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District 1: Annette Fender Buchanan

One former educator who decided she needs to be more involved in the school system is seeking her first term on the Board of Education.
“It’s time for a new perspective on the school board, and I’m willing to put the focus on the students,” Annette Fender Buchanan said.
Buchanan said she believes the current board is having trouble putting students’ needs first. “The classroom sizes need to be smaller at some ages,” she said. “Twenty-four or 25 students in a third-grade classroom is too many.”
In addition, more financial accountability could improve the relationship with the county commission. “I think there’s a trust issue there,” she said. “The school board is always asking for money, but sometimes it’s not allotted and they think we’re just frivolously spending it.”
Buchanan said specifying how the money is used would give commissioners a better understanding of the system’s needs. “When you talk about education, it’s always for the kids, but there are still things that need to be purchased.”
According to Buchanan, she would use her vote to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent in the best interest of the students.
In her opinion, the system has done a good job transitioning the teachers into the new Common Core curriculum by offering workshops and training.
Buchanan also is impressed with the security provided by the system. “I have a hard time with kids being in school on Election Day, which is probably the least secure day with so many people in the schools, but otherwise they do a really good job keeping them safe.”
A former 8th-grade teacher at Jonesborough Middle School, Buchanan is now a stay-at-home mom who will soon have three children in the county system.
“They say your children get picked on (if one of their parents serves on the BOE), but mine have strong character and they can handle it,” she said.