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District 1: Jack Leonard

The children and the long-range building plans for the future needs of the school system are the reasons Jack Leonard is seeking a second term as a board member.
“I am committed to providing the best education possible for our children,” he said. “During the last four years, I have tried to listen to parents’, teachers’ and students’ concerns, and worked to find solutions,” he said. “With my experience as a practicing educator, I know the requirements that are needed.”
Supporting the teachers with the new curriculum and corresponding changes in testing requirements have been the biggest challenge and accomplishment during his term as a BOE member, he said. “We also were working to be sure that the needs of the students were being met.”
According to Leonard, a better partnership with the county commission could be achieved by shifting the focus. “We need to remember that our common goal is what’s best for our children,” he said. “It is not about us, it’s about educating the children.”
In addition, more than just the bottom line has to be considered when it comes to finances. “As we work on the school system’s budget, I try to keep in mind the cost, but also the needs that the administrators, teachers and students have, along with many mandates from the state and federal government, which are unfunded,” he said. “The needs of our school system have to be met if we want to continue to provide the best education possible.”
One example of money well-spent would be the system’s security upgrades, he said. “Hopefully, with the improvements we have made, our schools are safer for staff and students.”
With three children in the system, Leonard views serving on the school board as a complementary role. “Personally, it strengthens my desire for all children to have the best education possible,” he said. “By working as a board member, I can help accomplish this goal.”
Leonard is employed by the Johnson City School System as a Gap Closure coordinator and an International Baccalaureate Program coordinator. In addition, he has experience as an after-school program staff member, an instructional assistant, an assistant principal and principal, a Tennessee Department of Education consultant and a special programs coordinator.
“I feel that with this background at all levels of education, I can bring valuable experience and understanding to the Washington County Board of Education,” he said.