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Meet The Kanawha County Board Of Education Candidates
By Kera Mashek
April 30, 2014

EYEWITNESS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO


CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Kera Mashek) -- Election Day is now less than two weeks away, and among the things you'll be voting on is who should serve on the Kanawha County school board. Three of the seven people running will be elected to serve a four-year term.

Here's a look at the candidates:

- Pete Thaw retired after a long career in public service and is a 16 year member of the Kanawha County school board.

"We've got to get much more action out of our money. We're still not spending the money in the classroom where we should," Thaw said.

- Becky Jordon is a mom, has a background in social work, and is a 12-year member of the school board.

"We need to have iPads in everyone's hands or just more technology, whether that's iPads or not. Our kids needs more technology. Our schools do not have enough," Jordon said.

- Tracy White is currently a special needs aide and substitute teacher in Kanawha County Schools. As a mother of three children with autism, she's running on a platform of better serving special needs students.

"I would like to open up the lines of communication. I'd like to use that call service that calls us at 4:45 in the morning to tell us there's no school, to use that to let parents know what's on the agenda for the board meeting, what's going on to just open up that flow with communication with parents and the teachers," White said.

- Ryan White is a Charleston attorney, and father of two.

"We're one of the worst counties in the state in the graduation rate. I'd llke to see that get up there. I'd like to see...I think we're doing better with pre-K but we need to increase the amount of pre-K in the state. We also need to..I think the administration needs to do a better job communicating with the parents and teachers," White said.

- Vic Sprouse is a former state lawmaker, business owner and parent.

"I think, number one, we've got to tackle this calendar issue. The fact we're going to school I guess the 8 or Aug. 11 is absolutely ridiculous. We've got to take our summers back. We've got to make sure we fight this common core curriculum that is just pervading our school system and hopefully we're able to do that and make positive changes for Kanawha County," Sprouse said.

- Calvin McKinney is a retired educator with 40 years experience.

"We've got to stay on top of technology. It changes so fast and moves so quickly that it costs lots of money, and that's one thing we have to take care of for our students," McKinney said.

While each of the candidates have different visions for the future, all seem to agree that more parent involvement is needed to help ensure a better future for students.

- The seventh candidate, Curtis Robinson, could not be reached for comment.

Early voting is already underway, and the election is May 13.

To view the candidates’ full interviews, click here.





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