2015 Citizen Lawyers: Ann McKee David
By Jane Paksoy
WILMINGTON – “Ann [McKee] David is a true asset to New Hanover County Schools, both as a parent and a community volunteer,” says Dr. Tim Markley, superintendent of New Hanover County Schools.
David’s passion for education began at an early age, and she grew up planning on becoming a teacher. Right when it was time to apply for a master’s in education, however, David decided to pursue law. Currently she and her husband own David & Associates, a civil litigation firm focusing primarily on personal injury.
Having her own practice allows David the flexibility to devote time to her true passion, education. Cindy Talbert, principal of Snipes Academy of Arts & Design, explains that “ [David] has a wealth of knowledge about how to bring the community into schools. The basis of this [knowledge] is really her desire to help all children experience success in school and in life.”
Of all the contributions David has made to the education community (including co-chairing the 2014 School Bond Committee and helping pass the largest school bond in the district’s history), Lawyers 4 Literacy is the one closest to her heart. Lawyers 4 Literacy asks local attorneys to spend 30 minutes once a week reading non-fiction books on government and civics to elementary students. Started in 2013 with 15 volunteer attorneys, the program has since expanded across the state and was presented to the American Bar Association last year.
David’s involvement in education spans the width of all possible roles. David has been PTA president of Pine Valley Elementary School, Myrtle Grove Middle School and the New Hanover County PTA Council. Most recently, David was appointed to the board of trustees of Cape Fear Community College. For the past eight years, David has hosted “ Up Front with the Superintendent,” an award-winning cable television show giving the community direct access to the superintendent. She’s even donned the tiger mascot costume for her sons’ elementary school.
David’s recommendation to young lawyers is to “ look for opportunities that interest them; whether reading, sports, art, or just mentoring.” She explains that “ [a]s attorneys, we can encourage the younger [children] to strive to be what they want to be.” In particular, “ [m]en are a valuable presence in our schools and can be role models to young boys who might not have a strong male figure in their lives.”
In Superintendent Markley’s words, David is “most deserving of the 2015 N.C. Bar Association’s Citizen Lawyer Award.”
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2015 Citizen Lawyer Awards in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
Jane Paksoy is an attorney with inVentiv Health Clinical in Cary.