Disstrict 1 Board Member Rhonda Lennon may be relatively new to the CMS School Board, but she's no stranger to hard work and dedication. She is a veteran advocate for education, and even started Families United for North Mecklenburg Education (FUME). I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her serious multitasking abilities, her support system, and her Christmas wish list.
Are you a native Charlottean? If not where are you from?
I was born in Ft Wayne, IN and moved all around IN, OH and MI in my childhood. My dad was
with Kroger Stores and we moved to Charlotte when I was 16 from suburban Detroit.
You are a South Mecklenburg HS Graduate. Did you attend any other CMS schools?
No. I came to South Meck in my junior year of high school. My sister attended Carmel Middle
and South Meck.
Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?
Mr. Sherrill Curtis, AP European History. He challenged me intensely, we read Machiavelli’s The
Prince‐ which I wrote my worst ever term paper on, and we studied Renaissance
art………..something I love today.
What was your favorite subject? What was your best subject?
Favorite subject in HS was Foreign Languages (German and French)
Best subject in HS was science, especially biology
Worst was definitely geometry
Your career as a nurse must require a lot of multitasking. How has that, and your career as a
real estate agent, prepared you for your job as board member?
As a nurse I have to have good assessment skills and be able to evaluate situations quickly. In
real estate I have to be a project manager and also manage budgets. Both jobs require multitasking
and being organized. And I think being a mom also helps—because you have to always
be ready for the unexpected!
You’ve been on the board for a year now, what’s been your biggest challenge?
Learning and understanding how my role has changed from advocacy to governance. Patience
is always a challenge for me and it is the same on the board. I always want things done faster.
What is the most rewarding part of serving on the board?
Participating in activities with students; I have interviewed with scouts, read to classes, judged
DECA contest, graduations. I love being with the kids‐ seeing their love for learning first hand
and the joy in their eyes.
From Mom to Board Member to Career Woman, you wear a lot of hats. How do you stay
I have incredible family support from my mom, Beth Garner and my sister Tanya. My kids are
also awesome too and very supportive. I try and take time to unwind with them, especially
spend as much down time with my son as possible. It renews and re‐energizes me. The “mom”
hat is definitely the best hat I will ever wear. I have also gotten better at accepting that I can
only do so much and not to sweat the small stuff when all the balls I am juggling hit the ground.
How does what you read or see in the media affect your decisions as board member?
It really doesn’t impact me at all. I understand how the media works and know that behind
every “loud” person is an army of people with other opinions.
How do you handle the stress? Do you have a favorite hobby?
I am a foodie. Cooking and developing recipes, especially for my family and kids is very
Say you’ve had a long day but you are headed to a board meeting which will probably last 3
hours. What do you listen to in your car to get you psyched up?
LOL! Windows down, music loud…. Bonnie Raitt, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum. To calm down
Eric Clapton Unplugged and Eagles Greatest Hits CD’s are about worn out.
Do you still buy books or do you have an electronic reader? Which one?
Buy books, considering an electronic reader, if Santa brings me one.
What’s the last book you bought?
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
If you were a superhero, what would you want your superhuman power to be?
To never need to sleep
Is there anything else you wish the public would know about you?
That I take my position very seriously, but don’t take myself very seriously