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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.”
Mabe said the No. 1 priority as far as facilities is a new school in Boones Creek. “We have one built in 1939 that is not up to code,” he said.
In managing the system’s finances as a board member, Mabe said he treats the money as if it were his own. “Being a business person, I know if this is the best deal or not,” said the owner/adviser of Face Amusements.
“The question, ‘Have you thought about this?’ has saved a lot of money, and I think we’re doing a great job.”
Security improvements also are under way based on assessments of all the school buildings. “I doubt if you’re ever where you want to be, but we’re a lot better off than we have ever been,” he said. “We should have an (school resource) officer in every school.”
As far as an opinion on the advantage of board members having children in the system, Mabe said he may be a little different. “I’ve seen people come in and stay on the board until their kids leave,” he said. “I think it’s good to be able to look at the overall picture and have no private agenda.”
According to Mabe, the relationship between the school board and the county commission has come a long way. “When I came on the board 12 years ago, it was bad news, but the mayor and the director of schools are now on the same page,” he said. “I think we need to keep (commissioners) informed and answer their questions truthfully. I think they respect that.”
Mabe believes Board of Education members have a responsibility to stay informed on changing state laws and their effects on school systems. “You also have to stay positive and dream big,” he said. “I think we have a great school system, great teachers and students and I’m looking forward to the future.”