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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.”
Utsman is a team manager at Eastman Chemical Co. and has been involved in the booster clubs at Daniel Boone and Sulphur Springs.
If elected, he would be available to his constituents at Board of Education meetings, through phone and email, and at school events.
While one of his children recently graduated, his remaining two are enrolled in the county system. “There is an advantage to being close to a certain school because you have a better understanding of it and you interact with the teachers and the PTA,” he said. “But you can’t play favorites and let those relationships sway your decisions.”
According to Utsman, the effect on students and teachers must be considered when making budget choices. “We have to keep our kids and faculty in mind, and use good judgement to make the best decisions for them,” he said.
At the same time, he believes the funds need to be evenly distributed. “We can’t go all kids or all faculty or all athletics,” he gave as examples.
Utsman believes membership changes in the school board and county commission will lead to more consensus between the bodies. “New ideas and new faces will probably build a new relationship,” he said. “Those changes may go a long way toward a fresh start.”
As far as security, Utsman believes the system is doing a better job. “We still need to upgrade the school resource officers so we have one at all schools,” he said. “I know it takes money, but we’re making progress.”