Jessica Carda-Auten (she/her) believes that public education is at the foundation of a healthy democratic society and that every child deserves a high quality education regardless of their race, background, or zip code. She was sworn in as a member of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education in March 2023 and, in this position, her focus will be on reducing inequities and providing students, educators, and school administrators the resources and tools they need to excel.
Jessica attended public schools in New Hanover and Mecklenburg counties, is the daughter of an EC educator, wife of a Durham Public Schools graduate, and mother of three children. Her oldest two children attend a DPS elementary school, where Jessica has supported implementation of the Community Schools listening projects and worked alongside parents and other caregivers to cultivate a PTA that reflects the economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the school.
Jessica has 15 years of experience as a public health practitioner and researcher. She is currently on staff at UNC Chapel Hill, where she uses qualitative methods to integrate patient perspectives into medical care, improve healthcare provision in the criminal justice system, and expand services for individuals recently released from incarceration. She earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Women’s and Reproductive Health and certificate in Maternal and Child Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.