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Rhonda Lennon has a new title at CMS, new name

Dave Yochum. Rhonda Lennon Cheek has plenty going on: She’s newly re-married and recently elected vice chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education.

Both are noteworthy. The largely Democratic board is one of the most influential and powerful boards in the Piedmont—and Lennon is a well-respected leader in the Republican party.

She’s also been a well-known single mom who shared her trials and tribulations—including breast cancer and a foreclosure—on Facebook.

“It has been a challenge, but I have been so fortunate to have family and friends to help me with my children,” the Cornelius resident says. Her two oldest are both engaged and getting married this year.

Still at home is son Mason, a 10th grader at Hough High.

She and Brent Cheek were married Jan. 1 in Las Vegas. This being 2018, the Elvis-themed nuptials were live streamed.

“We currently reside in Cornelius, but we will be transitioning to Davidson during this year. Brent’s support and encouragement certainly gave me the confidence to step into the Vice Chair role,” she says.

The three-term board member’s selection by colleagues is an indication of her commitment to “work together for all students in the county and to put aside ideology and work in a nonpartisan manner,” Cheek says.

“I know that when Dr. Ruby Jones nominated me, she mentioned that I was the ‘seasoned veteran’ on the board and also a colleague who is direct and straight forward in getting things done,” she adds.

One of her ongoing goals is preparing students for jobs that are needed today and in the future. “This encompasses vocational training and also pathways that incorporate high education, college or specialized training,” she says.

Lennon, one of the region’s most influential elected officials, has always been a hard-working, multi-tasking parent.

“My advice to single parents—be consistent, even when you have to be the bad and good guy. Rely on friends and family to help you. And focus more on the things you can do with your children, rather than things you can buy them. The most precious gift you can give a child is your time and attention,” she says.