by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Childhood development director resigns amid questions

The McCrory administration’s new appointee to head the childhood development and early education division at the NC Department of Health and Human Services abruptly resigned on Feb. 7.

As a former president of the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, Dianna Lightfoot’s positions on early childhood education drew scrutiny immediately upon her appointment on Feb. 5. A 2011 paper co-authored by Lightfoot states that “available research suggests” that early childhood education “may actually be inferior to early learning opportunities at home,” adding that “it appears the demand for outof-home childcare is not as prevalent as many advocates claim.” Lightfoot’s Twitter account also raised eyebrows. In one dispatch, she wrote, “Between hillary and the other butch obama anointed it’s great to finally see 2 with intelligence AND depth,” referencing Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

Secretary Aldona Wos, a Greensboro resident and former US ambassador who made the appointment, received Lightfoot’s resignation. The department indicated in a written statement that Lightfoot did “not wish to be a distraction.”

The new appointee, who had been identified as a Winston-Salem resident, might have had an additional problem: At about the same time her resignation was announced, the Camel City Dispatch news website was making an inquiry to the NC Board of Elections about Lightfoot’s voter registration, which lists her residential address at 353 Jonestown Road. That is the address for a UPS store. All North Carolina voter registration forms contain a standard written warning: “If you sign this form and know it to be false, you can be convicted of a Class I felony.”