What You Need To Know . . .

District 3 candidates discuss school goals:

The Washington County Board of Education is made up of nine elected members from three political districts. Members serve four-year terms, and candidates in District 1 and District 3 will be on the ballot for the Aug. 7 State Primary and County Election.

District 3 constituents will elect three board members from a field of two incumbents and three newcomers. More...

District 3: David Hammond

If elected for a second term, David Hammond will continue to ask questions and look into issues on his own time. “I represent the people and work for the people, and put the children first,” he said.

According to Hammond, the school system will be facing a lot of challenges during the next four years, and he wants to be the voice of the parents.

“In general, the school system faces unfunded mandates. As parents, we have to get the kids adjusted to the learning style of the new core curriculum,” he said. “We also have a lot of facilities concerns, especially at the Boones Creek schools.” More...

District 3: Todd Hull

Newcomer Todd Hull is clear about his reasons for wanting to serve on the school board. “I’m a parent, not a politician,” he said. “I’m running to help, not to take another office.”

Hull wants to bring academics back to the main focus of the Washington County School System. “I don’t think students have enough time in the classroom to learn what they need to know,” he said. “If the state is going to mandate so much testing, we need to figure out a way to help the teachers by having smaller classroom sizes.”

This goal relates directly to the capacity of the buildings, he said. “Right now, the biggest challenge is what to do with Boones Creek and the other aging schools. With Boones Creek surrounded by Johnson City, this needs to be looked at very carefully.” More...

District 3: Clarence Mabe

Seeking his fourth term on the school board, Clarence Mabe believes he has a lot to offer. “I have been a teacher, a coach and a business person, and I think every kid is important,” he said.

Mabe said he stays close to the system by talking with the director of schools a couple of times a week, in addition to principals and people in the community, and constituents can always contact him by phone.

In addition to providing the best education possible, Mabe said his goal as a board member would be to encourage Washington County schools to look to the future. “We’re living in an awesome time right now, but what is the library going to look like in 10 years? What will a tablet (computer) look like?” he asked. “That is the future.” More...

District 3: Mike Masters

Expanding the curriculum would be his priority if elected to the school board, Mike Masters said.

“We need to have a curriculum that prepares students for the workforce if they choose not to go to college,” he said. “When I went to Daniel Boone, we had welding and auto mechanics.”

While Masters complimented the current technical programs both high schools offer, he said more needs to be available to prepare students for a direct move into the job market following graduation. More...

District 3: Scott Utsman

As a Washington County native and parent, Scott Utsman said he has a vested interest in seeing the school system be successful.

Determining how to best work with the City of Johnson City on a plan for the schools in Boones Creek is the biggest challenge he would expect if elected to his first term on the Board of Education.

“We also have to upgrade and maintain our current facilities at the standard our educators and students need for the bigger challenges down the line,” he said. “We don’t want to build new schools and let the other end of the county run down.” More...

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