school board also sets the direction of the school system through the strategic planning process and adopts an annual budget that includes its request for local funding from the Alamance County Board of Commissioners, as well as its plan for the use of state and federal funds. 

    The North Carolina State Board of Education, as legislated by the North Carolina General Assembly, provides statewide public school governance. The state is responsible for the majority of the district's funding as well as oversight of core academic curricula.
    Board of Education seeks applicants for Alamance Community College Board of Trustees

Sandy Ellington-Graves, Board Chair

  • Sandy Ellington Graves

    Elected: 2020
    Current term expires: 2024

    Ms. Ellington-Graves is a 1989 graduate of Southern Alamance High School. She has been a parent of an ABSS student since 1998 and has five nieces and nephews in ABSS. She has been actively volunteering for years with PTA, Athletics, ACE and VOICE. She also served on the Joint Facilities Task Force in 2017 and graduated from the first ABSS Parent Engagement Program in 2019. 

    "The most fulfilling part of serving on the BOE is the people! Being able to engage students, teachers and families across the county is a unique opportunity. I meet so many people who share their best moments and their biggest challenges with me. They believe I can help make a difference and that is truly humbling! Every day, every situation brings something new, something meaningful!"

Wayne Beam

  • Wayne Beam

    Elected: 2018
    Current term expires: 2022

    Mr. Beam is a retired ABSS administrator who served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and executive director of school administration throughout his career. His son was also a graduate of Western Alamance High School.

    "I ran for the Board of Education because I wanted to give back to the children. The best part of serving in this role is working with students, parents, and school employees."

Allison Gant

  • Allison Gant

    Elected: 2014
    Current term expires: 2022

    Ms. Gant began her involvement with ABSS as an active parent and volunteered often in her children's schools, as well as, on several district level committees. She served as the executive director for Alamance Citizens for Education for seven years, prior to her election to the board in 2014.

    "For me the fulfilling part of my service has been watching our district grow to support every student in their education. Our partnerships with Elon University, Alamance Community College and local entities have and continue to evolve. This allows each student to work towards a pathway best aligned with their goals and dreams. Another highlight has been when our whole community came together to support the bond vote to upgrade our high school facilities, two of our elementary schools, and a new high school. It has been a long time coming and I am proud of this community for supporting education."

Donna Davis Westbrooks

  • Donna Westbrooks

    Elected: 2020
    Current term expires: 2024

    Ms. Westbrooks worked first as a teacher and then administrator for ABSS before retiring in 2017, having served for 32 years. She is a graduate of Cummings High School, her husband and 2 children graduated from Williams High School, and she has 4 grandsons currently attending an ABSS school.

    "I have always been an advocate for public education and realized quickly after retiring, I wasn’t finished promoting and supporting ABSS. I was proud to have served the students and families of our county for so many years and truly missed it. With 4 grandsons in the system, I wanted to become more involved and get back to being in the know about ABSS. I feel with my knowledge and experience from working in ABSS all those years, I could still be an advocate for public education while supporting our students, staff, and families."

Patsy Simpson, Board Vice-Chair

  • Patsy Simpson

    Elected: 2014
    Current term expires: 2024

    Ms. Simpson has been active with ABSS for many years while her children and foster children attended school. She was an active parent, serving as a PTO president, treasurer, VOICE member, athletic Booster club member, and member of several school improvement committees. She now has a grandchild attending school in ABSS.

    "I ran for the Board of Education to advocate for students, teachers, other staff, and the community."


Ryan Bowden

  • Ryan Bowden

    Elected: 2020
    Current term expires: 2024

    Mr. Bowden is a 2001 graduate of Southern Alamance High School with two children who attended ABSS Schools. Mr. Bowden has also served as a member of the ABSS Joint Facilities Task Force Committee.

    "I enjoy having the opportunity to serve others and being a voice for our children, parents, and community."


Tony Rose

  • Tony Rose

    Elected: 2010
    Current term expires: 2022

    Mr. Rose has served in both the chair and vice-chair roles during his tenure on the board. He was first elected in 2010 and will complete his third term in November 2022.

    "I'm grateful for the opportunity and experiences I've had while serving our community as a member of the Board of Education."




Dr. Jim Merrill, Interim Superintendent

  • Dr. Merrill

    Dr. Jim Merrill will serve as interim superintendent, effective January 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022 as the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education launches a search for the next permanent superintendent.

    Dr. Merrill has twenty years of experience as a school superintendent, including six years in Alamance-Burlington Schools from 2000-2006, Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia from 2006-2013, and Wake County Public Schools, 2013-2018. This is his second interim superintendency since retiring from Wake County. He earned his Bachelor degree in English Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Masters in Administration from Appalachian State University, and a Doctorate in Education Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.