My name is Deanna Kaplan and I’m running to represent you on the Forsyth County Board of Education.

Having raised five children and spent a great deal of time working with and volunteering in our public school system, I developed a passion for education. There is much we can do to improve the quality of education our children receive and create safe learning environments. We also must make sure that all children receive the academic foundation they need for success in life.

I’ve got ideas…and want to be a part of improving public education in Forsyth County for all our children.


Endorsed by North Carolina Association of Educators

Meet Deanna

Deanna Kaplan grew up locally and has lived in Forsyth County most of her adult life. After graduating from Meredith College, she married Ted Kaplan who has served our community in the North Carolina House and Senate and more recently as a County Commissioner for the past eight years. You could say that community service and leadership runs in the Kaplan family.

Deanna’s work experience prepared her for the task of managing large and complex systems like our county school system. She began her career working and advocating for children at the Child Care Food Program. This role allowed her to monitor and provide nutritional support to day care facilities across the state. Deanna later directed the work of 28 dietary employees and managed the diets of a 230-bed facility of skilled and ICF patients with the Winston Salem Convalescent Center.

Eventually, Deanna chose to focus her time on raising her five children, now ages 18 through 29. That’s where she became involved in working on the ground floor of our education system and her volunteer activism took root.

Deanna's Leadership Experience

Over the years, Deanna gained valuable experience serving on multiple boards and as the president of various organizations. Some of these include:

  • President of Buena Vista Teen Study (formed in 1960’s)
  • President of Thomas Jefferson Middle School PTA
  • President of her home owner’s association
  • Board of Trustees for Sci Works
  • Board of Trustees for Ronald McDonald House
  • Board of Visitors for University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Board of Friends of Brenner’s Children Hospital
  • Co-Chaired Cheers! A Toast to Children’s Health Fundraiser for Brenner’s Children’s Hospital
  • Sustaining member of The Jr. League of Winston-Salem

But it was her time as PTA president that inspired her to run for a seat on the Board of Education. As she traveled to other schools, Deanna realized that many do not have the same resources as involved parents and funding as her children’s schools. And they needed someone to fight on their behalf.


Deanna believes in an emphasis on a child’s first 2000 days of life – birth to age 5 ½ – to make sure that every child is on track by the time he or she enters kindergarten.

As a mom of five, she knows first-hand the struggles of understanding a child’s needs and the desire to help them reach their potential. The school system needs to play a role by recognizing learning differences and intervening at an early age so that all children have an equal opportunity to learn – despite having Dyslexia, ADHD or any other learning challenge.

While she had the good fortune to be able to address the challenges of her children, she knows that not all parents do.

As a school board member, Deanna would specifically prioritize:

  • Improving safety and discipline in our schools
  • Alleviating the teacher shortage by improving their work environment and increasing teacher supplements
  • Maintaining our parental school choice with some modifications to ensure that we are not packing poverty students in single schools
  • Training our kids for the challenging jobs of their future, with equal access to cutting-edge technology regardless of school
  • Improving the health of our children by providing a greater variety of nutritious foods and by offering equal opportunities for physical activity
  • Making sure all of our students are given the tools they need to learn in their unique and individual ways so all can have equal opportunities for success (correlating with the goal that 90 percent reading proficiency for our children in Forsyth County by 3rd grade)

Additionally, she would encourage the business community to get involved to adopt PTA’s and develop mentoring programs at schools lacking parent involvement. She would also keep the arts education as a priority in schools and make sure that high schools, in particular, offer a wide array of AP and trade courses to accommodate multiple post-secondary education paths.

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