Warren school board incumbents run unopposed

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 05:43 PM

WARRENTON — Three Warren County Board of Education incumbents are running unopposed for re-election.

Calvin Jones is completing his third term representing District 4 on the board.

Henry Durham is running for the first time. He was appointed to the District 1 seat to complete the term of Charles Grady, who resigned prior to moving out of the area.

Lynne Lassiter, a former teacher, was appointed to represent District 2 in 2005 to fill a vacancy. In 2006 she was elected to serve a full term and was re-elected in 2010.

Finances and teacher pay are priority issues for all of the candidates.

“I am concerned about the financial side of the situation,” Lassiter said. “Teachers in Warren County can’t get a decent supplement. It’s sad that a teacher who goes back to school for a higher degree can’t receive higher pay.”

Durham also said teacher pay is critical.

“You get what you pay for,” he said. “I know we have some good teachers, but we must keep them.”

But Jones said the board needed to be careful of the money issue.

“Where are we going to put our funds?” he asked. “That’s always an issue in a poor county like this.”

The candidates acknowledged several ideas and decisions that measure a good school board.

“I learned early on that the most important decision you will make is to pick a good superintendent,” Jones said. “We’ve been fortunate there. We have a good working relationship.”

Durham said resident involvement was crucial to a successful district.

“We need to get the community and businesses more involved in the schools,” he said.

He suggested career days should include not only local businesses but also professions not represented locally.

“Students need to make a determination at an early age what they want to be,” Durham said. “It may change, but if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there? And we should work toward getting that child headed in that direction.”

To give students a realistic look at the world of work, he said local businesses could provide job-shadowing programs.

Jones said his long tenure on the board is an asset.

“I’ve been there long enough to know that experience really counts,” Jones said. “You need information to make tough decisions.”

Lassister said she thinks the district is heading in the right direction.

“I think we are making significant changes in Warren County,” Lassiter said. “The choices in high school are a good thing. The year-round school at Northside and the SPLASH program are good things.”

Northside is an elementary school. The SPLASH program is a Spanish language immersion program.

She believes there is strong support for education in Warren County.

“People understand that by helping children,” she said. “They are helping themselves, because the children will be serving them.”

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.