Meet the School Board candidates running in the 1st DistrictIncluded in the Washington County general election, which will be held on Thursday, August 5, are seats on the Washington County School Board.
Six of the nine total seats are up for grabs in August: three each from District 1 and District 3.
District 2 board members Mary Lo Silvers, Todd Ganger and Phillip McLain will remain on the board.
Last week, the Herald & Tribune presented the five candidates running for the three seats in the 3rd District. This week, we present information on the candidates running in District 1.
Incumbents in the 1st District are Keith Ervin, Dallas Hardin, and Chad Williams. Their challengers are Hontas Bailey, a former board member, Jerry Berry, and Jack Leonard.
Bailey, who served on the Washington County School Board eight years ago, has decided to run again because “I think I can be of some benefit to the school system,” she said.
She said the school board always faces challenges in funding, but it must also be careful not to overload classrooms and to provide good textbooks and supplies to teachers.
Bailey lives in Jonesborough with her husband, Roy. Her grandchildren attend Washington County schools.
Berry said running for school board is something that has been suggested to him over a period of 10 years, but now that his children have graduated, he has decided to run.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff going on with the economy,” Berry said. “Primarily, I’d like to see our kids put first.”
Berry lives in Jonesborough with his wife, Beth. He and his wife, as well as their two children, Jacob and Brittney, are all David Crockett High School graduates.
Ervin has served on the Washington County School Board for four years now.
He said his main concern is doing what the community wants him to in regards to the schools.
“Funding is really important,” he said. “We’re actually below the state average [for per pupil spending] and I’d like to see us get up there.”
Ervin lives in Jonesborough with his wife, Amy, and his daughters, Ashley and Brooke, who attend Lamar School.
Hardin is a long-serving member of the board, with 12 years, or three terms, under his belt.
He said his leadership and experience make him a good candidate.
“The big issues are the budget and state unfunded mandates,” he said.
He said he has already served on the board during two major building projects, and is ready to continue serving.
Hardin lives in Telford with his wife, Helen.
Leonard has been in education for the last 17 years, and now works for the State Department of Education.
“I also have three kids in school with the new curriculum, and new requirements for graduation,” he said. “We need the funding to provide the new classes needed to meet state requirements and provide kids with the best education.”
He lives in Jonesborough with his wife, Jill, and their three children, Noah, Will, and Garrett.
Williams, who is completing his first term on the school board, said the two major issues facing the board in the future are getting proper funding and increasing teachers’ salaries.
“I think that we have got to have some more local funding,” he said. “It’s going to have to come from local dollars.”
Williams lives in Telford with his wife, Karen. Their twin daughters, Kaitlyn and Kristen, will be freshman at David Crockett High School in the upcoming school year.