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|Election Profile: Knoxville School Board Candidates Talk Ideas
|Three members of the Knoxville School board are up for re-election and there is only one opponent looking to unseat one of the three incumbents.
Randy Bryan grew up in the area and would like to see the Knoxville School District continue to hold their own.
Bryan says he decided to run for School board after working on the new track.
He tells WGIL he realized as he was working on the track having someone with a construction background on the board it would be extremely helpful.
"We'd go to the board meetings and just kinda answer there questions, 'can we do this? no, can we do this? yes we can do that, what if we had that?' That's what made me start thinking if you have a guy that was sitting in the room where you could just ask those questions you know that might help. Seems like there's always something being done construction wise to a school."
Incumbent Patrick Callahan has been serving the board for the past four years.
He says he's spent the past four years working and dedicating himself to become a master board member.
Callahan says spending around 34 years in the field of education as an educator and administrator makes him a standout candidate.
However, Callahan tells WGIL there's one important issue he'd like to address if re-elected.
"I'd like to address student achievement that's one of the things that's kind of near and dear to my heart. You know again as it relates to maintaining a gradual improvement for our district's K-8 test scores as well as, I really believe we need to develop a plan to effectively address our improvement of High School test scores."
Bob Bogard has served two terms on the Knoxville School board and is looking for his third.
He's currently the school board President and says he's very happy with how the last four years have gone with a new Superintendent, the New High school project and mainly the board's ability to establish goals and meet them.
Bogard says if re-elected he looking forward to establishing more goals for the district and completing them.
He tells Wgil the best thing he can do as a board member is keep an open line of communication with the community.
"Communication is the big key that I found when you're on the school board, especially when you're working with the City like we have and the tax payers because you gotta keep them in the loop and let them know what's going on or they feel left out and they don't trust you and that's not good."
For Board member John Putnam that last four years according to him have been a success.
Putnam says he's very pleased with how the New High School Construction project progressed and would like to be around to see the project completed.
He says in many cases you are shown the blue prints and told this is what it will be, Putnam says the board had so much input into the New High School he's very happy he got the chance to be involved.
If re-elected Putnam says he'd like to see the technology in the district progress with the one on one computers that would provide students a personal laptop and help then access their educational needs such as homework, test, and even text books.
Putnam says, however, he knows the biggest issue the board will face over the next four year is the budget and dealing with a lack of state funding.
"The only thing that we can do as a board is to either increase property taxes or decrease the personnel and what a lot of people don't understand is that these building issues that are going on within out District are all supported through the penny sales tax which can only be used for building items, it can not be used for personnel which what the main bill for every school district is."
The consolidated elections are April 9th.
To hear an extended interview with all four candidates, CLICK HERE (mp3 format).
|03 28 13 by Newsroom
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