To maximize the educational potential and opportunity of every student in Cleveland County with the skills, knowledge and readiness to graduate, and become globally competitive for college, work and life in the 21st Century.


Twenty years promoting partnerships and collaborations that bring together community business and education leaders, parents, faith-based institutions and policymakers who believe that our education system can – and must – equip students to succeed. Learn more


To advocate for excellence and equity while building a framework for student learning, growth and engagement which begins with providing quality, affordable early childhood education for all students and the development of 21st century skills. Learn more


To serve as a catalyst to provide a world class education experience for all students and to become one of the top ten school districts in the state. Learn more


To engage schools, family and community through intentional partnerships and collaborations to build capacity, raise expectations, encourage civic participation and expand educational opportunities for students to meet life’s impending challenges and opportunities.  Learn more

Who is Richard Hooker, Jr.?

Richard Hooker, Jr. is a local business owner and Co-­founder and Executive Director of the Cleveland County Business Development Center in Shelby, NC. Over the past 30 years, Hooker has been a leading advocate for public education, community and civic engagement, youth development, mentoring and leadership training. He has help spearhead several community and educational initiatives in Cleveland County, and has served on numerous boards, commissions and committees.

Hooker’s dedication and leadership in education also led him to serve on the former Shelby City School Board of Education for eight years and was re-­elected to a second term as a member of the (merged) Cleveland County School Board of Education. He is a founding member of the Cleveland Countys Close the Gap Committee, the Core Group and Community Math Academy. He currently serves on the Uptown Shelby Association and Cleveland Community College Board of Advisors. His memberships include the Cleveland County Chamber, and Shelby Breakfast Rotary Club. Hooker is also a former Army officer and life member of both the NAACP, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

At the state level, he was appointed to several boards by Gov. Perdue, Gov. Easley, and Gov. Hunt, respectively. He currently serves as the Chairman of  the Alliance of NC Black Elected Officials, and advisory member of the NC  State Board of Education. He is also a past President of the NC Caucus of Black School Board Members, Board of Directors for the NC Justice Center and currently serves as Chairman and a founding member of the NC Alliance of Black Elected Officials and Board of Directors of the NC School Board Association Action Center. Hooker is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Raleigh Dingman Award for school board leadership.

Hooker and his wife, Linda are members of Shiloh Baptist Church in Shelby, NC. They have two adult children, Takiyah Jamila and Richard Jabari, and four grandchildren, Brittney, Jaylen, Jeremiah, and Anaria.

Paid for by Richard Hooker for School Board.

Global Philosophy

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation.”

President Barack Obama


“Service is the rent you pay for your time on earth.”


  • BS Business Administration, 1972, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA
  • Human Relations, 1974, 12 hours University of Oklahoma, Lawton, OK


Married, Wife – Linda; 2 children; Takiyah and Richard Jabari; 3 grandchildren; Britanny, Jaylen, Richard Jeremiah



  • US Army 1972 – 75 1LT
  • Promoted to CPT, US Army Reserves, 1980


  • Cleveland County Chamber
  • Shelby Breakfast Rotary
  • NC Bail Agent Association
  • NC Center for Public Policy Research


  • Life Member, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
  • Life Member, NAACP
  • Life Member, Norfolk State University Alumni Association
  • Shelby Breakfast Rotary
  • Core Group of Cleveland County
  • Cleveland County Close the Gap Committee

Contact Richard Hooker, Jr.


Contributions may be sent to:

Richard Hooker for School Board
PO Box 882
Shelby, NC 28151