Nickey Mott, Doug Knight, and Charles Kelly are ready to keep I-SS moving forward.

Pro-education advocacy group Our Schools First is choosing a bi-partisan slate of candidates in the races for three Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education seats. Districts 2, 4, and 6 are up for election on November 8th.

The group is supporting Nickey Mott in District 2, Doug Knight in District 4, and incumbent Charles Kelly in District 6. Knight and Kelly are running on the Republican ticket; Mott is a Democrat. This year’s election marks the first time that Board of Education candidates must run a partisan election due to a change in state law.

“Nickey and Doug bring a new, fresh perspective to the Iredell-Statesville School Board,” said James Hogan, spokesperson for OS1. “Nickey is a mother of five children, all of whom graduated or are enrolled in I-SS. Her experience training folks with the YMCA, her forward-thinking leadership, and her strong advocacy for public education make her a great choice.”

At Monday night’s Board of Education candidates forum, first-time Republican nominee Doug Knight touted a career as a physics professor and public school teacher as evidence that he is the best choice for the job.

“Doug has led a nationally-recognized rocketry program at Mitchell Community College,” Hogan said. “He knows how to exceed expectations, and with public schools focusing critically on expanding STEM education, we think Doug’s qualifications will position I-SS to take the lead.”

District 6 incumbent Charles Kelly brings 12 years of experience as a board member, something OS1 believes cannot be overlooked as the system navigates challenges ranging from funding issues to school safety. Kelly voted for the facilities improvement approved by voters in the 2014 Education Bond referendum, and during his leadership tenure, the system has endeavored to diversify its educational offerings, creating and expanding International Baccalaureate schools, vocational training, and early college and arts programs.

“These Board of Education races are very important to the continued success of Iredell-Statesville Schools, and we applaud all of the candidates at this week’s forum for their preparedness” Hogan said. “I-SS has made several important steps forward in the last few years, and our endorsements of Nickey, Doug, and Charles are commitments to continuing that progress.”

Nickey Mott, candidate for I-SS BOE District 2

Nickey Mott, candidate for I-SS BOE District 2

Doug Knight, candidate for I-SS BOE District 4

Doug Knight, candidate for I-SS BOE District 4

Charles Kelly, candidate for I-SS BOE District 6

Charles Kelly, candidate for I-SS BOE District 6











Nickey Mott, District 2

As we all realize that public education faces an even more competitive environment, this community must ensure that we elect a well-informed, positive, competent Board of Education to provide leadership and guidance to our local school administration.
I would like to promote and endorse Nickey Mott for the position in District 2. I have had the opportunity to speak with her about our most important educational challenges, vital programs that need to be continued, and new opportunities that need to be offered. Nickey shares the same positive, enthusiastic optimism that I hope I’ve brought to the board.
She has a master’s degree in education with a concentration in technology. She has a tremendous social and professional leadership background enhanced by her current professional position as relationship specialist, staff trainer, and volunteer coordinator at our local YMCA.
Her people skills are further honored by her role as a pastor’s wife, since she is married to Rev. John Mott, pastor of Higher Ground Baptist Church here in Statesville. Her experience in I-SS is vast. She is the mother of five children, two of whom have already graduated from our system.

Nickey embodies the adage “Busy people get things done.” I hope the citizens of District 2 will join me in supporting Nickey Mott to be our representative for service on the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education.


Doug Knight, District 4

From my perspective, we need Doug Knight’s kind of intelligence on our board.  He is pragmatic and thoughtful.  His educational experience with the public schools (K12, Mitchell Community, and presently, Lenoir Rhyne University) give him a special working-knowledge of what’s right and what needs improvement in our system.
With a physics and mechanical engineering background, he is a problem-solver on the most basic level. On a higher-level, he also knows the value of STEM and STEAM educations. He understands how education can be the ticket out of poverty and has hands-on experience helping students understand their potential in this world.
I also see him as a valuable resource in promoting and recruiting teachers in those hard-to-find, highly-sought-after positions like physics and chemistry.  His work-experience (particularly with NASA and national defense) fits nicely with the system’s interest in supporting and building those technical skills.
Doug Knight helps bring recognition and excitement to the board and our system that will promote Iredell-Statesville to the next level in K-12 education in NC and nationally, as well.

Charles Kelly, District 6

Current Board of Education Vice-Chair Charles Kelly has served District 6 for 12 years now as a positive agent for change and improvement. Mr. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Science and a Master of Science degree in Biology. He spent over 30 years as a biology instructor at Mitchell Community College. As a former educator, Mr. Kelly understands what students need to thrive in today’s marketplace.


Recognizing that no two people have the same gifts or learn the same way, Mr. Kelly and the board have implemented a multitude of school choice programs, including new programs at CATS, Early College options, and consolidated programs in Visual and Performing Arts, International Baccalaureate and Spanish language immersion.

During Kelly’s tenure on the board, they have made critical improvements to school facilities to protect children and staff, and provide an enjoyable place to learn. And technology advancements and initiatives have brought 21st century learning and computers to students who otherwise wouldn’t have access.


Mr. Kelly is known on the board for his pleasant, amiable style while asking thoughtful, in-depth questions.  He brings the wisdom of 12 year’s experience with this school system, great continuity and continued leadership. His strong personal relationship with Mitchell Community College has proved invaluable in bringing new opportunities to I-SS students.


Learn more about OS1’s Platform for Public Education, and read about our endorsements for County Commissioners.