Clara Witherspoon is the founder of GPM Inc. 501 C3 and the Board President. She faithfully serves and looks for gaps in services to perpetuate the mission of GPMInc. " to encourage the development of positive life skills that will bring about permanent changes in the lives of at-risk youth and their families." She initiated GPM Inc American Girl Doll Perseverance Award (AGDPA) program in 2016.
It is an annual event; the award is given to students who have demonstrated perseverance through excellent attendance, grades, behavior, and good citizenship.
In 2018, Mrs. Witherspoon attended the city of Charlotte's Community Support "Love Speaks Out" workshop to become a certified teen domestic violence prevention facilitator /trainer.
From 2018 until the COVID pandemic in 2020, Mrs. Witherspoon led the development of GPM Inc's Teen Domestic Violence Prom Project, an annual event.
What Separates Me from the Other Candidates
As a Charlotte resident for over 50 years and a product of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, I strongly believe that public education works. However, I also understand the need for changes in our school district to make it a place where we can all take pride. I am passionate about our community, and my work experience has equipped me to support the school board in achieving this goal.
I am committed to representing the people who elected me and standing up for what is best for families and children.
The community work I have done throughout my career sets me apart from other candidates. For instance, I have recruited families to enroll their children in early education programs like Head Start and connected them with vital resources. I am dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in our community, and I believe that serving as a school board member at large will allow me to continue this important work.
Clara Kennedy Witherspoon is the wife of Retired Fire Captain Ira G. Witherspoon Jr, who retired from the Charlotte Fire Department with 27 years of service. Mrs. Witherspoon is the mother of two daughters, Ashley and Danielle, and the proud grandmother of Cyrus and Emmy. The Witherspoons' daughters graduated from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and NC Public Universities. Her grandchildren are now attending Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to further their commitment to public education.
Clara Kennedy Witherspoon is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, who attended the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools System. She graduated from West Mecklenburg High School and later earned a BA degree in Psychology from North Carolina Central University. She also holds a Master's Degree in Religion in Christian Leadership from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as an additional Master's Degree in Education from The University of The Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico, with a focus on School Counseling and School Administration.
Mrs. Witherspoon's professional career spans several years in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools System, where she served in various roles, including as a District Multi-tier System of Support Specialist (MTSS), K-12 Licensed School Counselor, and high school Graduation Coach. She recently retired from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools System in January 2022.