About Lee

If I were honest, I’d say there is no place I’d rather be than the “Old North State”. My family moved to North Carolina in 1991 because of great job opportunities and a top notch education system. These pillars helped me graduate from North Carolina State University, and go on to build a great career and home in Raleigh.

However, there are times when opportunity beckons, and for at least the next three years I am excited to begin a journey in New York City. Honestly, I didn’t expect to be a full-time grad student in my mid-thirties, but sometimes the combination of experience and opportunity are too good to pass up. This project is an extension of that experience. I hope to engage the community in meaningful conversation about things that matter.

What is Occasional Theology About:

  • Public Policy: We live in a world paralyzed by poor decision making and uninformed public policy. In many cases we can’t seem to move forward on policy because we don’t know what makes each other tick. Can we tap into people’s theological and religious beliefs to move policy forward?
  • New York: Let’s face it–New York is about unique as it gets. In most cases, how things work here can’t be replicated. However, there are many things we can learn and utilized as many areas of our country (especially North Carolina) are rapidly urbanizing.
  • North Carolina: While it seems that the NC General Assembly is doing everything it can to roll the state backwards; North Carolina is an outlier in the South and has pushed itself forward in incredible ways. NC does some things right, and we are going to talk about them.
  • The Church: America is getting far less religious (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). I love the church and want to see it do well, but let’s face it: the Church is broken. If the Church can’t reorient itself and reexamine its own faith–it’ll be history before we know it.
  • Random Stuff: Whether it’s transportation or cycling–many of the conversations on this blog will be about the random fun of life.

I must caution that none of the opinions offered on this blog are done so as expert advice. Though if what you find here is helpful I hope you will reach out and connect with me. I welcome a wide range of opinions in the comments as long as you remain constructive.

Thanks for engaging with me on this new journey.


Quick Bio:

When Lee is in New York you will find him roaming Morningside Heights in Manhattan.  He continues to maintain his permanent residence at his Historic Home in Longview Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • Age: 34
  • Is a member of the Democratic Party and serves on the State Executive Committee. He has previously served as Vice-Chair of the Wake County Democratic Party.
  • North Carolina political heroes: Governors Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt
  • Lived in the Raleigh area since 1999.
  • Grew up in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina in the Lake Norman area.

Lee alumnus of North Carolina State University. He is currently pursuing his MDiv at Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary.

Professional Highlights:

  • Worked in Education Policy at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University for nearly 10 years. Lee’s work focused on innovating North Carolina classrooms to produce 21st century students ready for the jobs and world of today and the future. Information on specific projects below.
    • Race to the Top: Helped bring $400M in stimulus funding to the State of North Carolina. Specifically working on the implementation of the NC Education Cloud. For more information see http://cloud.fi.ncsu.edu.
    • School Connectivity Initiative: Helped deploy the first state education network to connect all universities, community colleges, and K-12 schools. As a result all schools in the state are provided equity of access to internet bandwidth and educational resources. For more information see http://connectivity.fi.ncsu.edu.
  • Served on the State Media and Technology Advisory Committee focused on technology leadership in K-12 schools across the state.
  • Lee worked previously with Staples providing regional leadership to their Copy & Print division. Lee’s leadership with the company led to expansive growth of their Copy & Print services.
  • Started his first technology company, FutureTechNC in 1996 at age 15. As a high school student, he installed the first computer network in his school and later producing some of the state’s first school district websites.

Community Involvement:

  • Served on the Wake County Library Advisory Commission–serving several years as Chair of the Board.
    • Opened New Libraries: Lee helped to open the Leesville Road Community Library. Helped get the capital plan on track–beginning construction on Northeast Regional Library and Middle Creek Community Library.
    • Fought Library Closures: Lee successfully kept Southeast Regional Library in Garner open when the Wake County attempted to shut it down.
    • Renovating Existing Libraries: Lee worked to get the capital plan back on track and pushed to renovate existing libraries.
    • Lee is member of Milner Memorial Presbyterian Church. He has served in various lay capacities including Youth Leader, Interim Minister of Young Adults, and worked on several technology initiatives undertaken in the life of those congregations. In addition to his lay work, he served as an Elder at Milner, and helped launch a new worshiping community there.

Sartain is also an avid swimmer and cyclist. He swims with the YMCA of the Triangle Area’s (YOTA) Masters Swim Team.

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