Three candidate directors of Waskom ISD challenge two incumbents for seats | New
WASKOM – The Waskom ISD board of directors has two deputy head positions in the upcoming May 1 poll for Harrison County. Five candidates, including the two incumbents who currently occupy these seats, have come forward to fill the posts.
Outgoing trustees Linda Bond and Jimmy Whorton are challenged by former trustee Shanta Bates-Chatman and newcomers Wade Nelson and Kathy Baugh. Early voting begins Monday in Harrison County.
Each of the five nominees was recently asked what inspires them to serve on the Waskom ISD Board of Directors and what issues they feel need to be addressed during the upcoming term. Four of the candidates responded to the News-Messenger questionnaire, while Whorton did not respond.
Baugh said that after spending her entire career caring for children, she feels the need to continue her passion even in retirement and is therefore looking to become a member of the Waskom ISD board.
“I firmly believe in meeting the needs of all children to ensure that they receive the best possible education they can receive,” Baugh said Tuesday. “It starts in elementary school. I am nearing retirement after 37 years in the child care industry and what better way to continue serving children in my community.
Baugh said she believes in fair policies and equality for all, and if elected, she will strive to see both implemented in all situations at Waskom ISD.
“I would like to see equal treatment and the equal application of policies for all employees and students, regardless of the job level or rank of the student,” she said.
Baugh said she praised the work of the current Waskom ISD school board as it strives to meet the needs of every student in the district, but was disappointed by the recent lack of Christmas bonuses given to teachers in the district. .
“Being a member of a school board is often a thankless job. I respect and admire every member of the board. However, I was very disappointed to learn that no Christmas bonus had been given to employees this year after almost 20 years of receiving them, ”she said. “Some employees had no warning that they were only getting them at the last minute and relying on them. I would like that to change. No matter what their job is, employees need to feel appreciated and this is a wonderful way to show it off to them. I strongly believe in promoting staff morale. “
Bond said her teaching career has given her the firsthand knowledge that she is used to making decisions throughout her tenure as a trustee.
“I am running for re-election because I feel that as a former teacher I understand the challenges our teachers and students face on a daily basis,” Bond said on Saturday.
Bond said she is seeking re-election because she wants to be part of ongoing efforts to meet the needs of students, teachers and staff as districts recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If I am elected, I will strive to help our school keep moving forward as we recover from the effects of the pandemic,” she said.
Bond said that throughout her tenure as a trustee, she and her fellow board members hired new staff, including trustees and new Superintendent Rae Ann Patty, and made campus updates.
“I am proud of the fact that we have hired new administrators on all three campuses and added assistant principals to elementary and secondary schools,” she said. “We have also added full-time counselors to elementary and middle schools. We also hired a new superintendent following the retirement of our longtime superintendent.
Shanta Bates-Chatman, challenger
Bates-Chatman, who previously served on the board of directors of Waskom ISD, said her love for children and their success brought her back in search of a place on the board.
“My love for children and the dedication / passion I have to ensure that all children receive a quality education, as well as support for teachers and staff and their needs inspired me to introduce myself. in the elections, ”Bates-Chatman said on Wednesday.
She said she feels Waskom ISD is continually improving and is proud of the direction the district is taking.
“Whether elected or not, I have a feeling that Waskom ISD is going in the right direction. As we all know, Rome was not built in a day and it takes time to reap the benefits of all the work that goes into the neighborhood, ”she said. “We’re not the perfect neighborhood, but we strive to improve every day. I think we have great leadership in place and great faculty and staff. So if I get elected I would like to be a continued support for all, share innovative ideas to make sure we keep on the right track.
Bates-Chatman said that during her previous tenure as a trustee, she and her fellow board members shared many milestones for the district, including academic achievement when the district’s accountability ratings improved.
“As a former board member, there have been many accomplishments of which I am proud. There are two that I will share. First of all, there is the dedication of all the faculty and staff and the hard work of our students in 2018-2019 to raise the accountability rating of our district from “C” to “B”, a she declared. “Second, there is the resilience that the entire district demonstrated during COVID-19. The ability to quickly adapt to many unexpected changes. Although there has been / there is so much uncertainty during this pandemic, I am very proud that each of them is on the front lines daily and taking on such a challenge to ensure the education of all students.
Nelson said that as a current parent of Waskom ISD, he believes his first-hand perspective will give him additional insight and a vested interest in ensuring the district prepares every student for success in elementary school. and beyond.
“My inspiration (to run for office) comes from conversations with community members and through those conversations I think the representation should include the generation of parents who have students in the district,” Nelson said Wednesday. “As a graduate of Waskom ISD and having two children as students in the district, I would like to have a pivotal role in promoting and influencing what our schools offer to students, faculty and the community.”
Nelson said that if elected, he wanted to build on the benefits the district has already implemented and continue to grow and expand opportunities for students at every level of their education.
“First of all, I want to commend the administration and elementary staff for building positive relationships with students and parents. I’ve seen them go the extra mile to bring a smile to every student’s face when they come in the morning, ”he said. “The college goes above and beyond to promote extracurricular activities including art, group and farm program. Our high school offers many programs and certifications that lead to success after graduation. At every level of our district, progress and growth is evident.
“I want to continue the momentum of this wave of growth and part of the growth is making sure we have the right people in the right place. I come to the table with no hidden agenda or ulterior motives. I really want this neighborhood to be the best educational experience for every child.
Nelson said he had no agenda behind his desire to serve as an administrator and only sought to put the needs of faculty, staff, community and students at the forefront in every decision to be taken. which the board is facing.
“By definition, a board is a group of people who jointly oversee the activities of an organization. Each board member should have an equal voice that speaks for the good of the organization (students, staff, administration, parents, community), ”he said. “As stated above, having the right faculty members in the right positions is the recipe for success. However, personal feelings have overshadowed the true meaning of being a fair and equitable member of the board. As a parent, I want to see my children with the best opportunities Waskom ISD has to offer, which includes hiring and retaining great educators. I also believe that the role of the school board should be to protect and defend the students and faculty members of this district.
Whorton did not respond to the three questions or photo requests sent to each candidate.