Election day means some new representation for BHS

Elections on Tuesday will bring big changes to the Knox County Schools’ Board of Education. Three of nine district representatives will be elected or re-elected to serve on the board. Districts 3, 5, and 8 are up for grabs in the election, two of which represent some of Bearden’s students. “Bearden students and their parents will be represented by the 3rd, 4th, and 5th district representatives,” Principal Dr. John Bartlett said. “The Board of Education’s job is to set policy and set a school system budget. “They also advocate for needs of the schools within their district as well as the school system in totality.” Candidates for the fifth district position are Elaine Davis and incumbent Karen Carson. As for the third district, candidates Bobby Edington, Doug Harris, and Gina Oster vie to replace current district representative Cindy Buttry. What will this mean for the Bearden High School Community? Each candidate has different ideas and objectives for improving KCS. “I have several goals for the school board,” Edington said. “My first goal is to create additional funding for the teachers and schools.” Edington plans to do so by restructuring central offices and reducing school board salaries. In the future, he also hopes to implement iPads in third District schools. “Technology is the best way to get every student to the successful level that they need and, as a parent, we demand for our kids,” Edington said. Harris is also an advocate of iPad usage within the district, as well as increases in principal support and teacher salary, further investigation of opportunities to build charter schools for disadvantaged children, and earlier grade level goals in reading and math for students in the third, fifth, and eighth grade. “The biggest challenge facing Knox County Schools is preparing a higher percentage of students for post-secondary education,” Harris said. “In the future, 67% of jobs will require additional education beyond high school.” If elected, Oster hopes to motivate the board to look further into the budget issue and the teacher evaluation process. Her main priority, however, would be to make herself and other board members more accessible to the school communities they represent. “I feel the most important thing we can do is get our kids prepared for school and be active in their education,” Oster said. Elected District Representatives will take office on Sept. 1. Rachel Riley is the news editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.